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Martín Chirino. Memoria

1 october, 2003 - 15 december, 2003 /
Santo Domingo de Silos Abbey (Burgos)

Among numerous solo exhibitions dedicated to Martín Chirino (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1925), the retrospective the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía dedicated to him in 1991 at the Palacio de Velázquez in Madrid stands out. Now, the Abbey de Santo Domingo de Silos is hosting an exhibition comprising of five Cangrafías, etchings especially made for the occasion, entitled Viento (2003), in addition to five wrought iron sculptures made between 1968 and 2003 and entitled: Espiral (1968), Mi patria es una roca (1987), Alfaguara III (2000), Espiral la rosa (2002) y El sueño de Canarias (2003). In these works, the Canary Islands are a common leit motiv, in addition to the theme of spiral and wind, African and Atlantic, so present in Canarian life.

Chirino moves to Madrid in 1948 and enrolls at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, while continuing his sculptural research in iron workshops. The sculptor Ángel Ferrant is one of his teachers and accepts him among his protégés.

He 1952 he begins his travels to Paris, Italy and London. On his return to the Canary Islands he experiments in the field of Abstraction. Soon after, he settles again in Madrid and in 1958 he joins the El Paso group. He introduces the spiral as a motif in his pieces from 1959 onwards.

In 1967 he travels to the United States where he sets up a workshop in 1972. During this time he alternates residence between the United States and Spain. From 1983 to 1990 he holds the position of President at the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid and between 1989 and 2002 he heads the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Among his numerous awards, those that stand out are: the International Prize for Sculpture at the Budapest Biennale, the National Arts Prize, the Canary Arts Prize, the Gold Medal for Fine Arts, the CEOE National Sculpture Prize and the Community of Madrid Arts Prize 2003.

Chirino combines in his work the memory of the past, as re-discoverer of the Guanche culture native to the Canary Islands and the principles of the Spanish avant-garde of the Fifties. In this avant-garde those groups that are present include Dau al Set, la Escuela de Altamira and El Paso, of which Chirino was a member. They all represent the first generation of post-war Spain that relates to international artistic creation.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Ana Beristáin


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