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Indepth Arts News:

"Ignacio Basallo: Transformations"
2003-01-17 until 2003-03-23
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea
Santiago, , ES Spain

Faced with the traditional idea of sculpture as an opaque and solemn language, replete with firm statements and stability, the work of Ignacio Basallo (Ourense 1952) is a non-stop dialogue between thought, matter and form, in an endless process of transformation. It is hard to find an artist who conveys, in such a natural way – and without a hint of caustic irony – his mistrust of what appears to be stable. We are talking about the system of art, about the history of sculpture or about the work of the artist himself. What has already been done,what has been completed,what has an unshakeable physical presence, become part of the land of doubt. Continuing along these lines, it is fitting to say that Basallo is first and foremost a sculptor of ideas, projects, who deals in almost immaterial issues, but he is also a sculptor of shapes. Spatial shapes that concentrate dimension, however small the scale may be; shapes which are seductively evocative even though they are born of poor material.

The way he works has changed little over the years. A quarter of a century ago, he resorted to wood and played with the ambiguous images conjured up in the rural environment, but he used them giving value to their formal language, the interplay with cavities, the nimbleness, dynamism, the possibility of movement. Those pieces must be interpreted as the interest he showed in getting to know a medium – wood – which dominates over all others. His choice,which is clear from the very beginning, is not based on ardent emotion. Basallo makes this selection because it is something that is close to him,and from this proximity and careful observation, he is able to procure a very precise knowledge of its possibilities as a type of material to be used in sculpture. Basallo chooses his forms, he sees them and sorts them by using the materials that are the closest and most familiar to him. Wood, without a doubt, takes the lead and is used over and over again, but he soon includes colour, small pieces of metal, bits of cardboard, ropes used to join them. The last stage of the work depends on the possibilities of space, but the origin never wavers: it is an idea. Sculpture turns it into something physical even though Basallo insists on shading – screening this effect. It is a process without a predictable ending.

Ignacio Basallo
Sin título, 2001

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