Cow Painting - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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Cow Painting

Gortázar, Alfonso

Bilbao, 01/01/1955

Acrylic and waxes on canvas stuck to panel

122 x 122 cm

A. Gortazar (bottom right hand corner), Alfonso Gortazar (on the reverse)


Last quarter of the 20th century


Acquired in 1983

Since he began painting in the late 1970s, Gortázar has created his own, remarkably coherent idiom, mostly figurative, and a personal sense of colour. Irony, quotes from art history, and the portrayal of everyday objects and his immediate surroundings are the tools with which the artist builds a confident, suggestive narration. After a cycle in which he produced group portraits, the central theme of his works has been art itself, embodied in the painter and the tools of his trade. His production is littered with self-portraits and portrayals of brushes and canvases, at times painted and at others blank, a metaphor of the artist's permanent, ongoing search in art and, perhaps, in life. His initial references were to the Basque artists of the first half of the 20th century, Pop Art (Larry Rivers and David Hockney) and the various trends within Expressionism.

In Cow Painting, shows the influence of Pop Art in an image constructed with broad, expressive strokes of the brush, in which the ambivalent title announces Gortázar's humorous intent. [Marta García Maruri]

Selected bibliography

  • "¡Vive tu museo! = Zure Museoa bizi!", Guía de Exposiciones, n° 105. 1988.
  • Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. pp. 188-189.
  • Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. pp. 188-189.
  • Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. pp. 188-189, n° cat. 107.
  • Viar, Javier. Historia del arte vasco : de la Guerra Civil a nuestros días, 1936-2016. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2017. p. 612.
  • Después del 68 : arte y prácticas artísticas en el País Vasco, 1968-2018 [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018. p. 343.