ALFONSO DE LA TORRE
Before the sky-earth is the not being, the nothingness, the void.
François Cheng, quoted by José María Yturralde
[PREFACE: OTHER DICTIONARIES]
As I have noted on other occasions, the dictionary is an integral part of artistic analysis. In preparing to write this one, I recall others associated with Yturralde. Thus, early on, in 1967, Juan Antonio Aguirre addressed his oeuvre from that taxonomic stance and contributed the terms ‘lines’; ‘forms’; ‘volumes’; ‘colours’; ‘composition’ and ‘technical process’, mentioned as central elements of his work. For his part, in the ‘Terminología’ for the ‘Nueva Generación’ (Next Generation) show, a subsequent new dictionary, Yturralde authored certain entries whose choice seemed already to be a lasting statement of principles: ‘Fourth dimension’; ‘Space’ and ‘Structure’. This has not been the only taxonomy undertaken by geometricians. It was also done by the energetic, intangible MADÍ collective, October 1948, creating an inexplicable dictionary, practically confronting the long-winded surrealism they rejected. Of course, now the obligatory mention of Bénézit (1911), the great precursor to the surrealist dictionary, while I also indulge myself and list other beloved dictionaries here: Dictionnaire de l’objet surréaliste; Aby Warburg and his atlas Mnemosyne (1924–1929); and the eccentric Documents (1929-1931) by Georges Bataille. There is also the Glossaire (1924) of Michel Leiris, the symbols palpable. Mention is made of the Diccionario de símbolos tradicionales by Juan-Eduardo Cirlot. I include Paul Valèry’s Alphabet, constructed by means of letters and hours, word in time that brings me to the music of Licht (1977–2003), the seven operas for the days of the week, by Karlheinz Stockhausen. Goldsworth, a character in the taxonomical novel Pale Fire by Nabokov, has children whom he names alphabetically: Alphina, Betty, Candida and Dee. This alphabetical family, the author writes, had a library that ran from ‘Amber’ to ‘Zen’. Recently published, the Abécédaire by Marcel Duchamp, an artist transmuted into Yturralde. And, in a more contemporary Spanish context, La geometría y la vida, an alphabetised anthology of the mysterious thought of Pablo Palazuelo. Flaubert dreamt of completing the Dictionnaire des idées reçues, an ‘apologie de la canaillerie humaine sous toutes ses formes’. Con todas las letras (1984–2002), by José Miguel Ullán, opens with the voice of Víctor Hugo: ‘The alphabet is a source.’ Barthes said that ‘God’ was word and abyss in dictionaries, thus the long-winded shambles. The opium of the words of the alphabet, wrote Bonnefoy, and Leiris asked whether dictionary, or better put, fictionary.
It occurred to me that, for Yturralde, whose work moves between art and science, expander of questions, this ordering through terminological entries was suited to him. He himself has been a frequent diarist and reader of diaries, and in the end, that form of writing is an alphabet of the days. Also a taxonomiser of his work by means of series, he has gathered together his thought in an orderly fashion. I have in my hands the book Entropía(Entropy) (2012), which we will later quote from at length. He has been among the contemporary artists to most wisely exercise the gift, this is known, of the word. At times I have seen him, in his writing, seeking the glide of a certain surreal language, not unlike the fondness for those lengthy and detailed lists of Perec’s. For along with deep reflections, Yturralde sometimes records little events that move him or objective notes about something or other: varnishes, canvases or pigments, his majesty the excerpt, his highness the tale. But also readings, impressions, trips, exhibitions, encounters with artists, from the present or read, people and words: a stated eagerness to ‘get away’, in his words, to read. A continuum where the boundaries are fragile: encounters with the weather in his relationship with the process of creating his work (oh!, the wind and the damp). He weaves between his words and his artistic work a tight fabric of reflections and quotes. A fractal diarist, he enumerates the present but recalls his past time, amusing situations, technical notes about his oeuvre and jubilant impressions of the clouds that bring the storm, the fractal foam and tatters of the sky. Also, Yturralde frequently writes to then later delightedly negate himself. From his diaristic reflections, I choose those that tell of the task of daily construction – so complex amid the life going by – of his being as a true artist and the encounter with the words of Delacroix: ‘Le résultat de mes journées est toujours le même: un désir infini de ce qu’on n’obtient jamais: un vide qu’on ne peut combler.’
Working in series, we said new taxonomy, he has been an admirer of written summas, also very orderly, such as Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking, which we will cite, by Richard Buckminster Fuller.
Along with the review of his work, ranging across this dictionary are terms, movements, places, concepts and creators that, in some way, have made up his artistic essence. Cosmos/Chaos, lover of contradiction as the soul of his creation, eccentric, he has allowed me to describe him in conversation, considering his unique actions or happenings, some solitary. He has nevertheless as an artist remained remote from classification and the paths traversed by Spanish art, always operating as a refined creator.
The glory of images will spring forth
From his very beginnings, he exercised distinction, Yturralde hardly being obliging. He chose this quote from Ben Shalom, 13th century, to open his catalogue for the 1966 solo show in Valencia: ‘The abyss becomes visible in every breach. In each transformation of reality, in each change of form, or in each time the state of something is altered, the abyss of nothingness is crossed and becomes visible for a fleeting mystical moment. Nothing can change without coming into contact with that region of absolute being.’ The show at Sala Mateu contained assemblages with clockwork and found objects glued to a painted rectangular canvas as a background, a rather unique abstract landscape. It was somewhere between the Russian painter Sergei Poliakoff in the late 1950s and the Italian Arturo Bonfanti in the early 1960s, but ‘cleaner’, somewhat more hard-edge, we might say, also a little Palazuelo.
Clocks and abysses?
During this period, I opened Nabokov’s autobiography and recollected: our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.
A restive artist, it appears to have been his objective over the course of his career to frequent the complex, tension rather than distraction, expanding the boundaries of painting or sculpture. He has therefore done actions – happenings, he has sometimes called them – although I believe the thought factor distances him from the ludus frequently employed by artists of happenings. It has been a logical transformation since, in the end, as we indicate in the entry for ‘Geometric abstraction’, in the end, the phenomena that occur in his paintings have always summoned the other, the person viewing, incorporating them into the events in his paintings. Says the artist: ‘Curiosity, exploring a different way of expressing myself, action as a way of investigating, inquiring about reactions, human relations and our emotivity based on emotion and passion, trying to perceive, to better understand how the world is, what happens in it, why we are here today, where we are going … the typical questions so many of us ask ourselves. These queries and others have led me to practice and carry out different activities, from very simple and basic actions to sophisticated interactions with the latest technology, trying to find new forms of expression, of communication … of course from the perspective of a person completely devoted to art.’
It remains to us to describe solo actions, for this writer, the most beautiful, almost without observers, in which he created false clues, mutant, it was – in the end – others. Actions or modifications of the real done by someone, from the solitude of the world, who would perceive the possibilities of establishing a slight, almost imperceptible, creative act. And other actions done with his students, demonstrating how art is the sum of acts of resistance to the banality that populates the world, tremulous representation, but no less forceful because of it, of a sort of mute murmur of the cosmos, a voice rising incomprehensible amid the chaos, akin to creating secret fabrics, mysterious discourses, stories connected and disconnected to the real. In the end, the creation may seek distortion, the deliberate exercise of confusion, tension and interrogation that poses questions such as desire or taboo, norm and transgression, the dialectic between fiction and the real: ‘creating a slight and inexplicable tension on a grand scale’. His words: ‘So these actions ended up creating unusual, but highly contained, conditions and situations of slow assimilation within reality. My intention was not to surprise anyone, but to create a restrained situation, disquieting yet measured, reflected rather more in the unconscious, a not quite knowing what it consists of or the reason for that strange bewilderment, a tolerable error that is produced and conveyed, and which is then difficult, I believe, to rationalise.’ Not so much with the forcefulness with which he has traversed the history of art as a subjective deployment, exercising a certain theatricality. (I return to reading, it is Piglia: ‘All secrets consist of pretending that you are lying, when you are telling the truth.’)
In addition to solo actions, as part of his action-oriented affiliation, those known as Celebració al vent(Celebration to the Wind). Well-known are his flying structures ploughing the skies of Saler or Venecia, which we will tell of. But as they are less travelled, we must describe truly unique artistic actions such as: Viatge en trenet (Train Journey) and Conferencia Pública (Public Lecture), both in Valencia, 1979; Jardín de hielo (Ice Garden), Olite (Navarre): Desnudo bajando la escalera (Nude Descending a Staircase), action about Marcel Duchamp, Casa-Museo Benlliure, 1983; and the Frame the Forest, Hyperweb and Flying Structures triad, Odsherred (Denmark), 1998. Some of these actions in natural surroundings, nature returning to the gaze, have reminded me of the return to the natural sung by Thoreau, or the walks through the landscape, lost in thought and joyful, of Robert Walser. And given that I read him while visiting Tubinga back in the sixties, regards to Hölderlin, joyfully shut away in his tower. I thought of those verses by Hölderlin that tell of the blue of the bell tower, wonderful blue, blue cry of the swallows. I thought of Hummingbird on the Left, so blue, depicted by the Aztecs.
AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio and Arte Último (1969)
See also ‘Nueva Generación’
Juan Antonio Aguirre was an early champion of Yturralde, and presenter at his show at Edurne (Madrid, 1967), devoting an article to him in Artes magazine at that same time. In the catalogue, Aguirre compared Yturralde’s work, ‘so profound and divinely poetic, with the masters Sempere and Rueda. I believe that both his actions and the poetic path must be associated with Yturralde’s objective, throughout his entire career, of finding escape routes for what is traditionally known as ‘geometry’, perhaps recalling, as he has sometimes reminded me, the theses of Peter Halley on the exhaustion of the concept, well explained by Foucault and Baudrillard.
His work was included, with a sampling of images of eight of his pieces, in the book/manifesto of that time, Arte último (Ultimate Art), true canon established by Aguirre, that critic who (also) imagined heavenly bodies, capable of mentioning the term ‘sex’ amid the crestfallen rictus of a world that was awakening from the thistle and the ashes in our country. Sixty-eighter pamphleteer, the two of us sometimes call him, our artist always returning the admiration of Aguirre, who also included him in the shows of the non-group Nueva Generación. The Cuenca native even illustrated one of the legendary catalogues, for Sala Amadís (Madrid, 1967). In that corpus, which was expositive and delightfully doctrinaire, the coming world was already predicted. Imagination oozes light, asserted Juan Antonio, writing about José María, and the latter will then add: ‘the transfinite velocity of the imagination’. The collection of Aguirre, also an able champion of the Cuenca Group, included a work by our artist, whose title is almost a haiku: Movimiento espacio opuesto II(Opposed Space Movement II) (1967).
ANTES DEL ARTE (BEFORE ART)
Lovely phrase, so poetic, that names an exhibition series which featured Yturralde, for some critics, his actual start. Following the heteroclitic saga of the aforementioned Nueva Generación (New Generation), and the beautiful radical exhibition Arte objetivo (Objective Art), both in 1967, the Antes del Arte show (1968) was an undertaking initially on display at the Valencia Architects Association and promoted by Vicente Aguilera Cerni. Without a doubt, it represented the first show in Spain featuring a review of such concepts as the constructive, the optical and the kinetic, based on the desire to bring together art and science. This would later lead to the experience of the Computing Centre at the University of Madrid (CCUM), where he would immediately go. Operating with the supposed methodologies falling under the name Antes del Arte,another two shows were held, at Eurocasa (Madrid, October 1968) and the Barcelona gallery As (February 1969). Yturralde would later present his Figuras imposibles (Impossible Objects) at that same Madrid gallery (16th December 1968). Of course, the doctrine imparted by Aguilera Cerni in Antes del Arte elevated the work to the category of true ambition: ‘His particular details are truly inexhaustible.’ And in some way, it culminated the attention which the critic, recently met by Yturralde, had devoted to normativism from the shared experience of Parpalló, while at the same time perceiving the nature of the crisis revealing itself in the art of that time, something which had been imparted by the Italian critics with which Aguilera had deep ties. In Yturralde’s words: ‘I tried to study those earlier processes necessary for any attempt to produce an aesthetic situation at the highest level. We wanted to be capable of normalising those processes, in principle without any artistic intention, simply to become familiar with them in order to perhaps later be more able to reach artistic conclusions. After several exhibitions and quite a bit of work, the group broke up, but I continued on that open path.’ The dawning, pronounced Daniel Giralt-Miracle: ‘Yturralde begins with Antes del Arte.’
Yturralde responded to the artist Asins, in a 1969 conversation mentioned below, immersing himself in the pleasure of contradiction, which he has frequented: ‘I am not interested in traditional composition or in balance. I have tried to represent a phenomenon. But in certain cases, I have handled these phenomena as symbols. This imbalance, this contradiction is sought, I am enormously interested in the viewer’s psychological reaction, which is controlled by means of statistics, information theory, game theory and probability theory.’ But more than arduous geometrician or vindicator of linear orthodoxy, Yturralde has been a rigorous poet of forms. It might seem that, rather than prosecutor of constructive theories, the truth of this painter contains a platonic brilliance: I see figures, ideas and his archetypes, forms with an inclination towards purity and dreams of the transcendence of order. But one might say that, shot through with a sort of sparkling light, solar or nocturnal, Yturralde is a frequent visitor to a type of beauty of the yes and the no, elevating a crepuscular incandescence.
BUCKMINSTER FULLER, Richard
Milton, 1895–Los Angeles, 1983
See also: ‘Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’
In 1975, Yturralde read a book which, in his own words, he will not abandon: Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking by Richard Buckminster Fuller, his magnum opus. As our artist puts it, this book reveals a very scientific way of thinking, but strangely, not in opposition to the zen idea of ‘an instant of reflection and it will be too late’. He was disrupted by the immense flow generated by Fuller’s work. He had a positive influence on his formation during the MIT years, of which we will later tell: ‘His conception of the geometry, which he dubbed energetic-synergetic, of tensile structures and geodesic domes, and especially, the immense theoretical and practical support his work provides for us.’ Recently, he reminded me that said book had a foreword by Arthur L. Loeb, who, as mentioned in the exile of the footnotes, was: ‘a professor of crystallography at Harvard who I met there and visited frequently, who had advised Escher as a geometrician.One of the polyhedrons and its properties which Fuller studied with the greatest interest is the cuboctahedron, vector equilibrium, so much so that it is referred to as ‘Fuller-Polyhedron’ in many applications … I have since then used the cuboctahedron as the internal structure of practically all the kites.’
