Pello Irazu
Spain, 1963
He studied fine art in Bilbao between 1981 and 1986 when he received his degree in sculpture. Although he completed his studies a few years after Ángel Bados and Txomin Badiola, both sculptors as well, he had his first solo exhibition early, in 1983. Along with the two aforementioned artists and his colleague Juan Luís Moraza, Irazu represents one of the most innovative voices in redefining contemporary Basque sculpture. In 1988, he moved to London and in 1990—the year he was selected for the Aperto section of the Venice Biennale—he settled in New York, where he had first gone on a Spanish-North American Joint Committee scholarship. Prior to this, he had already become one of the most award-winning young sculptors. He received the Sculpture Prize at the Vitoria Biennial in 1984. He was recognised at the Young Artists Exhibition of the Madrid regional government in 1986, at the Biscay Sculpture Exhibition in 1987 and the 4th International Drawing Triennial in 1987, and he also received the Ícaro Prize from Diario 16. He moved back to Bilbao in 1999 and has been living and working there ever since. Since the beginning of the 21st century, he has shown his work continuously, mainly at the galleries Soledad Lorenzo—until it closed in 2012—and Moisés Pérez de Albéniz, first in Pamplona and then at its new home base in Madrid, which opened in 2013. He has also exhibited at other galleries in the Basque Country as well as at the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, in addition to participating in countless group exhibitions and international fairs. As is often the case, the pieces in the collection—a dozen in total—date from the time the sculptor broke into the art scene, as well as from the incredibly important decade to follow. The quartet comprising S.T (1985), Room for Two (1986), Wild (1988)—in which he added synthetic paint to the steel—and Tisbe (1989) belongs to his earliest period. During the subsequent decade, he began to focus on cheerful, object combinations and forays into installation as exemplified by Summer Kisses (1992), Untitled (The Adversary) (1994) and F.F. (1997). In addition, the series of works on paper and the murals he created during the early 21st century—Acrobat (2000), 308 Blow Up (2001) and Bestiario (2003)—represent an important and noteworthy aspect of his overall body of work.
Mariano Navarro