Permanent Collection

Martín Chirino

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1925

Chirino chose the path of abstraction soon after beginning his career as a sculptor. His concept of art—shared by fellow informalist members of the El Paso group—materialized in heavy, weathering iron sculptures. From 1959 onwards, the spiral became a dominant theme in his work. Chirino explored this abstract shape using procedures that stressed the qualities of wrought iron, clearly showing the process by which the whorled shape emerges as a thick bar coils around itself. Helical and spiral motifs can be traced back to the origins of most civilizations. As symbolic representations, they usually evoke the evolution of the universe in schematic terms. The rotating effect of the spiral can be understood as the artist's rendering of cosmic bodies in motion, turning the spiral into a macroscopic symbol.

"El viento. Laberintia II", [The Wind. Laberintia II] 1977
El viento. Laberintia II
[The Wind. Laberintia II], 1977

Chirino's interest in primitive African art and craftsmanship provide his artwork with a strength that is readily apparent in the spiral shape. As the iron progressively transforms into a curve, emanating from a central point, tension builds within the sculpture and the spectator's eye is attracted to this central point, as if drawn in by the centripetal movement. And yet, if we observe the curve's outward motion, emphasis is placed on its expansive attribute, an infinite outward movement that evolves as it follows its course in space. By combining both these movements, the spiral integrates an introspective tendency with an expansive one, both of which concur in the universe.

Javier Maderuelo

Este texto sólo puede reproducirse citando su procedencia:
Catálogo del Museu Fundación Juan March, Palma de Mallorca.