CELEBRACIÓ AL VENT
See ‘Actions’, ‘Estructuras volantes/Máquinas de volar/Cometas’
CENTER FOR ADVANCED VISUAL STUDIES (CAVS) – MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT)
The Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was created in 1967. The centre was founded by an artist and professor at this institute, György Kepes, who conceived the CAVS as a programme for artists to facilitate ‘cooperative projects aimed at the creation of monumental scale environmental forms’, while at the same time developing individual pursuits from the consideration of the role of the artist in the social environment, thus making possible the ‘absorption of the new technology as an artistic medium; the interaction of artists, scientists, engineers, and industry; the raising of the scale of work to the scale of the urban setting; media geared to all sensory modalities; incorporation of natural processes, such as cloud play, water flow, and the cyclical variations of light and weather; [and] acceptance of the participation of “spectators” in such a way that art becomes a confluence’.
On the advice of Xavier Rubert de Ventós, Yturralde transferred to MIT in 1973, being welcomed by Otto Piene, director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies between 1967 and 1974, who allows him to join the centre as a research fellow. There, he furthers his studies from autumn 1975 with a grant from the Juan March Foundation, continuing, in some way, the reflections and synergies of the Computing Centre (CCUM), especially projective systems and the presence of new technologies applied to art, as well as the possibility of incorporating natural resources. That year, he shows his Ambiguous Structures at the CAVS, meeting a large number of personalities with connections to the art world, frequently recollecting, among others, the ‘great’ Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman. In 1982 he would return, on a grant, to take part in the Sky Art Conference organised by MIT, showing at the CAVS, at the same time as his structures were flying over the MIT campus near Boston. I imagine another dreamer of flights, he who was director, Piene, looking up at the sky, gazing at them.
It was a period in which he seemed to seek ‘a metaphor with the shape of truth’, while he was feeling ‘immensely privileged with a combination of feelings and emotions … it was a natural way of doing … opening oneself to the possibilities for understanding the world of knowledge. It was possibly the most important step in my life in relation to learning.’ At the CAVS, Yturralde found a strange existence, as he discovered that, unlike the constructive orthodoxy, at the time of his stay, the creators were ‘more psychological, almost religious, artists’. One can see, unerring, Yturralde has always found the right words.
Here is where the multidimensional journey must have begun, in José María’s childhood. He has pointed out that the magic of comics, the initiation journey of thought, was essential to the beginning of his restiveness. I read him as astonished seeing Malevich’s black square on a white background in the black panel in Tintin in the Land of the Soviets.
COMPUTING CENTRE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MADRID (CCUM)
‘Basically “beautiful” forms do not exist … each form has its particular valuation in the specific circumstances in which it is found … Forms and their developments have infinite variants in various dimensions. We use them as expressive elements of a language, that is to say, as a system of signs which are used to transcribe a thought or an “information” as intermediaries. In other words, the “Generation of Plastic Forms” must emerge from a need for communicative efficacy, and therefore, reflect an “intention”, creating a state of exhaustive control of expressive forms and media, consistent with information appropriate to the data, stimuli of forms and colours, charged logical directions, light, movement, etc., and their rational use in expressiveness.’ This statement of principles allows us to recollect that Yturralde joined the newly created Computing Centre at the Universidad de Madrid (CCUM) early, 1968, taking part in the first seminar, ‘Generación automática de formas plásticas con ayuda de ordenadores’ (Computer-assisted automatic generation of plastic forms) (18th December 1968), at the same time giving lectures on this new discipline in Valencia. As he reminds us, this was a logical step, in continuity with Antes del Arte. The artist has recalled the stimulus of Mario Fernández Barberá, linked to IBM, who he met in the context of the turmoil of Cuenca, as well as physicist Isidro Ramos. Along with them, mention of Florentino Briones and Ernesto García Camarero, all seeking the possible encounter between science, technology and art.
The CCUM was a great issue in our art of the late 1960s, the alleyway of informalism, in the words of Ángel Crespo, then being exhausted. The end of the 1970s was a propitious space for reflection around the utopian possibility of creating by means of the computer. The proposal that emerged from the CCUM had had precedents which must be mentioned in the case of Spain, due to their being early: the article by Silvio Ceccato in the magazine Suma y sigue del arte contemporáneo (1965), which opening with this question: ‘Will we have machines that produce works of art?’ This was something which, for Yturralde, was translated into how ‘in the seminar we debated, we presented lectures, projects, and we discussed the possibilities and limits to the “artistic” applications of the computer … I also think that those pioneering efforts in the 1960s, and as was later seen, represented the start of a line of knowledge for the study of the systemisation of some aspects of the creative process in the plastic arts.’
In the international context, given its importance and controversy, we mention Cybernetic Serendipity. The Computer and the Arts (1968). In any event, the normative trend had had an extraordinary impact, and its latency was able to coexist with informalism. Thus in the 1950s and 1960s, the Parisian gallery Denise René was key to the dissemination of geometry and the movement, as Yturralde noticed on his visit to Paris in 1959. At that time there were numerous works of art where mention was made of kinetic concepts, inspiring the creative endeavour aided by computers: light, movement and space. In the 1960s, we refer, for example, to Lygia Clark, Gyula Kósice, Julio Le Parc, Nicolas Schöffer, Eusebio Sempere, Francisco Sobrino and Jesús Rafael Soto. Something which was also illustrated from early on by such things as the legendary series at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles (Paris, 1946); the shadow of Oteiza and its leading to the fertile isolated experience of Equipo 57; Italy’s Gruppo N; the shift of the Argentineans from MADÍ to the madistes of Paris, accompanied by groups linked to Concrete-Invention Art and Perceptism; the creation of the edgy group GRAV (Group de Recherche de l’Art Visuel, 1960); and other historic shows such as Konkrete Kunst, 50 Jahre Entwicklung (Concrete Art: 50 Years of Development) (Helmhaus, Zurich, 1960) and Bewogen Beweging (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1961) or, to summarise in conclusion, The Responsive Eye (MoMA, New York, 1965) and Lumière et mouvement (Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, 1967), heralded in Kunst Licht, held the previous year in Eindhoven.
In our country, we should cite, referring exclusively to that period of the 1970s, the Antes del Arte(Before Art) exhibitions, already discussed, the MENTE series (1968–1970) in which Yturralde played a major role, again mentioning the activity of Juan Antonio Aguirre, driving force behind the heteroclitic and coldnon-group we have already mentioned: Nueva Generación. Since the peace imposed by Aguirre in the necessary sixty-eighter pamphlet Arte Último, they are the essential context for understanding the emergence of the Computing Centre at the University of Madrid, formally created on 13th January 1966.Yturralde defined certain objectives in this way: ‘We began our meetings … with the aim of finding formal and structural constants in the most representative pictorial works through all periods. We thought about, as a possible starting point, analysing these works in a computable manner. Through a statistical process of the data analysed, it would be possible to deduce certain constants, reducing ‘ultimate’ artistic content of all the structures into elemental schemata.’ Our artist appreciated the need to reconsider working methods, while at the same time tackling them exhaustively. His experience enriched by the thrilling contact with other restive geometric artists, a classic event for true creators of any age occurred: it had been necessary to learn in order to unlearn.
Using the computer, at the CCUM Yturralde conceived a set of impossible objects, with the collaboration of the above-mentioned Ramos and Guillermo Searle. At the same time, he established a complete theory of these objects. In 1969, Elena Asins wrote and asked the artist about his presence at the Computing Centre: ‘As part of the “Generation of plastic forms” research group, Yturralde finds a positive path for a revitalisation in all dimensions of the conception of “art” and we asked him: “What tools do you have?” “A 7090 calculator, gift of IBM. It is the most powerful machine in Spain. It is used for research at all levels. We also have a plotter, with an accessory for drawing.” “Have you already been working effectively with it?” “Six exhibitions have already been done with this medium, this year the exhibition was in London. However, the pieces made so far lack an artistic level, they are simple demonstrations of the possibilities of this medium. From this point on, we are attempting a real investigation through the Computing Centre … I am trying to lay the foundations for a possible more effective art, in the sense of conscience and explicit communication. I believe that this way, our integration into society will be more effective, more logical, in one of the various forms of integration which are taking shape today and which for me is the most appropriate. Through teamwork with technical systems such as Gestalt psychology, optics, information theory, semiotics, etc., I think we can manage to achieve it.”‘ I think that, in some way, all of this grounding must be associated with his PhD in Fine Arts: Una propuesta de generación sistemática de estructuras compositivas (A Proposal for Systematic Generation of Compositional Structures) (1987).
Island, peninsula rather, or more poetic, stone ship beached on the Castilian steppe, among the waters. It was a little inhabited place when the artists arrived in the early 1960s. We tell of it in the entries devoted to Zóbel and the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, our first democratic museum, opened in 1966. This conquense by birth and conviction would re-encounter the city, although due to various family ups and downs, his childhood and youth were spent between Olite, Peralta, Zaragoza and Valencia, places of study. The boy Yturralde began painting the shadows and fictions of Olite Castle, its geometries or shadows. I then recollected what Jean Clair would write about the influence of the architecture of Málaga’s alcazaba(Moorish fortress), powerful, embracing the city, in the growth of Picasso’s cubist forms. Yturralde’s biographic avatar has reminded me of the memoirs of the geometrician Loló Soldevilla: ‘Go, come, go again.’
Blainville-Crevon, 1887–Neuilly-sur-Seine, 1968
In 1982, Yturralde did a unique radio happening on Radio Popular de Valencia: ‘Marcel Duchamp entrevistado’ (Marchel Duchamp interviewed), Yturralde being transformed into a doppelgänger, heteronym theatrical voice of Duchamp. It has not been confirmed that is was heard by Rrose Sélavy. One year later, he gives a series of lectures and actions on Duchamp’s work, as well as the happening mentioned earlier, Desnudo bajando la escalera (Nude Descending a Staircase), at Casa-Museo Benlliure in Valencia. While in 1984, in collaboration with the musician José Luis Berenguer and the visual poet Bartolomé Ferrando, he organises another seminar on the artist and his relationship with music, visual poetry and the happening. Of course, I now think that Yturralde ends up touching the cold metal of Duchamp, whose ready-mades allowed him to ‘arrive at the idea of aesthetic consideration as a mental thing and not tell of the skill or intelligence of the hand’. Like Duchamp, an artist fascinated by circles that spin and spin until forms lose their meaning, Yturralde has something of the anartist. A powerful imagination, but replaced by consciousness – it was a mental state, says the former in his conversations with Cabanne – Yturralde capable of tackling creation akin to an exaltation of consciousness.
The light emerges, appears against the dark. The artist establishes a taxonomy to which the paintings in the Eclipse series would belong. For this, he seems to construct with words the titles of a tremulous poem: ‘Spatium Temporis / Boundaries / Void / Eclipses’. Space of the darkness in conflict with the light, opus nigrum, greetings to Marguerite. ‘Now,’ Yturralde will say, telling of the paintings of this period, ‘the great areas of colour … they are intensified a little more and they empty to establish other boundaries, other tensions in the impossible that still remains in the field of nothingness, evincing the delicate presence of absence, the metaphor of the lowest state of energy towards the concept that appears to contain all the possibilities, from perhaps a perfect irregularity, chance and the unpredictable to the most mysterious type of order, chaos. But how to trace the void, nothingness, the infinite, the beginning and the end as generational cause? … It may be that the perilous models that emanate from chaos lead us to concepts more in accord with art and with life … I would like to listen to the faint movement of the geometry of chaos.’
And José María, how about thinking of your lineage, also, of the dreamers of black? It is Yturralde/nigredo, we said about blackness that the glory of images will spring forth, as it reminds us, recalling Rothko, that blacks ‘do not express that “no” in opposition to the “yes” of white … the intact energy contained in his paintings … the greys and the blacks together, the radical absence of all restlessness, a sort of entropic gaze into the void that denotes the physiological necessity for pause, spiritual calm, desired approach to halted time, to the complexity of the simple, to the beginning, gentle start of the spatial, to the music of the spheres, the silent planetary passage, stellar, in the perhaps infinite, multidimensional, macro-micro universes, barely glimpsed or dreamed.’
I recall the blackest Goya, admired by Yturralde almost in childhood at the Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes in Zaragoza. Or Bodegón del cardo (Still Life of Thistle) by Sánchez Cotán, always in mente in his words, the vegetables appear amid the darkness. Astonished he gazes at it in Granada, ‘that silent and profound dialogue with the ordered universe that it presents to us from its timeless, powerful quietude’. Or the blacknesses of Soulages, Pollock’s ‘blind spots’, about which the poet O’Hara said: ‘They are disturbing, tragic works. They cry out.’ In the Black Series (1958–1960) by Frank Stella there would be no room for confusion: what you see is what you see, he would declare. On one of his Russian trips, 1992, he again encountered the work of Malevich, Kandinsky and Rodchenko, at the Tretyakov Gallery. Kazimir-black-square-black-square: ‘Very exciting,’ Yturralde would say, ‘I recall the cracks in the painting aged by inevitable and changing time, but there it was, powerful and significant, that mythical painting.’
To the Black Paintings (1953–1967) of Ad Reinhardt, Yturralde would devote an extensive written reflection: ‘I began to connect with the structure of his mind. I found he had given us the path of a great radical esthetic advance. In a way he offers a profound vision of an infinite space, a subtle way to acquire a sense of successive layers of viewing reflected in the frontier of emptiness … was a revelation: the impressive subtle nuances, which you must form in your brain because you don’t see them directly at the beginning. You must reinvent them, and then it’s a sublime state of affirmation of the complexity of our universe, a kind of generous enlightenment … Reinhardt’s statements inhabit my mind and accompanied the growth and form of my artistic desires.’
From the nothingness of darkness, from the infinite depths, emerges the square form that Yturralde conceives, confused form and spectral presence amid that nothingness. Imagination of time, geometry that emerges in the atmosphere, emotion or norm, chaos and order, martial calm: one might say a conflict in which opposites are revealed. Something which has always been present in his oeuvre, dominated, it might have seemed, by a sort of tragic tension akin to an indefatigable search for the truth in pursuit of transcendent beauty. As if investigating among hidden truths that he seeks to elevate using light as a pictorial material, revelation amid the darkness, attending a battle between dreamlike forms and shadows. Evocative darkness of the Black and Greys, of a black Rothko-esque light, sometimes mentioned by Yturralde, but not so much as ‘void’ or extinct space, but rather, bearing a vigorous silence, the artist being displaced in attentive listening, seemingly eager to collaborate on the ceremony of the forms’ appearance. Feeling out the true vision.
Of course, it is inferred, the extreme darkness seeks an open door to the abyss, the tragedy mentioned by the poet O’Hara, as the space is populated by the panic of the possibilities: shadows, echo, nothingness or ash, but also consoling light and its structures. It is saying, his doubt, it is saying, his being. Pushed towards that mystery – always the mystery – the light emerges, seeking the abyss, and that immersion in the darkness seems to be an invitation to abandon the known, and therefore, this series is constructed from the ruse of a negation. Yturralde, face to face with his ‘Eclipse’, could subscribe to the words of John Cheever: I seem to fill with light, a curious radiance rather like the fire of gunpowder.
