Tulip 00
Original title: Tulipa 00
Oil on canvas 
Dimensions: 260 x 190 cm
Reference: ACF0366
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In 1985 José María Sicilia began work on a series consisting of numerous studies of a single iconographic element: flowers. The form-oriented pictorial manifestations he created are characterised by a gradual process of simplification, a constructive order that becomes increasingly tangible in the composition, and surfaces of pronounced material expressivity. Significant internal developments over the series generate different formal and compositional solutions, as well as changes in technique. These developments reflect two contradictory conceptions of non-figurative painting: the Constructivist and geometric art of Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian, and the Abstract Expressionism observed in the works of Willem de Kooning. In Tulipa 00 (1985) the gestural line of the brushstrokes takes on the form of a flower in a way that approximates figurative representation. The result is a tulip, sharply defined on the surface of the canvas, which establishes an interplay of strong spatial tensions with the background of the composition. This is expressed through a wealth of material textures and a violent chromaticism, generated by a compact, vibrant mesh of broad perpendicular brushstrokes. The stem of the tulip emerges as the key structural element of the composition. It takes the form of a line—insinuated, as an abstract value, in earlier series—created by a gestural action that questions the relationship between surface and depth. The background and figure coexist on the same plane and are whipped together in a space of boundaries and tensions.

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