Martín Chirino
Spain, 1925
Martín Chirino (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1925) joined the El Paso group in 1958, a year after it was founded. He brought to the group approaches that were perhaps less dramatic and more oriented towards strictly formal investigation. In his sculptural work, there soon appeared a theme or expressive element that took on a very central role—the spiral—which the artist would use to explore relationships between the forces of nature and the ability of material to represent movement. Chirino’s works appear to combine traditions rooted in very different periods. For example, his frequent use of iron links his work to archaic Iberian and African cultures, while the sinuousness of his volumes is reminiscent of the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth and, above all, those of Henry Moore, particularly his open-air works. Finally, it is worth noting the lyrical but at the same time forthright character of the pieces created by Chirino, the result, perhaps, of his contact with some of the most prominent poets of the day, including Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Domingo Pérez Minik and Pedro García Cabrera.
Valentín Roma