Yturralde radicalises his vision. To create, he thinks of the void.
Looking at this Enso (circle) series, I thought of the atmospheres of Paul Klee, those fragile images one might say erected in in-between spaces, akin to mystery places: ‘Certain things may pass beneath our feet, there are regions where other laws are in force, for which it would be necessary to find new symbols … the in-between kingdom of the atmosphere where its heaviest brother, water, takes our hand and intermingles so that we can reach, immediately after, the great cosmic space.’ Like strange prophecies, the Enso series of paintings seemed to be heralded in certain Figuras imposibles (Impossible Objects) (1968–1974) with circles, like the duplicate shown in 1972, some of which spring from a black background, seeking to ‘project a new visual and interpretive enigma’.
Then, in Enso, the circular figures appear to emerge, others resemble bright holes in a deep space, they go and come towards the surface. In a series presented since 2015 and certain paintings, with titles like Eirene, Eunomia, Thallo and DRA, they provide mystery as an explanation in their formulation. The indescribable. Enso, we see and it watches us, the circle appears as a song springing from the void. Essential. ‘I only remember,’ wrote Duchamp to Weelen in 1955, ‘that the atmosphere created by this intermittent movement was something analogous to the dancing flames of a log fire. It was [like] an homage.’Symbol of the beginning and end, we contemplate-complete the phenomenon of the vision.
For Kandinsky, the circle was the synthesis of the great oppositions, changeable, the concentric and the eccentric, being, among the primary shapes, that which heads towards, with greatest clarity, the fourth dimension. I recall other circles in the history of art: Andrea Mantegna, the hallucinatory Camera degli Sposi(1465–1474). The newlyweds will awaken overcome in a circular lethargy. Perhaps they will dream of that unicorn housed at New York’s Met. Or Ixion sentenced to die on the wheel, recalled by Zóbel in a painting of circles. A memory, already mentioned, of the unsettling machinery of circles, the poetic rotoreliefs of Duchamp. An account follows of a few others that come to mind: Wassily Kandinsky (his Several Circles, 1926); Jasper Johns (the Targets); Hilma af Klint, Man Ray, Kennet Noland’s centres of energy; Salvador Victoria’s almost orphic obsession with the circle; the plastics of Edival Ramosa, some titled Cometa (Kite). Circles like discs by the Delaunays. Among others.
I found an old book by Cennino Cennini, by chance it opened to the formula for painting halos (on saints): ‘When you have drawn the head of the figure, take the compass and trace the corona … mark the circumference of the aureole, [which] is linked to the characteristic methods of Taddeo Gaddi, which date back to Giotto.’
It is his thing, yes, a journey, between thought and entropy, in the legacy of a brotherhood of dispossessed artists, Ad Reinhardt, Victor Vasarely and Josef Albers could be mentioned. He reflects around movement, questioning himself, through certain sensory events, it seems as if it were a lost dimension not without mystery, where thought, the untired reflection on forms, occupies an important place. He used this term, ‘entropy’, to title one of his 2012 essays: Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad (Entropy, Variations on Reality), turned book with the soul of a diary. At the same time, a while ago, he reminded us: ‘The concept or scientific theory that fascinated me, of the measurement of chaos, of the gradual loss of energy, or of its conservation, I try to conceive its meaning, where it motivates me to find the human consciousness, life as anentropic situation, restive, emotion, still more fantastic, moving between the chaotic and order or cosmos.’
ESTRUCTURAS VOLANTES/MÁQUINAS DE VOLAR/COMETAS (Flying Structures/Flying Machines/Kites)
RÊVE DE VOL (Dream of Flight)
Starting over and over again. As is confronting impossibility, Yturralde persists in considering the construction of volumes that are corporeal but lighter than air. They fly, yes, impossible objects made reality glide in the summer sky. Constructed using balsawood and Japanese paper, in the words of our artist, they are ‘significant elements, aesthetic and of course, emotional’.
I dream of flight, I found an old drawing by Yturralde, La máquina voladora (The Flying Machine) (1966), perhaps combining his passion for the adventure of comics and his interest in aviation. I was difficult for me not to avoid recollecting a painting by Zóbel, the well-known Ornitóptero (Ornithopter) (1962) in Cuenca which, as he himself indicated, was taken from a photo of the machine of Jean-Claude Pompéïen–Piraud (1877). I think that this aspiration for flight has always been in Yturralde’s paintings, which I see in a vortex, churning in a space which is never a still place, but aspires to movement, that beating or flight. Alternating his procedures, sometimes he combines them, that is to say, the flying structures are derived from his painted objects, finding a curious encounter between the latter and his sculptures, the kinetic aspiration, the search for light and, as quoted, a stated overpowering of the exhalation of the passing of life, as if applying a complementary emotion to his work. Also in his words, another precedent ‘is the set of clear methacrylate sculptures that I made around the cosmological vision of the 16th-century astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler … God could not act in any way other than with perfection, in this case, with regular polyhedrons’. Here should be mentioned, as our artist recollects, rituals such as that of the natives of Papantla in Mexico, Brancusi’s birds, Calder’s mobiles, Panamarenko’s flying machines, Otto Piene’s inflatables and Josep Ponsatí’s inflables(inflatables), some over the water of Creus. A memory, also, of the inflatable structures of Graham Stevens and the works of Curt Asker, Jackie Matisse and Tal Streeter cited by Yturralde.
This entry must include his Estructura flotante (Floating Structure) (1986). It was also another action in which the structures floated, this time on water. The water shakes hands with the sky, the Klee-esquecosmic space. The experiences with the structures cannot but be linked to the reflections revealed during his time at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS), mid-seventies (see that entry above). According to Yturralde, ‘they were supposed to arouse or incite a place or focal point in the sky in possible viewers like a flash. They are thus a sort of reflection, as if they were a strange planet which acts as an attractor, whose mission will strengthen our view of the surroundings, nature itself, the rest of the things. They are like a common ground and visual starting point from which they perhaps push us to rethink with the excitement and the air, the light and the colours, the intensity and the blueish depth of the firmament, of the waves and their foam, the clouds … but also insects, their buzzing, the sounds and smells of nature.’ Here we must mention various actions on beaches in the didactic context of the Faculty of Fine Arts, where I detect a deep component as they look at the sustainable world, to taking care not to desecrate the natural world. And a mention of his studies in various didactic areas in which he has expanded his comprehensive knowledge of the art world.
His structures are sky art, in his words, a poetic tool. Exciting, taking on life. Living holds a marvellous seriousness, this is known. Experiencing is, also for our artist, living: seeing the forms fly, there is hope, Yturralde seems to underline, seeking the audacity of flight. From the solar fabric to the aerial fabric, droît de rever, in the voice of Bachelard, that had something of a party about it. I had seen the surreal photos of kites flying over Venice (one moment: now we are listening to the music of Claudio Monteverdi together with those images against the blue, seeking the cupolas of St Mark’s with their slight shadows). Others rise above the sea, his films and those of good old Michavila with sixteen- and eight-millimetre cameras, of course brought to mind that resemblance to Celebración al viento (Celebration to the Wind) (1978), the title given to the film pieces I see – I was going to write ‘read’ – with a festive air, nouvelle vague, from the sand beside the sea, the structures rise. Children and youths run about. Old dream of flying which, for our artist, ‘is joining with the subtle material that flows, it is adapting to the rhythm of the pressures or force in the rising thermals, churning vertices, smooth at times, chaotic turbulence, in the wide space cut through by the curve of gravity, by abyssal vertigo. Other dimensions and perhaps a sensual foot, which escapes, soft, from the earth’s plane. With a sort of emotional control. These desires may also be a form of wisdom, a sensitive and passionate form of knowledge, delight and participatory experience. This exercise, those mechanics and processes, their energy principles, the stresses that affect the behaviour of the structures and the integrated elements that make them up, enable us to use them as a support in the sphere of aesthetics. In a primary sense, I have tried to use these objects capable of flying as a medium for questioning or stimulating the expressive conditions of the environment, assumed or interpreted by their poetic or emotional load, contrasting the geometry of the proportions and ratios of classic aesthetics with today’s ideas of space and time. Here I understand geometry and mathematics in art as tools, materials to capture certain aspects of the surrounding reality, also in the sense of interactions, analogies and correspondences between the structures, including the ideas of chaos, void, boundaries and time. Art, science and technology are tools for me that serve the same cause, a sensible formulation of the different levels of universal identity we are capable of expressing. The skies and space, light and colour, absence and shadows, the breeze and its murmurs are the support where I attempt to establish these structures capable of flying, and perhaps, of interpreting the dynamic, the relativity of our position in the cosmos, the interaction of all of the components of nature, the feeling of integration into the infinite complexity, and at the same time simplicity, of the universe.’ His dedication to what is known as ‘Sky Art’ and its environmental connection have led him to a lasting specialisation and to lecture on the topic throughout his career.
Called Estructuras volantes (Flying Structures) – here a memory of the spirit of Buckminster Fuller, they are the soul of these flying structures, as well as his dear Leonardo da Vinci, to whom he paid tribute in his flights – their title frequently transmuted in the artist’s language into Cometas (Kites), as if wanting to add that element of play of what seeks to ascend at the mercy of the fluctuations of the air, any summer day. A happening, Yturralde sometimes says when recounting that day on the beach where, finally, Clement Greenberg’s prediction to Yturralde seemed to come true: ‘Be more playful.’ Metaphor of ideas that rise, the structures levitate as if they were pursuing the miraculous. But is it not true that the world is illusion and its representation the reflection of the world?
FIGURAS IMPOSIBLES (Impossible Objects)
The term unsettled me. The aporia, as sometimes happens in his work, contained in the duplicate, as ‘object’ alludes to the existence of the image, while its ‘impossibility’ contradicts the obvious object. It tempted me to shorten it to ‘impossible’. They would amount to – Aguirre said – something akin to the objet trouvé of the old dadaism: like someone who may have thought about the psychology of vision. Perhaps he wanted to relate that we were dealing with the perception of elements of surprise. Series produced between 1967 and 1974, shown in 1973 at what was known as the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, still on the ground floor of the National Library, as we said, in large part theoretically founded during his time at the Computing Centre at the University of Madrid (CCUM). These were forms and objects which frequently had the appearance of emerging from the background of the painting, seeming to reveal their aspiration to the three-dimensional: squares, cubes, triangles, circles mentioned above and, formerly, the slide towards strange macles ‘that metaphorically allowed for a fourth dimension’. Yturralde would begin by considering his structure using variable (the vertices of the objects) and invariable (the bands or sides of the projection) elements.
Individual moved by the forms, he who views them, as impossible not existing they exist, still in forward and backward movement, akin to pulsing. The artist has frequently exhibited them grouped together, exemplifying that character of variation in the investigation (the various possibilities of the impossibility), occasionally exhibited in density. As if establishing a new field of view, they are unerring optical illusions around the possibility of geometry or art, akin to studying a new entry of painting into the space of the real, such that the rest of the events seem to be absorbed by the intensity of its energy field. The impossibilityrepresented is a reflection on the instability of forms, their ambiguity, that of the world or the observer’s own perception: the world is then a deception, it is not as it appeared to be. Emotional tension, that produced by these objects, in our artist’s words: ‘I’ve been interested in the emotional tension that can be produced in the viewer of these images, paradoxical in themselves and creators of a visual enigma, and which can, in addition to their intended symbolism, provide a new formal dimension. For me they are and I expect them to be for everyone, another symbol of the tense and contradictory universe in which we live. And as universe, I refer especially to the man of today.’
Adding about the nature of their creation that ‘these objects are obtained by representing an apparently three-dimensional structure with two-dimensional data. In these cases, the sensory system does not receive enough information to locate the different parts of the object in depth. Our sensory experience is powerless to clarify the ambiguity of this information. In response to viewing an “impossible object”, the phenomenon that usually presents itself is that of first accepting them as “normal”. But when the eye immediately travels across the entire objects and tries to analyse it, we confirm its lack of meaning, thus creating a conflict between the structuring tendency of the perceptive process and the analysis of the impossibility with which it has been presented.’
This was explained by Aguilera Cerni in the exhibition catalogue for Yturralde’s Figuras imposibles. It was 1968: ‘It emerges when one hopes to obtain the representation of a three-dimensional object, but using bi-dimensional data, where the logical structure of the organisation in three dimensions has been altered. The result thus obtained cannot exist in the feasible reality of the corporeal. However, the way our perceptive processes operate drives us towards acceptance – at first – of an impossibility, of an illusion. We need to analyse the visual proposal which has been presented to us, to confirm, on the conscious plane, that a perceived signal is sending out incorrect information.’ The Figuras imposibles were assigned to various possibilities that were defined by Yturralde based on their morphology and position relative to the background, the use or lack of symmetry, colours and textures, movement and even synesthetic qualities, among other things.
On the occasion of an exhibition of these objects at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) in 1975, in the aforementioned Ambiguous Structures, that transformation from ‘impossible’ to ‘ambiguous’ was not a bad thing. The objects being indebted to the also impossible spaces of Escher, his transfigured space, I believe, already stated here, they are the reflection of current works such as those relating to the Ensoseries, associated with impossible circles, or also, that the square shapes of his Eclipse pieces must be related to the square Figuras imposibles.
Current of actions in his being, naturally developed in a creative passage through impossibility, Yturralde has created a work that has not avoided astonishment, a mystery that seems to set itself up in a paradoxical transparency. Our artist has turned the real into ideas.
See ‘Estructuras volantes/Máquinas de volar/Cometas’
Tremulous, formerly hermetic, moving the viewer to the bounds of pictorial space in an ongoing tribute to more with less, his creative exercise has been sober and distinctive, he has sought to seek and open up our vision, or therefore, our consciousness, illuminating space, making the invisible visible, feeling out the background of materiality with his dimensional and poetic search. In the voice of Yturralde, in 1977: ‘Our consciousness has led us to operate in an apparent “three-dimensional space”. However, on expanding the parameters of knowledge, man is accessing, at least systematically, other spaces that “we cannot hold in our hands”, such as that obtained by hypothetically projecting a fourth coordinate (the fourth dimension), perpendicular to the solid trihedron determined by the lines X, Y, Z that make it up. And therefore, the fourth dimension will be perpendicular to any direction known by means of our senses. Also, according to Einstein’s theory of relativity and space-time unity, it is proper to consider this time factor as the fourth coordinate of the event that involves its spatial determination, by means of the other three Cartesian directions that establish the position of the point where this event takes place.’ Lovely and intense reflection, under the same title, La cuarta dimensión (1979), in which he tells of the possibilities of extending that consciousness through his inquiry into another possible space inside this so limited one: ‘We appear to live in a three-dimensional space. However, this does not prevent us from having been capable of apprehending other spaces that “we cannot hold in our hands” and operating with them … the fact of accessing a new dimension in a projective manner extends our consciousness to new degrees of operational freedom.’ In 1992, travelling near the Himalayas, he was told of the divinity that governs space, Tengri.
