Untitled - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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Untitled – 02/156

Gortázar, Alfonso

Bilbao, 01/01/1955

Oil and acrylic on canvas

200.2 x 300 cm

GORTAZAR (bottom left hand corner)


First decade of the 21st century


Acquired in 2002

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.

Here the artist adds a new component, in the shape of stands which, seen here from shade, make a sort of ephemeral shelter. The stands house all kinds of goods and chattels, including three paintings, alluding once again to the art of painting. His special mastery of space and colour allows Gortázar to construct a rotund, vital image bathed in the limpid southern light. (Marta García Maruri)

Selected bibliography

  • Adquisiciones 02/07 [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2007. pp. 120-121, n° cat. 51.
  • 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. 107c.
  • 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. pp. 618, 621, il.
  • 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. 433.