Permanent Collection

Elena Asins

Madrid, 1940–Azpíroz (Navarre), 2015
Development, 1977Development, 1977

For the followers of Pythagoras, numbers and their relations represented the harmony of the universe. These relations are present in the proportions and rhythms of architecture and music and also lie at the heart of the structures that support poetry and painting. These ideas on numbers and their eurythmic qualities led Asins to make use of numerical series that, when transformed in her paintings, become groups of smooth lines.

In the manner of musical scores, in many cases Asins' works develop a theme that is expressed through extremely fine and immaterial lines with a rhythmic structure. This is the case of the present work, in which a series of straight vertical and parallel lines cross each other at slightly irregular intervals, producing a series of interferences that create a diffused diagonal within the overall group of implacable parallels.

The thickness of the strokes, combined with the work's disproportionate length—four meters—allows for two possible readings. The first becomes evident when the viewer comes up close to the sheet of paper. From a short distance, the lines are clearly visible and we can follow the progressive development of the series from left to right. But this way of looking at the work requires a length of time that brings this visual creation closer to a literary text or, even more so, to a musical score. The other way of looking at the work is from a distance, taking in the entire piece at once, as when contemplating a painting. In this case, the fine, calibrated lines lose their unity and the unfolding surface reveals its macro-structure: a large diagonal that crosses the painting from the upper left to the lower right corner like an ethereal cloud.

Javier Maderuelo, en Catalog Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, Cuenca, Fundación Juan March, Madrid, 2016