GENERACIÓN AUTOMÁTICA DE FORMAS PLÁSTICAS (Automatic Generation of Plastic Forms). SEMINAR
See ‘Computing Centre at the University of Madrid (CCUM)’
This is how Yturralde classifies his beginnings. Indeed, his early work can be inscribed within that orderly abstract world which refers us to, for example, the entry for ‘Rueda, Gerardo’ in this dictionary. But it is also possible to make out some of the other members of the more contained and lyrical branch of the abstract adventure of the Cuenca museum officially created by Zóbel in 1966, at which Yturralde was a key player in his youth.
To some extent, at the start of his endeavour, our artist proposed a defined, sensitive and active geometry, lyrical restiveness with which he constructed a world of forms seemingly affected by the dream of flight or the temptation of movement. It was an orderly universe, but not exempt from that concern. We have already seen this in the earlier entry for ‘Abyss’. After displaying his attention to the informal – to the art of such creators as Tàpies, which affected him deeply – his paintings from this period were inscribed within a concise and evocative geometric language: reliefs with figures, the presence of a monochrome palette, and alterations in the seeming repose of the forms, whether due to the undeniably active aspect or to illusions of diagonals endowed with the fictional, tidy spaces yet which avoid symmetrical perfection. I am thinking of pieces on display now such as: Formación espacial (Spatial Formation) or Movimiento espacio opuesto(Opposed Space Movement) (1967).
Rhythm, movement, oppositions, formation, space and structures, as Yturralde called them, his interest in incorporating events into the forms created was noticeable, dynamism of the still, frequently as monochrome disrupted by the presence of slight occurrences. Occurrences yes, they were rather more – using his titles from this period around 1967 – extreme or intense situations in space and spatial tensions,paradoxical exercises in a contained dynamism that would at once lead him to seek the possibility – or impossibility, in his words – of new forms: ‘I am interested in movement, but contained, lightly insinuated, taken on without effort, without noticing it … I am also attracted to convulsive movement, not always regular, not even in its own irregularity, especially any which is unpredictable.’ Energising space, a tense and grave void, also his words, he thus embarked on a journey from normative vision to the sensitive thing. Might Yturralde then be looking for an observer also become poet? For finding themself before pieces from that period, the observer transmutes into the protagonist of an event of creation and invention, a seer thus, a subject echoing the events of the painting, that intersection occurring between time and the boundaries it surmises with reference to time, but also its suspension: ‘The centres of gravity are in the viewer themself, in their orbit, in their movements. The composition, the compositional elements are the emotional and geometric composition of the viewer.’ A ‘lyrical minimalism … perhaps in the sense of infinity and astonishment’, thinking around the enigmas of pictorial space and strategies, even the visual games of imaginary volumes that, despite that ‘impossibility’, of such fictional nature, are not free from forcefulness, as through them it is possible to reflect on the possibility, again, of forms, one might say, glimpsed from the Platonic cave. Something like a metageometrician is Yturralde, creator of displacements and pretence that do not avoid the intrigue of the relationship with the burning void, always from that poetic dimension: the resources of the norm will make it possible for him to construct forms, while at the same time the refined use of colour brings us to a set of commandments in question form steeped in lyric poetry. In his own words: ‘I must analyse the naturality of an exercise filled with life and energy, and nonetheless imbued … with the knowledge of the science of art.’
A contributor to the book provocatively titled Is the Universe a Hologram?, his early familiarity with holograms seemed a logical consequence of his constant search for dimensions. As early as 1979, he collaborated with the Optics Laboratory at the University of Valencia’s University of Physics, organising a pioneering exhibition at the Ateneo in that city, with lasers and holograms, in which he included a laser that read Mozart’s Requiem through impulses and a hologram on Kepler’s universe. Impossible objects/cosmos made holograms.
Shown for the first time, the pieces titled: Deneb (2009); Dawn and Iza (2012) and Mirfak (2014) from the Horizontes (Horizons) series, now on display. Yturralde dixit: ‘From the simple Tuareg proverb “Where mankind dwells is the horizon” emerged an entire series in which the idea of vastness, of the original void and of infinity guide me towards a pictorial reflection around the sublime, to an experience close to the sacred, to contemplation, to the journey from our reality towards the desired and always unattainable threshold of so many worlds that open up to us on opening that door which, traversed by the twilight, shows us the depth of the unknown.’ Yturralde recalls having visited Samarkand in 1992, where he tours the 15th-century astronomy observatory built by the prince astronomer and poet Ulugh Beg, and his readings of Observaciones del cielo en el México antiguo and Astronomy Before the Telescope. I recollected that other one in Jaipur beloved by Cortázar, fascinated by the mysterious world overcome before the late night. Horizon is boundary and beginning, as explained by Yturralde, who gazes at, overcome in his studio, the images revealed by science and the space-time distortions linked to research on black holes in their possible repercussions and meaning for humans. I read Yturralde: ‘Do you remember? That afternoon sliding, on the threshold of twilight, the sea and the sky, almost without horizon, diffuse and transparent, grey, a little green, a little blue, the diluted boundary, it does not show, prelude to the night … to the dawn of the light, a day that arrives.’
See: ‘Lyricism (Poetry)’
I rehearse the words. And I now think that the object of Yturralde’s art has been to attempt precisely that: expressing the indescribable. Questions about perception, just what seeing might be, moreover, one might say recalling time and inquiring about colour or structure, that disquieting journey that never ends takes place, from the contained to the deployed. Creating, Yturralde maintains, is thinking, also thinking-about-creating: relating the enigma of the (in)visible. It sings selflessly, seriously overpowered in the fiction, with something of serial music, concentrated or tense, one might say in search of new fields of view. I think and I have written that that selfless song is perhaps one of the most exciting paths which remain to painting in our time, its sole possibility of survival. Delver into the enigma of space, Yturralde seems to suggest that the gaze and the observer do the work, in the end, a painting would be a resonance chamber, a secret energy populated by queries, arborescent thoughts – I sometimes recollect Robert Desnos – while at the same time awaiting another imagination that claims the images, the deployment of ideas or the expansion of questions. In his progress through the penumbra, in his multidirectional feeling out, the path is populated by embers, akin to an aestheticinterregnum, sensation and perception, without rejecting the offering of transcendence in response to the establishment of that/a new numinous world, given to the observer to share. At times our creator has cited Zubiri and the term sentient intelligence. Painting on the threshold, in the process of being revealed but which does not spurn the hermetic air, bearing titles which seem to summon up something which might not have been within reach of vision, his oeuvre encountering the unknown mysterious grown like an epiphany, seeking to reveal forms that wander through the world or other new ones emerging. Recollecting those strange and powerful chords inhabited by whoever observes them, the observer becoming echoing consciousness of the artist.
JOURNEYS OF INITIATION
In 1959, he travelled to Paris for the first time, coming across a Kandinsky show by chance, the impact moreover occurring, in his words, with the visit to the Musée d’Art Moderne and the works of Delaunay, Matisse, Modigliani, Rouault and Nicolas de Staël. ‘But it is the colour of the fauves with their pure, bright tones, whose relationships and rhythms will influence him in one form or another down to today in the use of shades. Likewise very impressed by Cezanne and Monet’s “Nymphéas” at l’Orangerie’, which influenced him during his student period: ‘the beauty and the consistency of his work, the vibrant, luminous colour, the precise and sensitive vision of the shades whose variations he recreates and transforms with every brushstroke, always charged with magic and tranquil energy’.
STUTTGART AND GERMANY
In 1960, he stays in Stuttgart, where he frequently goes to the Staatsgalerie, admiring the work of Friedrich. He travels to Tübingen, some parts of the Schwarzwald and Munich, in whose Lenbachhaus he discovers the Bauhaus collection. He has mentioned the encounter at this time with the work of Klee, Kandinsky and the Der Blaue Reiter group, and the study of the individual work of such artists as Alexej von Jawlensky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Franz Marc, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Emil Nolde and Karl Shmidt-Rottluff. In his words: ‘The knowledge of German and Austrian expressionism, to which I had access during my stay in that country, constitutes a basic aspect of the formation, in the early work and resulting subsequent pictorial development.’
On a grant from the Rodríguez Acosta Foundation during the years 1960–1961, he spends his days between the Alhambra and the Generalife, which he studies in depth with the aid of the classic romantic book by Washington Irving. There he analyses the geometric configurations of the Arab ornamentation, and says: ‘The experience of that architecture and its exquisite refinement, always related to the human scale of the buildings and gardens, the distribution of water, its sound quality, the reflections and the extraordinary details of that culture, constitute one of the structural paradigms of my imagery.’
Together with the previous, Yturralde has highlighted other trips that were key to his formation: New York, Moscow, Leningrad (later St Petersburg) and Minsk. Also: Uzbekistan, Samarkand, Bukhara, Tashkent, Khiva, Kazakhstan and Alma-Ata. In the entry for ‘Silence’, mention is made of the trip to Japan, where, among other cities, he visited: Tokyo, Kyoto and Toyama, on the occasion of his participation in the Toyama international triennial (1990): ‘The zen gardens left an indelible mark on me,’ the artist explains. I review his chronologies, where he underlines the trips to Mexico, in 1996 and 1998, which allowed him to become familiar with its culture, the ancient and the colonial, as well as the contemporary (in his memory, the architectural daydream of Barragán), fascinating.
Artist interested in movement. The real, for the fictions it produces, but also the feigned, for the presumption of reality which created images are capable of bearing. Among his artistic ‘machines’: Variación derivada de la figura radial de Mc Kay (Variation Derived from McKay’s Radial Figure) and Estructura cinética. Multiplicación cromática y formal (Kinetic Structure. Chromatic and Formal Multiplication), both from 1967, part of the Antes del Arte (Before Art) series. Set up akin to a conscious provoker of sensations, questioning himself around order and chaos, many of his works with movement would ultimately refer to questions that seem to find themselves in a certain time-space suspension, the access to another reality creating forms that emulate marks and writing, grids and fabrics, moirés and weaves. At times they would appear to generate musical structures or delicate poems. The forms and compositional structure are rocked, emulating a gentle kineticism with their machinery, which reaches a certain loss of consciousness of the movement, and therefore, of time. Yes, summoner of the delirium of the senses, a minimised vision of space. The observer no longer walks on eggshells.
See ‘Estructuras volantes/Máquinas de volar/Cometas’
LIGHT/LABORATORY OF LIGHT
Margaret Cavendish published The Blazing World (1666), translated into Spanish as El mundo resplandeciente, a journey between parallel universes. A hidden space on the earth blazed, another world which had to entered via the icy white plain of the North Pole. Like the world blazes under the light (John Cheever).
Our artist inundated by a poetic manner of speaking, constant reader of forms of poetry, Yturralde has created a way of expressing his ideas that, objective in essence (forms, structures, planes or lines), has nevertheless sought an essentially lyrical language. The interregnum between the world and its expression, what grows weak, what is expressed at the zenith and, elegiac, shines brightly on fading away. Later, we will continue when telling of his Postludio.
As early as 1967, Juan Antonio Aguirre foretold it on announcing how ‘he manages to create a profoundly lyrical work. The scarcity of media, the purity of the forms and volumes, the beauty of the colour, the tidy structuring, the “dynamism of the immobility” and the technique are factors involved in his new and formidable poetry.’ He illustrated his point with two extremely lovely works from that period: Movimiento reposado divergente (Divergent Resting Movement) and Formación línea espacio (Line Space Formation). Yturralde appeared to create by negating.
Spreading a single colour over forms and area that make up a painting seems to tempt silence. Choosing ‘that’ and dispensing with the ‘other’, such that monochrome also tells of the creative possibilities of negation, including the artist’s removal to one side of the way of the world. Mysterious silence of painting, mastery of the invisible, world of arcana that will ultimately remind me of the luminous epiphany of the paintings of Mark Rothko, that cosmic pathos, an unknown god pursued – without end, until the end – emblem of the conflict with the light. Yturralde notes that Machetti had presented, as early as 1965 in the Cuenca gallery, a monochrome painting, transparent red, where it was only possible to make out ‘some slight forms in the centre, accentuated by their texture.’ As Palazuelo would say, Yturralde moved forward in the penumbra in multiple directions.
Storm of monochrome whiteness, tested early in those pieces titled Ritmo (Rhythm) and Estructura(Structure) (1966), very in the world vindicated by his friend Otto Piene and the Zero group, pleasure of the immemorial school of artists that have reflected on visual forms of the compact monochrome. I think of Latin American artists like Sérgio de Camargo or Nedo or so many others: Malevich, Nevelson, Newman, Noël, Klein, Reinhardt and Still, long is the list of the monochrome brotherhood. He has been a creator, Yturralde, lauder of the-full-monochrome but without excluding reflection, often by opposition, on the drift of variation and the void, orderedness, also around forms or angles, in the presence of what Aguirre called a colour of refined shade. Activating spaces, they seem to present his paintings subjected to a supernatural light, not solar. I sometimes think of a reference to Clyfford Still: let us turn out the lights, ‘the paintings have their own fire’.4The silence goes on.
MUSEO DE ARTE ABSTRACTO ESPAÑOL, CUENCA (Museum of Spanish Abstract Art, Cuenca)
The Cuenca experience was essential for Yturralde in his development as an artist. We recommend reading in this dictionary the entry for ‘Cuenca’ above or below, ‘Zóbel’, who observed early on, upon meeting him, that our artist was consumed – and so he remains – by a love of painting. Now I turn to the first collection catalogue for the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, 1966, in which I see his Ritmo (Rhythm) (1966), mentioned earlier. It reminds me of certain areas of the oeuvre of Luis Tomasello, an artist with whom he had a strong friendship as long ago as 1985, and paintings/vibrations by Vasarely. Yturralde recalls his admiration for Nicholson. And I now think that he might subscribe to what Michaux said about Zao Wou-Ki: his space is also silence.
In the aforementioned publication, Yturralde was listed as ‘assistant conservator’, together with Teixidor. In the new edition of the catalogue, 1969, we find that Ritmo hanging next to the museum’s Gothic arch, in a gallery dominated by one of the pieces from Torner’s Vesalio (1964). It was not a bad meeting.
As I have mentioned on other occasions, for Yturralde’s formation, but also for those of us who write and think about contemporary art, Zóbel’s museum was key. Its teachings survive, its existence and legacy constitute us, for we do not forget that it exerted an obvious influence around, on the world of the painters of his generation, but likewise on the young generations, even – I now see – on those who would arrive in this future that is now. Its attitude, example, life and thinking, hyper concentrated on art, the passing of the days inseparable from creation, was a model for us. This is why he has on occasion used a quote from Wuthering Heights: the museum at Cuenca was a generator of dreams that changed our ideas, going through and through us, altering the colour of our mind. Those times, bursts Yturralde, ‘were magical’.
