Composición (1) (Composition [1])

Martín Chirino

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 1925 - Madrid, Spain, 2019
  • Series: 
    Composiciones informalistas (Informalist Compositions)
  • Date: 
  • Material: 
    Iron sheet
  • Technique: 
    Welding and forge
  • Dimensions: 
    105 x 39 x 129 cm
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
  • Observations: 
    Entry date: 1988 (from the redistribution of the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo [MEAC] collection)
  • Register number: 

Martín Chirino began his career doing sculptures in wrought iron or wood and volcanic rock, inspired by the shapes and forms of African art, tribal totems and the works of artists like Jean Arp, Constantin Brancusi, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. From 1954 onwards, through the exclusive use of iron and steel, he created a language approaching Informalism, garnering praise from sculptors such as Ángel Ferrant and considerable support from Spanish critics. Composición (1) (Composition [1]) is dominated by the raw material with signs of foundry work, in which, in the words of poet and critic Juan Eduardo Cirlot, the “expression is severe, oscillating within an indefinite area between lyricism of the gesture and the tight intensity of the material, which has become a monument to itself.” In his own text, “La reja y el arado” (The Ploughshare and the Plough, 1959), Chirino wrote about the basis of his sculpture as a work that expands into the space, to be explored like a landscape: “This is where my work starts up; on this unstable ground that I stand upon, it is a solid reference point. My aim is to bring it into being in a balanced and calm state. I place it in the infinite landscape, like a tree or a rock. The connection means that my work is not a gesture, it is a presence.”

Carmen Fernández Aparicio