Houses and Policemen - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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Houses and Policemen

Ibarrola, Agustín

Bilbao, 18/08/1930

Oil on canvas

183 x 175.2 cm

Ibarrola (bottom right hand corner)


Third quarter of the 20th century


Acquired in 1986

Ibarrola's political commitment led him to produce a figurative art as a vehicle for explicit messages, close to poster art and with a tendency towards mural art, which also relates him to the propaganda art of the 1930s, with socialist realism (some of his themes and motifs can be found in the work of Alexander Deineka), with Sironi and other Italians of the time, and with Mexican mural artists.

Like Arteta, Ibarrola's main themes are industrial work and the agricultural world and the sea, although in his case, the work is much more clearly moved by social and political demands, portraying social conflict and a general attitude of protest, when not the image of a proletariat exalted by its historic destiny. His woodcuts from the 1960s and 1970s testify to the most important and significant episodes of the social struggle in the province of Bizkaia.

In the later Houses and Policemen the stylization and geometry are much more palpable, so that the argument (policemen advancing menacingly around workers' houses) is energetically dominated by the city's straight line network of streets. (Javier Viar)

Selected bibliography

  • Euskal artea eta artistak 60ko hamarkadan = Arte y Artistas Vascos en los años 60 [Cat. exp.]. Donostia-San Sebastián, Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia = Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa, 1995. p. 290. (Con el título Sin Título (Casas y Policías)
  • XX. mendeko euskal pintura = Pintura vasca siglo XX [Cat. exp.]. Donostia-San Sebastián, Kutxa Fundaziona = Fundación Kutxa, 1999. pp. 206-207 (Con el título Sin Título (Casas y Policías).
  • García de Cortázar, Fernando. Historia de España desde el Arte. Barcelona, Editorial Planeta, 2007. p. 539.
  • Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. pp. 139-140.
  • Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. pp. 139-140.
  • Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. pp. 138-139, n° cat. 76b.
  • Bilboko Museoaren alfabetoa = El alfabeto del Museo de Bilbao = The alphabet of the Bilbao Museum = L'alphabet du Musée de Bilbao [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018. pp. 315, 317, n° cat. 177.
  • 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. 359.