See the entries for ‘Silence’ and ‘Temporis densitas’
Music, in this dictionary, has been cited in connection with our artist’s oeuvre. The details would be extensive, simply following the mentions in his own Diario, which we now recommend. In his student years at San Juan de Ribera Residential College (1961–1965) – classical music and jazz on the record player – he mentioned names such as Mahler, Stravinsky, Schönberg, Weber and Berg. Together with them, Morton Feldman, Glenn Gould and John Cage continue to be frequent visitors in the words of Yturralde, adding Monteverdi, recollecting his music from his meetings in Cuenca at Torner’s house. At times he has recounted how this calls up his icy work in Teruel, patiently confronting the enormous Flora Forestal de España (Forest Flora of Spain), classical music whispering on the radio and the water a mirror: the ewer and basin froze, wasteland, resonant verses of Eliot. Yturralde also crossed paths with musicians during his time at the CCUM and the CAVS at MIT, discussed above. He has alluded to the work of Harold S. Coxeter, who considered the relationship between music and mathematics, Yturralde’s ‘Preludios-Interludios-Postludios’ (Preludes-Interludes-Postludes) being, in some way, the recognition of the importance of music in his work. About Cage, he has underlined that ‘works in which the concept, no longer of silence, but of creating an awareness of the “everything” as possibility of integration into the passing of the phenomena of the surrounding reality … the existential evolution in the work of an entire life usually leads to the essential, to the calm quietude … a basic scale which passes in time, from its birth, the light, the white, the original drive, the nearby yellows of the primary light, and following the entire chromatic scale to reach violet, the blues, the seriousness of black at the end. The proximity of silence.’
NUEVA GENERACIÓN (New Generation)
See ‘AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio and Arte Último (1969)’
Within another space and dimension. Journey from form to its dematerialisation. In the words of Daniel Giralt-Miracle, ‘through “Preludios”, “Interludios” and “Postludios” he delves into the dissolution of his geometric shapes and concentrates on what will be the “boundaries” of the painting, initiating what we could call the pneumonic/phenomenic phase of his painting.’
That triad by way of series: Preludio (1991–1996); Interludio (1996–1998) and Postludio (1998–2007) entailed reflection around earlier more normative works, revealing the restiveness of his experience in spheres of thought, scientific and philosophical, at the same time as he seemed to move the artistic investigation to a territory with a deep spiritual and mystical component. He has told of the link between this series and music: ‘It alluded to the origin, to a new beginning and music as an essential metaphor, which later established itself in the “Interludios” and now with this “Postludios” series, I underscore something similar (without being so) to the conclusion of a symphony or a system, a structure that dissolves. And yet, its end is a beginning, in the way of, for example, the piece for piano Ludus Tonalis (1943) by Hindemith, where there occurs, at the end, exactly the inversion or reversion of the beginning or prelude. Something similar can also be detected in some works by the painter Victor Vasarely. … For it is possible to detect the mark of a contained numeric variation, increasingly slighter; at the same time a gradual and constant distancing from the tonalities which must be transformed in a veiled manner, where there is always a gesture, but faded, hidden, barely perceptible, always diverse, like a quiet dusk. Apparently repetitive, the shades rather expand, in a subtle manner, imperceptible, but certain. The composition is not closed, the tonal echoes must occur quietly, in an almost perpendicular direction to the picture plane, which must happen despite the boundaries the edges of the painting itself impose (only immediately perceptible geometry) and the barely changing formal situations. A comparative view could be made (in this case hearing), with the manner of the string quartet Structures (1951) by Morton Feldman, where one hears not the “structures” in their formal sense, but the evanescent structure of the repeated sounds, marked by the composer thus: as soft as possible. The edges of the painting symbolise, again, the unlimited limits, the infinite horizon, which for me take on the key role of a paradox (a squaring of the circle), an eternal return understood as a maximum circle with an infinite radius, which would be what we call a straight line.’
Writing about him now in 2019 I think that his oeuvre is not far from the elderly and tranquil Monet, weary between time or space, hanging in the Orangerie, for example – we will tell of it later – or moreover, the secluded world that, intense, transcends viewing the chapel of Rothko. In addition to his aforementioned experience, a deep expert in the possibilities and laws of geometry, also in his work he would build the primacy of the intellectual and spiritual. With the arrival of the two thousands, his painting became filled with trembling and poetic titles (‘poem’ or ‘haiku’), suspended, which told of the light (‘void’, ‘twilight’, ‘trace’ and ‘lightness’), word from his Postludio become true language in postlude: A un poema (To a Poem), El vacío y la luz (The Void and the Light), En el ocaso (In the Twilight), Gris luz (Grey Light), Haiku del Norte (Haiku of the North) (which illustrates the entry for ‘Void’), Huella sin tiempo (Trace without Time), Levedad del azul (Lightness of Blue), Levedad del violeta (Lightness of Violet) and Lugar de la bruma (Place of the Mist) (1999).
Space of meditation, the fields his painting generates are not far from eastern painting. If before his Figuras imposibles (Impossible Objects) seemed to expand, now his territory is concentrated trembling, towards the interior a space is revealed, which rather than show itself, seems to displace the viewer, absorb them, towards the beating of a profound journey. New dimension in his work, expression that inclines to reflection on the area and energy of the colour and the formal nature, posing new questions about the material and the immaterial, the possibilities of painting, the fields of colour and the liminal, a true ‘elegy’, to use a term that titles one of his well-known paintings. Reaching the boundary, yes. Sliding towards the thresholds of perception, Yturralde would establish the possibility of material/dematerialised/transcending, incorporating emotions and states of mind of this spiritual traveller, capable of painting-in-metaphysical through the forms of the painting, as demonstrated by En el Ocaso (1999), on display, which seems to reveal how certain paintings by Yturralde contain an extreme emotional power and an intense mystery. In his words: ‘I aspire to the utmost naturalness, metaphor for an impossible dematerialisation, density of meaning, conciseness and temporal opening, starting from an unknown, secret origin.’
Looking at his paintings in this series, I thought of what John Ashbery wrote in the foreword to Locus Solus by Raymond Roussel, mentioned here: his paintings resemble at times the symbols of an abandoned temple, a cult whose mysterious ritual images nevertheless remain intact.
I saw a portrait of Maty, resting at the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español in Cuenca (1967), rarely on display. I again recollected Escher, it was a revolving world that went deeper, akin to a spiral. I thought she rested inside the Hanging Houses, another labyrinth, and that had become an impossible object. Also with an air of being tied to space was another drawing in the Juan March Foundation collection, Sin título (Untitled) (1967), with a sepia tone, like an unsettled architecture, the forms moved forward and back in relation to the observer, they were those immemorially mysterious entering and leaving figures, like a Dutch interior by Pieter de Hooch. Room which gives way to another room which gives way to another which gives way.
(Bétera, 1903–Gandía, 1987)
Yturralde met Father Roig in Valencia, at the San Carlos School of Fine Arts, where he was a lecturer in ‘Culture and Liturgy’ from 1939. In his words: ‘He imparted with excitement and direct knowledge the problems of modern art. He spoke to us of such artists as Kandinsky, Rouault, Julio González, Manessier, Bissier, Le Corbusier and Vasarely.’ ‘A key figure,’ our artist continues, who has also cited the imparting of the art of Ingres, ‘a moving poet, a great expert on contemporary art for those then young fine arts students, keen to learn, to be up-to-date in the 1950s in that city of Valencia.’ This would lead him to produce a painting, in 1988, dedicated to Roig: Valores y dudas que D. Alfonso nos aportaba (Values and Queries that D. Alfonso Provided to Us).
Roig had become acquainted with the Parisian atmosphere under the guidance of Eusebio Sempere, travelling for the first time in 1953 (Sempere had done so in 1948 and would hand over his knowledge to Roig). In Yturralde’s words: ‘His poetic and dramatic vision of art, as much as his sense of life, prompted in his students a profound, sensitive and loving approach to art. A moral and emotional foundation that we carry with us, those of us who had the good fortune to be his students.’
One of the three stated influences during his time at the Museo de Arte Abstracto in Cuenca. Looking at a small painting by Yturralde, Ritmo formas en blanco (Rhythm Forms in White) (1966), one understands such a following of an artist who, at that time, was fervently admired by new generations, as Juan Antonio Aguirre took responsibility for recollecting. From the ironic Rueda, Yturralde took the use of painted wood, a singular encounter with geometry, monochrome passion and the thrill of white, an unorthodox sense of the linear, demonstrating a certain geometric lyric poetry, one might say affected by the poetry of slight movements of the figures. From the recollection of manual construction of the pieces and a fondness for things said in a low voice, for the minimal (here a memory of his readings of Gaya), in response to certain of Yturralde’s pieces I have thought of those in which, in turn, Rueda would seem to have seen, admiring, his own work. I am referring to the well-known Vector (1984–1985) which the Madrid native presented in his great exhibition at Galería Theo (Madrid, 1985). ‘Painting,’ Yturralde will say, ‘is an art of lonelinesses, of concentration’ and it is not surprising that he will recollect the seclusion of Morandi, looking at his paintings, or the loneliness sung by Herman Hesse. Loneliness of the long-distance runner, but runway: Yturralde departed for the future.
Murmur of the 20th century, of our time, which brings to mind many creators, lauders of a creative silence, prosecutor of particular loneliness machines which in the literature included numerous followers. What we might call the ‘literature of No’ has in Melville’s ‘Bartleby’ one of the contemporary icons. But I am also thinking of such authors as Hölderlin, Rimbaud, Beckett and Pound. The Mallarmé admired by Duchamp and honoured by Oteiza. Or Eliot in his harrowing The Waste Land. Salinger and the silent finale of Pavese, in 1950, prior to his final: ‘Not one word, I will write no more.’ Like Beckett in Ohio Impromptu, the exhaustion of stories: ‘Little is left to tell.’ Yturralde’s work opens itself up to the inexhaustible creation of infinite structures, a recollection of the puzzles of Raymond Roussel, the metaphysical possibilities of a proposed world without end. Between creating and silencing, he is immersed in the elevation of forms of strangeness. Creating in silence forces one to carry out an arduous task.
I frequently advocate the term ‘generation of silence’ to refer to that lineage of artists to which Yturralde belongs, remote from the aegis of informalism or representation which has devastated certain parts of our historiography. Yturralde could be included in that particular brotherhood of the quiet which has formed a valiant essence of the history of art, due to a certain quietude and silence no less resonant than so many artists from the age of manifestos. The same fraternity of quietude among our own with Ramón Gaya, Juan Gris, Ben Nicholson, Giorgio Morandi, Pancho Cossío, Luis Fernández, Esteban Vicente, and so many others. Also, Gerardo Rueda, Árpád Szenes and Carlo Carrà, artists (and there are so many more) whose work would merit that ‘intimations of reality’, intimate realities, which Herbert Read wrote about Nicholson.Another quiet painter admired, as we said, by Yturralde.
Seeking silence. Yturralde pays tribute with some examples of silences that have affected him deeply. They make up his ‘idea of North’, recalling Glenn Gould, Yturralde, lineage of artists citing Malraux’s ‘voices of silence’, another of his emotional choices. John Cage in supreme position: ‘The work of an entire life usually leads to the essential, to the calm quietude.’ And other allusions to Aubry, Barnstone, Calderara,Philip Johnson, Malevich, Marden, Barnet Newman, Rothko and Soto, among other silent ones.
Ah, here comes a full stop.
Our artist has always recollected his encounter with the catalogue for the Rothko show at the Marlborough (London, 1964), also the trip to the 1970 Venice Biennale where he was able to view the first exhibition of the artist a few months after his death. He would repeat that absolute contemplation in 1987, with the show held at the Fundación Juan March, then in March 1999, visiting another in Paris.Insatiable reader of his monographs, he has continuously been referenced in diary notes. It was the desire to access ‘the profound clarity of Mark Rothko’, his ‘vibrant power’.
Also, recalling the visit to Ryoan-ji Garden, in Kyoto, as a symbol of silence, he will write: ‘That vacuity, like a caressing fog, softens the most complex with simplicity. I have also recollected the black square of Malevich, the Russian artist, for me another great “Oriental” like John Cage, or like the recent Brice Marden after his Cold Mountain works. It is these and other events, like the glory of so many mysteries unrevealed, among many other things, that reinforce our restiveness and the desire to paint, ideas and concepts, perhaps one day, the silence, fine rain,’ To that garden, he will dedicate the reflection for one of his 1996 exhibitions. ‘The revelation of the art of gardens’, says Yturralde, ‘they transport me to dimensions of a higher order.’ This now brings us to the citing of certain mysterious hortus come from the voice of the night: Jardín (1961) by Pablo Palazuelo; the collection of poems by Claude Esteban: Conjoncture du corps et du jardin (1983); Edmond Jabès in El libro de las preguntas, among the confidences of the plants (‘compose a hymn to the gardens, to the birds’, he will write).
On the clover the dewdrop.
‘Silence,’ Yturralde will write, ‘speaks too much’, while he will cite Twombly and his 24 Short Pieces.
The word of God is silence, Jorge Oteiza will write.
‘Space is not a passive void,’ in the artist’s words, ‘rather it possesses properties that impose powerful limits on the structures that inhabit it. The notion of space and its comprehension have been comprehended by man from magical/mythical times and the transcendental moment in which he “erected” himself from his state of primate to the new position of verticality, obtaining the parameters which Aristotle defined as the “six spaces”: up/down, right/left, forward/backward, these premises having determined the interpretation of the universe for millennia. Our current knowledge relating to Space and Gravitation is contained in the general theory of relativity proposed by Einstein in 1912 as a milestone which entailed a real advance in the interpretation of reality. In the motif at hand, space and its handling in the artistic sphere can be approached from two fundamental aspects: 1) The mathematical, that is to say, measurement, dimensions and operational possibilities of relating it to the materials available to us. 2) The “experiential”, its possible use and meaning, the perceptual aspect, awareness-raising and human response to the practice of their experience’, as Yturralde said in 1977. Art is the triumph over chaos.
For our artist, structure is significant and emotional, which means that, together with the aspect of construction of the images created, those we look at, his oeuvre involves a strong emotional component, interior vibrations where the observer becomes significant, as we have already told of. Yturralde has quoted André Lhote: ‘For painting is nothing these days if it does not possess the extremely rare gift of feeling.’ This entails that the silence of the observer continues its own formal investigations beyond the space generated by forms: the other must participate in them. As if, for his work to have meaning, the latter were broken up into multiple meanings turned glimmers of that first meaning. And in his words: ‘I deal with the term structure as a basic whole that makes up a significant and physically stable totality capable of provoking a characteristic emotional response. I relate this concept to the different degrees of spatial freedom that its coordinates allow us, until complex multidimensional levels are reached.’
