Gustavo Torner (Cuenca, 1935) is a self-taught artist. Deeply immersed in the world of culture, he stand out in the vast Spanish panorama during the Sixties by the wealth of material he uses in his work; full of formal and chromatic freedom. Along with Fernando Zóbel and Gerardo Rueda they establish the Escuela Conquense, one of the first initiatives in Spain, during the Sixties to introduce the new currents of modern art, with the founding of the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español in Cuenca as a major initiative, Torner collaborated there since its creation.
Trained as a Forest Engineer and given his skill as a drawer, he practiced both his profession and trade during his first years of employment. From creating botanical plates, Torner developed a stage of figurative impression which evolved towards abstraction and constructivism.
When he abandons his career as an engineer in 1965 he begins to entirely dedicate himself to his artistic career, Torner alternates between painting and sculpture with many other artistic expressions, such as the creation of graphic works, set design, theatre figurines and opera, tapestries, as well as collaborating in the windows of the Cuenca Cathedral and at the Museo Diocesano de Arte Religioso in Cuenca.
This exhibition, produced especially for the room of the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, bears the significant title Ni orden ni caos (Neither order nor chaos) because, in the words of the artist, there is no single criterion to accept forms, as there is always a mental control over the creation.
The exhibition includes a total of forty-eight works, divided into three blocks. In one section there is a collection of gouaches created especially for the exhibition, deeply expressive and completely diverse, whose only link is the procedure. The sculptures make up the second section and show the artist's inquiring side, his experimental stage, since all Torner's pieces move between a culture rooted in the past and a constant desire for renewal. The third section consists of a set of twenty pieces created between 1964 and 1970, belonging to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection and considered, by the artist, his best production. It is a series of collages about the human condition, the deep feelings of man and his relationship with nature based on the book by Andrés Vesalius, De Humani Corporis fabrica, which the artist studied for the first time in New York in 1964.