The forgotten work of Ibarrola. José de la Mano presents Guernica for Gernika at ARCOmadrid

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José de la Mano.
Rocío Robles Tardío.
07.07 > 11.07.2021.
Pavilions of the fairgrounds, IFEMA Madrid. Av. Del Partenón, 5, 28042 Madrid.

Agustín Ibarrola. Agustín Ibarrola

Agustín Ibarrola was born in 1930 into a working class family. Very soon he entered the School of Arts and Crafts in Bilbao and already in 1948 he held his first individual exhibition. As a result of this exhibition in the capital of Biscay, he moved to Madrid and entered the workshop of Daniel Vázquez Díaz. From a very young age he was interested in combining the Basque pictorial tradition with the avant-garde currents of Contemporary Art.

In 1950 he was invited to participate in the works of the Arantzazu basilica (Gipuzkoa). They commissioned him to make a mural for the portico although they never materialized it. He traveled to Paris in 1956, where he carried out various jobs and met those who, together with him, would make up Team 57. He returned to Bilbao in 1961 and became part of the Estampa Popular group of engravers, in the Basque section.

As a member of the Communist Party, he was arrested in 1962 and tried, by a military court, to nine years' imprisonment. Inside the prison, he continues to paint and draw, although he cannot sign the works or display them outside. A year later Appel for Amnisty organizes an exhibition in London, Paris, Belgium, Germany and Italy with these "illegal" works.

In 1965 he was released and embarked, along with other Basque artists, in the creation of the artistic groups of the Basque School, Gaur, Emen, Orain and Danok. In 1967 he was arrested again and imprisoned in Basauri (Bizkaia) until 1969. He participated in various artistic events such as the 1972 Pamplona Art Encounters or the 1976 Venice Biennale. In May 1975 the extreme right set his farmhouse-studio on fire, located in Gametxo (Ibarrangelua).

He began the 1980s as a professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of the Basque Country, although five years later he was dismissed, theoretically, for lacking a degree. In 1987, the Ministry of Culture and the Madrid City Council organized a large anthological exhibition that was repeated shortly after in Bilbao and Zaragoza.

In 1993 he received the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts along with the members of Team 57.

In addition to graphic and pictorial work, he experiments in the use of various materials such as railway sleepers, cardboard, wood, corten steel ...

The trunks of the Oma forest, close to the prehistoric caves of Santimamiñe and his current residence, become the support for one of the most recognized aesthetic adventures of his creation: “El Bosque de Oma (Bizkaia)”, (1982-1991 ), which together with the intervention "Stones and trees" (1999) in Allariz (Ourense), "Los Cubos de la Memoria" (2001-2006) in the port of Llanes (Asturias), the Ruhr sleepers, in Bottrop ( Germany), (2002), the Painted Stones in Garoza (2005-2009, Muñogalindo, Avila) or the monumental sculptural works in corten steel, railway sleepers, wood or cardboard and the numerous sculptures donated in homage to the victims of terrorism in ETA, constitute a wide and varied catalog of interventions and works in public space.



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