And after telling of ‘silence’, the sublime. Tàpies follows.
TÀPIES, Antoni (and his Gran ics [Large X], 1962)
Is an X akin to a question or the praise of the imprecise? Perhaps a statement of the possibilities of painting from the silent existence of a sign on the wall? The marked presence of the ego of an artist? The tragic lost sign of someone already gone? And, is it an X or a cross? It was one of the early great pieces at the Cuenca museum and its history has been sufficiently recounted, recollecting that it led Rueda, Torner and Zóbel to travel to Barcelona to consult Tàpies about whether this piece, found by Rueda at the Galerie Stadler in Paris, was suitable for inclusion in the museum of the Hanging Houses, as it was. Yturralde, admiring, attempted a few paintings that seemed to remember it admiringly, using materials such as sand and varnishes, recalling a piece that is ‘restrained and complex at the same time, with a truly simple or primary composition in the essential meaning, with two basic tones, grey and ochre, accentuated by the form/relief and the textures on the cross itself, highly blended in ochres reinforced by the capacity of the materials used – the marble dust with transparent shades – to reflect the light and lend the painting a contained luminosity. What we could consider is behind, an area of greys, swept and distant, reinforces the structure of what I consider one of the most classic, best pieces in all painting.’
In the end, tracing an ‘X’ returns us to a question about the forms created, an enigma not so distant from the stated impossibility of his objects. It is not absurd to speak of Tàpies at this point, said Aguirre about the matter, ‘he underlies those crosses and that ordering classicism, but without matter or textural qualities.’
Temporis densitas, writes Yturralde, is the work of a time of transition, between the impossible objects, macles and flying structures and the start of the Preludio (Prelude) pieces in 1991, adding: ‘That period (1983–1991), I showed it at the Fundación la Caixa in Valencia in 1986. It was a strange period for me, some paintings were very dark, titled ‘Requiem’ under the influence of those requiems I was listening to by Verdi, Brahms, Fauré, Duruflé, Mozart, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Antonio Lotti, Ockeghem, the passions of Bach, Tomas Luis de Victoria, etc. the ancient and modern, I collected that religious music.’ Recently, I heard him mention the new sounds of Johann Melchior Molter.
‘In 1959 at the Galería Machetti (Cuenca), I was able to see a revelatory show by Gustavo Torner … it was the first truly important abstract exhibition that I saw and it immediately seemed to me the path I wanted to follow. I returned on several occasions, that great work imparted to me security in response to the decision to become a painter … it was dense and strong … the silence and the voice, or the echoes, breezes of successive allusions to morphologies like roots contrasted with the flatness of the large rectangle beneath which they rested. There did not seem to be any story, but yes an acceptance of the very existence of the painting … I was attracted to it for its strippedness, for its capacity to cause the elements it employed to vibrate, establishing a poetic link between the geometric/compositional relationships and the organic aspects of the material: its ceaseless but serene search for the essential.’ We may have mentioned Rueda’s irony previously, Yturralde added the Tornerian tremor, a certain state of his charged creations. And I now think that, like Torner, Yturralde asks of art a new measure of the man: ‘Not mere manual skill, even though it may be extraordinary. Bearing witness to the excelsitude of being human. For it to teach me to see the richness of the world, to understand it a little more, to savour it a little more, and even to hate it. The magic of art can make the terrible and the sublime coexist at the same time, because it poses more profound questions. Art does not teach by answers, but by expanding the questions.’ Questions which, akin to arcane, come to my memory in early works such as Tensión lineal (Lineal Tension) (1967), now on display. They are resonant even in the air.
The entry on ‘Velázquez’ approaches.
VELÁZQUEZ, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Seville, 1599–Madrid, 1660
Yturralde recollects his encounter with the work of Velázquez, almost an infant, on a visit to Madrid, early 1950s. He has indicated that standing in front of Las Meninas is ‘the earliest memory of a work of art, the hub of all the enormous iconography of the history of art.’ And I think, at times, he will also have seen the violent declaration of the black background to Velázquez’s Christ, the invading blackness from the background, that capacity to miraculously create what comes from the apparent nothingness, having also shaped the thinking of our artist.
And in the recollection of the young José María with his mother by the hand, in front of Las Meninas, ‘the figures represented seemed to pulse in the spacious room they occupied, arranged with absolute naturalness, as if dropped and yet related by an extremely sage compositional structure … a peaceful mechanism of beings that pierced us with their silent gaze.’
In words, already written: ‘Between walls. / Our soul is left scattered throughout the room. / In the reflection burns the mirror’s fire. / Threads of light. / Where to look where to look where to look? / Will seeing be the task of quicksilver or, perhaps, blind the seen? / To the beat, quietude.’
One of the terms suggested by Yturralde: ‘I must insist on the almost nothing, the barely, in slightly showing the difficult, the uncontrollable.’ I told him: this dictionary has traversed silence: some thirty times dealing with various series, especially in Eclipse and Enso, also with the entries for ‘Space’ and ‘Monochrome’. There is silence in his work, but being sometimes expressed through forms and colours, it seems as if, all of a sudden, without any loss, the visible could become sonorous in its muteness. Journey between the beginning and the end, sound of the resonant void that lies between the incipit and the final cadence. I thought of what happens in Piero della Francesca, that also sonorous calm: beneath the ice his fire. Like the intense silence of Haiku del Norte (Haiku of the North) (1999), which illustrates expressing more than these words, his is an art constructed between metaphor and ellipsis, in an invisible virtuosity, sometimes with the use of what we might call hyperbolic ellipsis. Frequently found in Yturralde’s work is the suggestion of the imminence of some devastating truth.
Manila, 1924–Rome 1984
He marked his oeuvre, and among other things, imparted to him the knowledge of the Orient which would end up having such an influence on our artist, while at the same time I now think of a certain infection with the passion for writing revealed in Fernando Zóbel’s Cuaderno de apuntes sobre la pintura y otras cosas (1974), which I have seen reproduced in catalogues of the Valencian, for whom it served to help. Like him, Yturralde, dedicated hard worker, indefatigable in his task, the construction of his artistic being. We have already mentioned that Zóbel saw the young Yturralde, early, consumed by a love of painting, as he described him in 1965 and 1966. What enthusiasm, what interest in art, passionate about its forms and its history. He whispered to him the importance of hunting an uncatchable voice: ‘beauty’, so insulted. Zóbel meets him on the occasion of the Torner exhibition at the Galería Juana Mordó in Madrid (1965). There he notices his eagerness and enthusiasm, almost popping: ‘Met a young painter from Cuenca, Yturralde, who asks to see my studio. Bursting with eagerness. I ask him over tomorrow. A dose of trust and enthusiasm would do me a world of good.’ That explains why in January 1966, Zóbel would travel to Valencia with Torner, to the meeting of our artist and Jordi Teixidor. There the man from Manila noticed, apart from Torner’s oeuvre, the ‘insanity’ of the passion which, being youthful, we can now know to be fruitful, as the former predicted. A few months later, in the summer of that year, Zóbel add that brilliant youth, who would visit his solo show in November at Juana Mordó, to the team at the Museo de Arte Abstracto.
Art happens, Yturralde likes to recollect, quoting Whistler.
Borges recalls it as well: art is a miracle.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Valencia: IVAM, 1999, p. 95. Later expanded in 2000 (Pamplona: Caja Navarra).
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. Yturralde. Madrid: Galería Edurne, 1967.
 Various authors. ‘Terminología’. In Nueva Generación 1967/1977. Catalogue for the exhibition at Palacio de Velázquez. Madrid, 1977, pp. 7–22.
 Various authors. Suplemento para el diccionario MADÍ. Buenos Aires: Arte MADÍ Universal, no. 2, October 1948.
 BRETON, André – ÉLUARD, Paul. Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme. Paris: Galerie des Beaux-Arts, 1938. Spanish version: Diccionario abreviado del surrealismo. Madrid: Ediciones Siruela, 2002, p. 95.
 OTTINGER, Didier. Dictionnaire de l’objet surréaliste. Paris: Éditions Gallimard-Centre Pompidou, 2013.
 Although it is well-known, published in three issues of La Révolution surrealiste in 1924, we recommend: LEIRIS, Michel. Glossaire j’y serre mes gloses ; suivi de Bagatelles végétales. Paris: Gallimard/Poésie, 2014. On this matter: LEIRIS, Michel. A propos du Musée des Sorciers. Paris: ‘Documents’, no. 2, May 1929, pp. 109–116.
 CIRLOT, Juan-Eduardo. Diccionario de símbolos tradicionales (1958). Barcelona: Editorial Labor, 1988 (edition consulted), p. 419.
 AMIC, Sylvain – SNRECH, Joanne. Abécédaire de Marcel Duchamp. Paris: Flammarion, 2018. There have been a number of artistic ‘dictionaries’ in our time, memorably, the Diccionario de las vanguardias en España (1907-1936) by Juan Manuel Bonet. Among other favourites: CALVO SERRALLER, Francisco. Diccionario de ideas recibidas del pintor Eduardo Arroyo. Barcelona: Mondadori España, 1991; and various editions of his Diccionario imposible. Also: GAÑÁN, Emilio – PASCUAL, Carlos. Diccionario-Una conversación. Badajoz: Galería Ángeles Baños, 2007. To which we permit ourselves to add the one produced by this author on Carmen Calvo (Kutxa Fundazioa, 2019).
 BONELL, Carmen. La geometría y la vida. Antología de Palazuelo. Murcia: CENDEAC, 2006.
 BRETON, André – PARINAUD, André. Entretiens. Paris: Gallimard, 1962, p. 93.
 MICHON, Pierre. Llega el rey cuando quiere. Terrades: Wunderkammer, 2018, p. 96 (Spanish edition of Le roi vient quand il veut).
 BONNEFOY, Yves. L’écharpe rouge. Paris: Mercure de France, 2016, p. 130: ‘l’opium des mots de l’abécédaire’.
 LEIRIS, Michel. Glossaire j’y serre mes gloses ; suivi de Bagatelles végétales. Op. cit.: ‘dictionnaire (ou fictionnaire ?)’.
 I refer to the text here cited several times: YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit.
 VILA-MATAS, Enrique. Foreword to RIBEYRO, Julio Ramón. La tentación del fracaso. Barcelona: Seix Barral, 2019, p. XVI.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 124. From the diaries of Eugène Delacroix, entry for 26th April 1824.
 Taken from other words in: MICHON, Pierre. Llega el rey cuando quiere. Op. cit., p. 81.
 Sala Mateu, López Yturralde, Valencia, 27 February–10 March 1966. The quote was from Joseph Ben Shalom Ashkenazi (Josephha-Arokh, 14th century).
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Seville:
Los Sentidos Ediciones, 2012, pp. 95–96.
 NABOKOV, Vladimir. Habla, memoria. Barcelona: Anagrama, 1994, p. 21 (Spanish edition of Speak, Memory).
 OLMOS ORTEGA, Noelia. ‘Interview with José María Yturralde (in his studio in Alboraia (Valencia), November 2010)’. Doctoral thesis La lógica difusa en el espacio creativo del arte de acción. Valencia: Technical University of Valencia, 2012. In the artist’s archives. This coincides with my earlier reflection: ‘I must say that I find it difficult to believe not that, in essence, all of that accumulation of efforts in seemingly different areas are very similar, but that they form part of the same thing for me. That entire diversity of actions in which I have found myself involved – such as the practice of painting-painting, as it were, to what we call performances, or incorporating new technological tools, investigating different systems or tools of expression and moving effortlessly from one dimension to another – all of this forms parts of my activity. In this search, the different tools used for my objectives, my purpose and my intentions, as I said earlier, are essentially the same. I tried, for example in the 1970s, producing a series of three-dimensional structures capable of remaining aloft. Their forms are a rhythmic extension of the impossible objects I had been making for years. Technically, they weren’t exactly kites, or aeroplanes, but they fly based on the same principles. Visually, they basically consist of regular and semi-irregular polyhedrons, some with different “appendages”, also geometrical.’ Ibid.
 Some hilarious ones described in Ibid.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 157.
 OLMOS ORTEGA, Noelia. ‘Interview with José María Yturralde (in his studio in Alboraia (Valencia), November 2010)’. Op. cit.
 PIGLIA, Ricardo. Prisión perpetua. Barcelona: Anagrama, 2007.
 Yturralde clarifies to us that, interested in the problem of time, the ideas ‘ephemeral/eternal’ and ‘chaos/cosmos’, at the Navarre Festival in Olite, August 1983, he presented various installations, including Jardín de hielo (Ice Garden), Espacios sonoros (Sound Spaces), and a few happenings which took place as part of the festival.
 Galería Edurne. Yturralde. Madrid, 1st–20th March 1967.
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. ‘Yturralde’. Madrid: Artes magazine, no. 83, March 1967, pp. 38–39.
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. Arte último. La ‘Nueva Generación’ en la escena española. Madrid: Julio Cerezo Estévez Editor, 1969. Illustrations by Yturralde on pp. 54–59.
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. Nueva Generación. Madrid: Festivales de España, 1967-1968: ‘Like a bored wise man who may imagine heavenly bodies.’
 SAURA, Antonio. ‘Viola y Oniro’. Madrid: Cuadernos Guadalimar, no. 31, 1987, p. 6. Series of texts written in 1936 sent to Antoni García Lamolla.
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio et al. ‘Terminología’. In Nueva Generación 1967/1977. Madrid: Dirección General del Patrimonio Artístico y Cultural, 1977, p. 21.
 DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. ‘Juan Antonio Aguirre y la reivindicación conquense. Arte Último, un libro multicolor’. In Arte Último. La ‘Nueva Generación’ en la escena española’. Cuenca: Fundación Antonio Pérez, 2005 reprint, pp. 27–43.
 Which had its official closure at the exhibition in Velázquez Palace, Nueva Generación 1967/1977, Madrid, July–September 1977.
 Nueva Generación. Catalogue for the exhibition at Galería Amadís. Madrid, May 1967.
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. Arte último. Op. cit., p. 58.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 99
 The first exhibition was held at the Valencia Architects Association Exhibition Hall, under the title Antes del Arte. Experiencias ópticas perceptivas estructurales (Before Art. Structural Perceptive Optical Experiences) (26th April–11th May 1968). The contributors were: Joaquín Michavila, Eusebio Sempere, Francisco Sobrino, Ramón de Soto and José María Yturralde. It included music by Gerardo Gumbau, Francisco Llácer, Tomás Marco, Luis de Pablo and Iannis Xenaquis. The second took place in Madrid, with the same title, at Galería Eurocasa (10th October–November 1968). The contributors to the Madrid exhibition were: Joaquín Michavila, Eduardo Sanz, Eusebio Sempere, Soledad Sevilla, Ramón de Soto, Jorge Teixidor and José María Yturralde, with the music of Tomás Marco. The forewords to both catalogues were by Aguilera Cerni. The final exhibition held at the initiative of Daniel Giralt-Miracle (Galería As, Barcelona, 11th–16th February 1969) can be considered a conclusion to the Madrid show.
