THE SUBLIME VACUUM

JOSÉ MARÍA YTURRALDE

The sequence of paintings that I show now, in my second exhibition at the Miguel Marcos Gallery in Barcelona, ​​derives from the (pictorial) reflection, initiated some ten years ago, guided by the growing interest in the eternal problematic that the notions of space, of time, of emptiness, of limit and genesis that had already been projecting, understood almost separately, should now be integrated into an expressive whole of the coherent whole.

 


The serial approach of those first paintings, tried to generate slight situations of instability, defined by the expression of slow formal movements, where he tried to incorporate a slight uncertainty and not excessive evidence of his approach, always on the threshold between the subtle rationality and the poetic restlessness, seeking to affirm emotionally from the contemplation of the original gap to the extended, with the idea of ​​infinity.

 


 The surface tension of the structures is dematerialized by deploying large gestural fuses, not precisely random, oriented by the activity of an asymmetric composition variable, a metaphor of movement and in this case a very slow though progressive activity.

 


The titles that then, in a generic way, designated the work as Preludes, alluded to the origin, to a new principle that later took hold in the Interludes and now with this series Postludios underline something similar (without being) to the conclusion of a symphony or a compositional system. However open, not to the way for example, of the piece for piano Ludus Tonalis (1943) of Hindemith, where it takes place in its end, exactly the inversion and reversion of the beginning or prelude. Something similar we can appreciate also in some works of the painter Victor Vasarely.

 


 In the series that concerns me, I insist that the trace of a contained asymmetry be appreciated, at the same time a gradual and constant departure from the shades that must be transformed in a veiled manner, where there is always a gesture, but blurred, hidden, barely perceptible, always diverse.

 


On the one hand, these pictorial groupings appear as the basic and classical structure of a discourse, of a thesis, at the same time I refer to a musical idea, which at all times has been present in me, as the breeze or the changing sky may be. I observe every day when I go to the studio.
Apparently repetitive, the nuances rather expand, in a subtle, imperceptible, but true, the composition is not closed, the tonal echoes must be produced slowly, in a sense almost perpendicular to the plane of the painting, which must happen despite the limits imposed by the edges, the geometry of the painting and the barely changing formal situations, somewhat in the manner of the piece for string quarters Structures (1951 ) by Morton Feldaman where one hears not the "structures" in their formal sense, but the evanescent structure of repeated sonorities, marked by the composer as soft as possible.

 

In the work that I present, I base myself, through color, on the metaphor of pulsating matter, on the almost perpetual processes of an infinite spiral, the way life imposes itself on entropy, where something should be left of interest for the concepts of the ineffable, the sublime and the absolute in painting, that sort of transcendent experience that we can feel in front of the Monk by the sea by Caspar David Friedrich, the Snowstorm by JM Turner or the Number 1 A by Jackson Pollock, or in the José María Sicília more despojados.

 

I try to generate a deep, luminous and compact painting, from a poetic force close to the containment of the minimal, to the haiku, I try to understand the non-passivity of emptiness, especially in the Zen conception, but without avoiding in certain cases the possibility of monumental, to the Keep or almost better something like the Crocifissione of the Tintoretto in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice or the Vir Heroicus Sublimis of Barnett Newman.
Obviously the less is more of Mies has been a constant in my work since the sixties, stage of my training, with teachers then not as easily accessible as now, who still accompany me in my imaginary gallery as the great Mexican architect Luis Barragán, the white textures of Ryman, or the (on all his work) Nico Painting, Wax I, or Nebraska of the Brice Marden year 1966 and of course Mark Rothko.

Then Chinese art and Oriental art in general, especially when it does not try to express particular objects, but rather hints at the relationship between those objects and the energy or spirit that makes them up - which forms them together.

Following Cage I renewed the pilgrimage to the Ryoan-Ji garden in Kyoto where I thought I understood that those stones, the enclosure, could not be conceived as something finite, enclosed in its own limits, but as something that is being constituted in every moment, losing itself and recovering with the rhythms and vibrations of a universe that occurs incessantly.
    

Only the dull, diagonal flight of some bird created symmetries with the ripples of white gravel between the stones.

José María Yturralde