 This experience was recently recalled by the Frac Centre-Val de Loire in Madrid, October 68. The Spanish Experimental Scene, Orleans, 12th October 2018–24th February 2019.
 AGUILERA CERNI, Vicente. Yturralde. Figuras imposibles. Madrid: Eurocasa, 1968.
 In 1956, Manolo Gil and Oteiza had already begun a joint reflection around what was referred to as the ‘theory of trimural space (or) analysis of the elements on the wall or plane’, in which they analyse colour’s capacity for movement on a plane. When Parpalló (1956–1961) was founded on 23rd October 1956 (date of the founding meeting at the Ateneo Mercantil space, headquarters of the Iberoamerican Institute of Valencia), another three prior initiatives emerged in Valencia. Mention must be made of the Primera exposición conjunta de arte normativo español (First Group Exhibition of Spanish Normative Art) (Ateneo Mercantil, Valencia, 12th March 1960) and other processes akin to Grupo Z or the so-called Group of Seven, whose attempts contain the desire to revitalise the art world. On 1st December 1956, the ‘Open Letter of the Parpalló Group’ was published in the Valencian newspapers, at the same time as the opening of the group’s exhibition at the Ateneo Mercantil: Grupo Parpalló (Parpalló Group), Valencia, 1st–11th December 1956. One year later, 1957 (1958), the first issues of Arte Vivo, the magazine linked to Parpalló, were published, with exhibitions taking place from then until 1960.
 This subject is discussed in: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Gerardo Rueda y Valencia (Pretextos, al cabo). Valencia: Galería Rosalía Sender, 2006, pp. 7–29.
 OLMOS ORTEGA, Noelia. ‘Interview with José María Yturralde (in his studio in Alboraia (Valencia), November 2010)’. Op. cit.
 GIRALT-MIRACLE, Daniel. Yturralde, en busca de un ontoespacio. Valencia: IVAM, 1999, p. 11.
 ASINS, Elena. ‘Entrevista con Yturralde’. Op. cit.
 BUCKMINSTER FULLER, Richard (in collaboration with E. J. Applewhite). SYNERGETICS, Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc., 1975, 1979.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 138.
 Conversation and notes by José María Yturralde, 9th June 2019.
 The presence of entries in italics refers to the fact that they are the titles of Yturralde’s own work.
 Referring to that entry in the dictionary.
 At this centre, Yturralde has told of his contact with the aforementioned Giorgy Kepes and Otto Piene, as well as with Jürgen Claus, Marl Mendel, Otto Frei, Dale Eldred, Peter Campus and Walter de Maria. At the same time, he teaches the ‘Research and Structures’, ‘Life Drawing’ and ‘Still Life Drawing’ courses. Among others, he contributes to the following courses: ‘Video Environments’ with Peter Campus, ‘Art and Envorinments’ with Otto Piene and Friedrich St. Florian, ‘Projects in Environmental Art. Passages’ with Paul Earls, ‘The Psychological** and Technological Worlds of Color’ taught by Professor Solomon, and ‘The Avantgarde Films’ by John Rubin.
 He would later be invited in 1983 to participate – together with Nam June Paik, Charlotte Moorman, Otto Piene and other members of the Sky Art group at the CAVS – in Ars Electronica in Linz, carrying out new flights with his structures.
 Letter (April 1976) from Yturralde to Daniel Giralt-Miracle, mentioned by the latter in GIRALT-MIRACLE, Daniel. Yturralde, en busca de un ontoespacio. Op. cit., p. 13.
 PLASENCIA, Adolfo. Is the Universe a Hologram? Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions. Cambridge, Massachusetts/London: MIT Press, 2017, pp. 377–378. Original translation by the author.
 Letter (April 1976) from Yturralde to Daniel Giralt-Miracle, mentioned by the latter in GIRALT-MIRACLE, Daniel. Yturralde, en busca de un ontoespacio. Op. cit., p. 13. Italics from the original.
 YTURRALDE, José María. ‘Sistematización del análisis pictórico con vistas a la generación plástica con ordenador’. In Ordenadores en el arte. Madrid: CCUM, 1969, p. 35.
 CRESPO, Ángel. Primer salón de corrientes constructivistas. Madrid: Galería Bique, 1966.
 CECATTO, Silvio. ‘Estética y cibernética. Valencia: Suma y sigue del arte contemporáneo, no. 7–8, April 1965, pp. 11–17.
 ‘Study what activities develop our mind, particularly when we read or write, and then build machines that repeat them … the place that cybernetics offers the artist is that of analyser, that of anatomist of observation and aesthetic judgement … a cybernetic investigation with modelistic intentions.’ Ibid.
 YTURRALDE, José María. En relación a “Formas computables”. Madrid: Centro de Cálculo de la Universidad de Madrid, 1969. www.yturralde.com.
 Exhibition curated by Jasia Reichardt at the ICA-Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 2nd August–20th October 1968. At this point, we should also recall the founding of the Computer Art Society (CAS) (1968, Alan Sutcliffe, George Mallen and John Lansdown) and the resulting exhibition Event One (1969, Royal College of Art). Also, in the German context, Komputer Kunst (Hannover, Munich, Hamburg, 1969–1970) and Arteônica, which was held at the Pinacoteca do Estado in São Paulo in 1971, promoted by Waldemar Cordeiro. Yturralde was critical of the ICA exhibition in his text published in one of the papers in the CCUM Bulletin (1969). It is collected in: YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., pp. 108–109.
 Thinking of such legendary exhibitions as Le Mouvement (1955) and that devoted to the Groupe de Recherche d’art Visuel-Proposition sur le mouvement (1961).
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 73: ‘Denise René, where I found many of the “live” works I had previously admired in books … I was amazed by geometric artists like Herbin, and of course, Vasarely; both had a significant influence on the direction which my pictorial desires were beginning to take (Ibid.). He would later meet Denise, who visited his studio in 1999. It is recounted in: YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 140.
 Because of its advocacy of light, here we must mention the well-known ‘Manifiesto de la luz’ (Manifesto of Light), which Sempere delivered at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles (Paris, 8th July 1955). The matter is discussed at length in: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. ’Eusebio Sempere: otro caballero de la soledad [ Y vuelta al París de los cincuenta ]’. Alicante: Canelobre, no. 69, Instituto Alicantino de Cultura Juan Gil-Albert, 2018, pp. 106–121.
 DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. La sombra de Oteiza (en el arte español de los cincuenta). Alzuza-Zaragoza: Fundación Museo Jorge Oteiza – Ibercaja, 2009–2010.
 Galerie Latinoamerica, Demarco, García Miranda, García Rossi, Le Parc, Morellet, Moyano, Servanes, Sobrino, Stein, Yvaral,Brussels, 27th May–30th June 1960. Excepting Vera Molnár, they will be the list that signs the ‘Acte de Fondation’ (memorandum of association) for the Centre de Recherche de l’Art Visuel, in July of 1960. In January 1961, on the occasion of their exhibition at the Stockholm Museum of Art, they would confirm their final make-up: García Miranda, García Rossi, Le Parc, Morellet, Moyano, Sobrino, Stein and Yvaral.
 Galerija Suvremene Umjetnosti, Nove Tendencije, Zagreb, 3rd August–4th September 1961. The Nove Tendencije exhibitions, reflecting on the work with computers, continued throughout that decade until the 1970s.
 Musée d’Art Moderne, Lumière et mouvement, Paris, 2nd May–31st August 1967.
 Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, Kunst Licht Kunst, Eindhoven, 25th September–4th December 1966.
 MENTE-Muestra española de nuevas tendencias estéticas (Mente-Spanish New Aesthetic Trends Show). Between 1968 and 1970 there were group shows: MENTE 1 (Galería René Metrás, Barcelona), MENTE 2 (Rotterdam), MENTE 3 (Santa Cruz de Tenerife); MENTE 4 (Bilbao) and MENTE 5 (Pamplona). The driving force of Daniel Giralt-Miracle and Jordi Pericot was essential to its creation. Also worth mentioning is the Salón de Corrientes Constructivistas, at the Madrid gallery Bique (1966), supported by Ángel Crespo, mentioned in an earlier note.
 The exhibitions associated with Nueva Generación took place in 1967 and 1977. The qualifier ‘non-group’ and the mention of the heteroclitic have to do with its compositional variability, with the lack of a manifesto, the diverse creative typology of exhibition contributors, etc. We agree that it was rather a meeting of heteroclitic artists who wanted to change the course of Spanish art, a new generation of artists whose gaze was primarily directed towards international pop art and constructive art.
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. Arte Último. La ‘Nueva Generación’ en la escena española. Op. cit.
 Officially opened on 7th March 1969.
 YTURRALDE, José María. ‘Sistematización del análisis pictórico con vistas a la generación plástica con ordenador’. Op. cit.
 Computing Centre at the University of Madrid, Formas computables, Madrid, 25th June–12 July 1969, with the participation of José Luis Alexanco, Amador Rodríguez, Elena Asins, Barbadillo, Equipo 57, Tomás García Asensio, Lily Greenham, Luis Lugán, Manuel Quejido, Abel Martín, Piet Mondrian, Eduardo Sanz, F. Javier Seguí de la Riva, Soledad Sevilla, Eusebio Sempere, Victor Vasarely and José María López Yturralde. Computing Centre at the University of Madrid, Generación automática de formas plásticas (Automatic Generation of Plastic Forms), Madrid, 22nd June–4th July 1970, with the participation of José Luis Alexanco, E. Robert Ashworth, Manuel Barbadillo, Gerardo Delgado, Tomás García Asensio, José Luis Gómez Perales, Auro Lecci, Luis Lugán, Leslie Mezei, Petar Milojevic, Frieder Nake, Georg Nees, A. Michael Noll, Manuel Quejido, Zoran Radovic, Roger P. Saunders, Eusebio Sempere and Soledad Sevilla. Mention should also be made of the exhibitions at the Palacio Nacional de Congresos y Exposiciones, The Computer Assisted Art, Madrid, March–April 1971, which included José Luis Alexanco, Ana Buenaventura, Gerardo Delgado, Teresa Eguibar, Lorenzo Frechilla, García Asensio, Gómez Perales, Lugán, Abel Martín, Manuel Quejido, Enrique Salamanca, Javier Seguí de la Riva, Eusebio Sempere, Soledad Sevilla and José María López Yturralde; and Formas computadas (Computed Forms) at the Ateneo de Madrid-Sala Santa Catalina, 12th May–June 1971. It was also given the title Producción automática de formas plásticas (Automatic Production of Plastic Forms), with the participation of José Luis Alexanco, Gerardo Delgado, Tomás García Asensio, José Luis Gómez Perales, Luis Lugán, Abel Martín, Manuel Quejido, Enrique Salamanca, Ana Seguí, Javier Seguí, Eusebio Sempere, Soledad Sevilla and José María Yturralde.
 ASINS, Elena. ‘Entrevista con Yturralde’. Madrid: Gaceta Universitaria, no. 118, March 1969.
 We imitate the voice of Zóbel, who, referring to Torner in the first catalogue for the museum, stated that he was a conquense by birth and conviction.
 Between 1954 and 1956, he lived in Zaragoza, afterwards moving to Valencia, where he would study at the School of Fine Arts.
 See, on this matter, the chapter ‘Un recuerdo de infancia de Pablo Picasso’. CLAIR, Jean. Lección de abismo. Nueve aproximaciones a Picasso. Madrid: Ediciones Visor, La Balsa de la Medusa, 2008, pp. 239–244.
 SOLDEVILLA, Loló. Ir, venir, volver a ir. Crónicas (1952-1957). Havana: Ediciones R-Revolución, 1963.
 Interview with Harriet, Sidney and Carrol Janis in 1953, quoted by: CLAIR, Jean. L’œuvre de Marcel Duchamp. Paris: Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre National d’Art et de Culture, 1977, p. 81.
 The term is a self-qualifier by Duchamp, which can be found in the legendary, indispensable: CABANNE, Pierre. Conversando con Marcel Duchamp. Mexico City: 2006–2010, p. 70 (Spanish edition of Dialogues with Marcel Duchamp). Duchamp is obviously playing with the term ‘anarchist’ and the obvious play on words with ‘un artiste’ and ‘a-artiste’, that is, ‘non-artist’, in the sense of putting into play other questions of art little addressed thus far.
 YOURCENAR, Marguerite. L’œuvre au noir (1968).
 YTURRALDE, José María. Yturralde, obra reciente. Valencia: Galería Theo, 1990. Reproduced in: YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., pp. 143–144.
 Ibid., p. 153.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 121.
 O’HARA, Frank. Jackson Pollock. New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1959, pp. 30–31.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 96
 YTURRALDE, José María. ‘Reinhardt in Spain’. In Ad Reinhardt Centennial, 1913–2013. New York: Brooklyn Museum, 2013–2014, pp. 21–22.
 CHEEVER, John. Diarios. Barcelona: Literatura Random House, 2018, p. 442 (Spanish edition of The Journals of John Cheever).
 KLEE, Paul. Cours du Bauhaus-Weimar, 1921-1922. Contributions à la théorie de la forme picturale. Strasbourg: Musées de Strasbourg, 2004. Cours V, 30th January 1922, note 64, in the aforementioned edition, p. 96. Original translation by the author. Klee underlines the terms ‘atmosphere’ and ‘water’.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 117.
 Included in: DUCHAMP, Marcel. Afectuosamente, Marcel. Correspondencia de Marcel Duchamp. Murcia: CENDEAED-Región de Murcia, 2014, p. 272 (Spanish edition of Affectionately, Marcel: The Selected Correspondence of Marcel Duchamp). Letter to Guy Weelen (24th June 1955).
 I refer to The Unicorn in Captivity (from the Unicorn Tapestries), 1495–1505. Wool warp with wool, silk, silver, and gilt wefts, 368 x 251.5 cm.
 CENNINO CENNINI. El libro del arte (late 14th century). Akal: Madrid, 1988 (edition consulted), pp. 143–144 (Spanish edition of The Craftsman’s Handbook).
 We have analysed the meaning of ‘entropy’ in: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Torner, sí, elogio de la entropía. Cuenca: Semana de Música Religiosa de Cuenca, 2015. There we explained that, in contemporary art, entropy tells of a permanent looking inwards as a sign of their oeuvre, in which converge, naturally, chaos and creative balance, order and complexity, obtaining from said difficult balance its unique creative order. The relationships of the term with science, and Yturralde’s interest, coincide with the conceptual review we frequently quote: ARNHEIM, Rudolf. Entropy and art: an essay on disorder and order (1971), where it is told how, reviewing the complexity of the real, another harmony can be revealed.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 137.
 Ibid., p. 139.
 Calaratjada, Palma de Mallorca, 1986.
 OLMOS ORTEGA, Noelia. ‘Interview with José María Yturralde (in his studio in Alboraia (Valencia), November 2010)’. Op. cit.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 135.
 BACHELARD, Gaston. Le droit de rêver. Paris: Les Presses universitaires de France, Colección ‘À la pensée’, 1970.
 Celebració al vent (1 y 2). Films of kites/flying structures for the Biennale di Venezia. Beaches of Saler, Valencia, 1978. Super 8 film, Beaulieu camera, José María Yturralde and 16 mm film by Joaquín Michavila.
 YTURRALDE, José María. L’air, les géométries et la mer. Paris: Colegio de España, 1998, pp. XII–XIII.
 One of his flights in Saler was titled Estructuras volantes (homenaje a Leonardo da Vinci) (Flying Structures (Homage to Leonardo da Vinci)) (1984) to coincide with the exhibition: Leonardo, el diseño y el ordenador (Leonardo, Design and the Computer), at the Lonja de Valencia that same year.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 96.
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. Arte último. Op. cit., p. 54.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 223.
 ‘Before the viewer is represented something which that viewer sees, but which is not visually possible. Therefore, it is as if there has been a deception. A very logical sensation, which everyone feels, although not everyone knows how to explain it. Because, ultimately, that same sensation could serve to explain that the world is not as it appears to be.’ JIMÉNEZ, J. ‘Entrevista a Yturralde’. Madrid: Informaciones, 18th February 1971.
 YTURRALDE, José María. ‘Ejemplo de una aplicación metodológica continuando un trabajo sobre estructuras geométricas’. In Formas computables. Op. cit.
 AGUILERA CERNI, Vicente. Yturralde. Figuras imposibles. Op. cit.
 ‘a) closed shape; b) angular shape (the geometric structure is simple); c) shape/background (the shape stands out clearly against the background); d) symmetry/asymmetry: they can be both asymmetrical (greater sensation of depth and greater evidence of its structure) and symmetrical (with a higher aesthetic value, but less obvious from the perspective of sensory information); e) summary (tendency to show or highlight the shape, giving it the maximum relief and structure); f) colour (basically fundamental and charged colours: red, yellow, blue); g) texture (flat “impersonal” texture, reflection of the world of machinery and ordering); h) perceived movement (slow horizontal movement, outward and towards the viewer, in symmetrical shapes; and outward and lateral movement in asymmetrical ones); i) tactile surface (hard and smooth); j) kinaesthetic; k) auditory (sensation of silence and void); l) rhythm (generally monotone, although abruptly interrupted by the perception of the impossibility of the image); m) dimensions; n) technique (screen printing, lithography, pressed wood).’ YTURRALDE, José María. ‘Sistematización del análisis pictórico con vistas a la generación plástica con ordenador’. Op. cit., pp. 42–43. And YTURRALDE, José María. ‘Ejemplo de una aplicación metodológica continuando un trabajo sobre estructuras geométricas’. Op. cit.
 YTURRALDE, José María. El mundo de Escher: el espacio transfigurado. Madrid: Fundación Carlos de Amberes, 1996.
 YTURRALDE, José María. ‘Terminología’. In Nueva Generación 1967/1977. Op. cit., p. 13.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 131, 1979 text.
 Estructura (Structure) and Ritmo formas en blanco (Rhythm Forms in White), both from 1966.
 Movimiento espacio opuesto (Opposed Space Movement) and Movimiento espacio opuesto II (Opposed Space Movement II), 1967.
 Situación límite en el espacio (Extreme Position in Space), 1967.
 Tensión espacial (Spatial Tension), 1966.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 104.
 Ibid., p. 105.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 99.
 Ibid., p. 135.
 Ibid., p. 146.
 PLASENCIA, Adolfo. Is the Universe a Hologram? Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions. Op. cit.
 See, on this matter: YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 125. And also, in recent conversation with Yturralde (5th June 2019): ‘“Homenaje a Kepler” (Tribute to Keplar) consisted of a transparent object made with inscribed and circumscribed polyhedrons and spheres, in the centre of a phosphorescent cube that represented the sun. The group describes the position of the known planets at the time and their orbits. With this, it recalled and interpreted (in another way) the model of the cosmos that appears in Johannes Kepler’s work Mysterium cosmographicum.’ The aforementioned optics laboratory was then headed by Professor Mariano Aguilar.
 Which he tells of in: YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 101. AVENI, Anthony F. Observaciones del cielo en el México antiguo. Mexico: FCE, 1974.
 WALKER, Christopher. Astronomy Before the Telescope. London: British Museum Press, 1966.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 97.
 ‘Nous sommes les pensées arborescentes qui fleurissent sur les chemins des jardins cérébaux.’ DESNOS, Robert. Corps et biens. Paris: Gallimard, 1930, p. 83.
 Conversation and notes by José María Yturralde, May 2019.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 121.
 Conversation and notes by José María Yturralde, May 2019.
 This is what Yturralde indicates in his chronologies.
 The trip to Russia takes place on two occasions, 1991 and 1992. On this last occasion, he goes ‘as far as the outer reaches of the Himalayas’, in his words.
 Conversation and notes by José María Yturralde, May 2019.
 Observations upon Experimental Philosophy: To which is Added The Description of a New Blazing World.
 CHEEVER, John. Diarios. Op. cit.
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. Yturralde. Op. cit.
 This is what Yturralde indicates in his chronologies. Galería Machetti, Javier Calvo, José Cubells, Jorge Teixidor y José María Yturralde, Cuenca, 1965.
 DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Pablo Palazuelo. Poemas. Madrid: Ediciones del Umbral-Colección Invisible, 2015–2016.
 Sérgio de Camargo (Río de Janeiro, 1930–1990) and Nedo (Nedo Mion Ferrario, Milan, 1926–Caracas, 2001).
 ‘COLOURS: black, dark grey, light grey, ultramarine, pale blue, emerald green, lemon yellow, cadmium orange, vermilion, white. In general, tones of refined shade. Monochrome paintings predominate. Except for infrequent exceptions, there is no degradation or interpolation.’ AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. Yturralde. Madrid: Galería Edurne. Op. cit.
 See the entries relating to the patron saints (Julián Gállego): Rueda, Torner and Zóbel.
 The matter of Cuenca’s influence on Yturralde was well described in: FONTÁN DEL JUNCO, Manuel; TEIXIDOR, Jordi and YTURRALDE, José María. ‘Historias habladas’. In La pintura, el viaje, la contemplación. Fernando Zóbel, Jordi Teixidor, José María Yturralde. Valencia: Fundación Chirivella Soriano, 2016, pp. 159 et seq. See also YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., pp. 99-103.
 In 1964 Gustavo Torner produces Vesalio, el cielo, las geometrías y el mar, which he presents, under the title Gustavo Torner. Suite de collages (1964-1966) on 30th March 1967 at Galería Edurne in Madrid and at the Casa de la Cultura in Cuenca.
 It opened the text that follows: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Zóbel y Chillida. Crisscrossing Paths. Barcelona: Galería Mayoral, 2019. The quote is: ‘I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.’ Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847).
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 103.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit.
 DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Torner, sí, elogio de la entropía. Cuenca: Semana de Música Religiosa, 2015.
 Harold Scott MacDonald ‘Donald’ Coxeter (London, 1907–Toronto, 2003)
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., pp. 151–152. Text published in the magazine: Malaga: Contrastes, no. 15, May 2001.
 GIRALT-MIRACLE, Daniel. Yturralde, en busca de un ontoespacio. Op. cit., p. 13.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., pp. 170–171. Text from the catalogue for his exhibition at Bancaja, Valencia, 2006.
 Elegía (1986), in the collection of the Fundación Juan March.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 143.
 In this note in exile, mention must be made of the friendship with Arthur L. Loeb, scientist at Harvard University, who was a friend and professor to Escher, with whom he studied ‘crystallographic structures and systems, complex geometries and projections, expanding his knowledge of the understanding of space’. This is what Yturralde indicates in his chronologies.
 Conversation and notes by José María Yturralde, May 2019. Jacques Lassaigne and Sempere himself, who spent a good part of the 1950s in Paris, facilitated contact between Roig and such artists as Manessier, Poliakoff, Arp and the widow of Kandinsky. See Various authors. Alfonso Roig i els seus amics. Valencia: Diputació de Valencia, 1988. For our part, see: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Eusebio Sempere: otro caballero de la soledad [Y vuelta al París de los cincuenta]. Op. cit., pp. 106–122. Personally, I always prefer to underline that it was Sempere who imparted the modern world to Roig. Yturralde met him once again in Stuttgart in 1960, then visiting Swiss churches between 1961 and 1962.
 http://www.javierbmartin.com/index.php/entrevistas-10una/1583-entrevista-10una-a-jose-maria-yturralde. On Roig’s mention of Ingres, see: YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 101.
 Conversation and notes by José María Yturralde, May 2019. ‘Intense and profound’ he would say of him in: YTURRALDE, José María. Ibid., p. 126.
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. ‘Gerardo Rueda’. Madrid: Artes magazine, no. 94, November 1968, pp. 21–27. Aguirre noted in the article that the acceptance of Rueda’s work by new generations of painters was such that ‘some of [them] were clearly preparing to follow him. There was even talk of him in terms of divinity … such a fervour was only known in the artistic avant-garde of our country in the clear case of Tàpies.’
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 138.
 I refer to the proximity to the piece by Yturralde: Formas ritmo-espacio (Rhythm-Space Forms), 1966. Synthetic and oil paint on wood, 110 x 106 cm.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 100.
 Ibid., p. 159. He refers to the poem ‘Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!’ by Hesse, whose translation he suggests. Ibid., p. 158.
 On this matter, it is worth citing JOUANNAIS, Jean-Yves. Artistes sans œuvres. Vanves: Hazan Editeur, 1997.
 See on this manner the term in: DANTO, Arthur C. ‘Tres décadas después del fin del arte’. In Después del fin del arte. Barcelona: Paidós Estética, 2010, pp. 49–71 (‘Three Decades after the End of Art’ in the Spanish edition of After the End of Art).
 READ, Herbert. A Coat of Many Colours. Occasional Essays. London: George Routledge & Sons Ltd., 1945, p. 81.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 97.
 Ibid., p. 151.
 In 1970, Yturralde recounts, he met Jesús Rafael Soto in Basel – later visiting him in Paris – who told him of the work Antonio Calderara.
 An extensive list of artists for which he has a fondness can be read in: YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 96.
 Ibid., p. 117.
 Museo d’Arte Moderna Ca’Pesaro, Mark Rothko, Venice, 21st June–15th October 1970 (travelling to Marlborough Gallery, New York, as Mark Rothko Paintings, 1947–1970).
 Fundación Juan March, Rothko, Madrid, 23rd September 1987–3rd January 1988.
 Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Rothko, Paris, 14th January–18th April 1999.
 Thus does it occur in: YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit.
 Ibid., p. 118. Adding: ‘I can’t forget the Mark Rothko exhibition … I don’t want to forget anything.’
 Ibid., p. 119.
 Yturralde will recollect the petrified music of John Cage and his pieces titled Ryoanji.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., pp. 92 et seq.
 Sala Parpalló, Centre Cultural la Beneficència, Preludios-Interludios (Preludes-Interludes), Valencia, 1996. ‘Fifteen large-format pieces with intervals of repetitive cadence. Their number would evoke the 15 stones of Ryoan-ji, the zen garden in Kyoto, forever in his memory.’ Writes Yturralde in his chronologies.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 127.
 PALAZUELO, Pablo. ‘Jardín (1961)’. Paris: Chroniques de l’Art Vivant, no. 10, Editions Maeght, 1970.
 Claude Esteban (Paris, 1935–2006). The bilingual version of the book (Paris: Flammarion, 1983), translated into Spanish, was published by Renacimiento, Seville, in 2001.
 I refer to the poem ‘Jardin’ in: JABÈS, Edmond. El libro de las preguntas II. Madrid: Ediciones Siruela, 1991, pp. 63 et seq. (Spanish version of The Book of Questions: Volume II) (edition consulted).
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 97.
 OTEIZA, Jorge. Quosque Tandem…! Ensayo de interpretación estética del alma vasca. (San Sebastián: Auñamendi, Azkue Collection, 1963). Reprint: Alzuza: Fundación Museo Oteiza Fundazio Museoa, 2007, p. 148.
 YTURRALDE, José María. ‘Terminología’. In Nueva Generación 1967/1977. Op. cit., p. 14. Capitalisation from the original.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 95.
 YTURRALDE, José María. ‘Terminología’. In Nueva Generación 1967/1977. Op. cit., p. 15.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 97.
 AGUIRRE, Juan Antonio. Nueva Generación. Madrid: Festivales de España, 1967–1968. Op. cit.
 Author’s conversation with José María Yturralde, 14th April 2019.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., pp. 100-102.
 TORNER, Gustavo. ‘Conversación’. In Gustavo Torner. Escritos y conversaciones. Valencia: Pretextos, 1996, pp. 104.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Entropía. Variaciones sobre la realidad. Op. cit., p. 35.
 DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Las Meninas. Edición de Magels Landet, Barcelona, 2019.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 138.
 YTURRALDE, José María. Diario en torno a una exposición. Op. cit., p. 138.
 The statement is from 2nd January 1966. ZÓBEL, Fernando. Diarios (1964-1967). Vol. 8, p. 98, pro manuscripto. Courtesy of the Fundación Juan March, Madrid. Our gratitude. Another note, on the first meeting with Zóbel, tells of his personality, ‘brimming with enthusiasm’ (10th June 1965).
 Galería Juana Mordó, Torner, Madrid, 10th June–10th July 1965. 10th June 1965 meeting. ZÓBEL, Fernando. Diarios (1964-1967). Op. cit., p. 45. Another meeting of Yturralde and Teixidor, months later, takes place on 5th December 1965 at the Rueda show at the same gallery (Madrid, 2nd–30th December 1965): ‘In love with being painters; with painting. They spent the entire morning in my house … It doesn’t seem the least bit long. We love the same things (yet, time passes. I’m not a colleague. They listen. At best, perhaps, the teacher or brother they would like to have.’ ZÓBEL, Fernando. Diarios (1964-1967). Vol. 8, p. 88, pro manuscripto. Courtesy of the Fundación Juan March, Madrid. In English in the original.
 On this trip, he will also meet Sempere and Aguilera Cerni. ‘Both Yturralde and Texidor seem devoured by a kind of insane love for painting. If they can sustain and channel their passion they will inevitable turn into very good painters.’ Diarios (1964-1967). Op. cit.,p. 98, pro manuscripto. Courtesy of the Fundación Juan March, Madrid.
 Ibid., p. 121. The note is from 8th June 1966. Yturralde visits the show at Galería Juana Mordó. Ibid., p. 160.