Fly from the labyrinth to the essence

Pieces from the exhibition, in the room of Casa Africa. / COVER

The Martín Chirino Foundation and Casa África host the exhibition 'Afrocán. The oracle of the wind' until next September 18

Greco-Latin myths, primitive art, Africa, America, Europe, the Canary Islands, universality, the avant-garde of the time, freedom and democracy against Francoism, dreams and beauty in its different connotations are elements that, to a greater or lesser extent, to a lesser extent, they are present in the 'Afrocán' series by the Gran Canarian sculptor Martín Chirino, which is now coming to the fore thanks to the exhibition that since
this Friday and until next September 18 can be visited in one of the rooms
Casa Africa and in the Foundation of Art and Thought of the artist himself, in the Castillo de La Luz of his hometown, fruit of the support of the Azcona Foundation and Caixabank.

'Afrocan. The oracle of the wind see the light also on paper. Since that is the title of the second volume of the
Martin Chirino Encyclopedia that sees the light together with this sample and that has written
Antonio Manuel Gonzalez Rodriguezwhich in turn curated the exhibition.

This editorial project started with
'Black Queens', written by Alfonso de la Torre who also curated the exhibition of the same title at the Foundation.

Pieces of the exhibition at the headquarters of the Fundación de Arte y Pensamiento Martín Chirino. /



The sculptures carried out by Martín Chirino inside
'Afrocan' they are the nerve center of the exhibition, but their role is contextualized. Both with a series of impressive masks, especially African, as well as pieces by two artists that the island creator himself recognized that he was passionate about and influenced by:
Angel Ferrant and Julio Gonzalez.

'Afrocán' opened a path, from the particular to the universal, a philosophy that always marked the existence and creation of Chirino. It was erected as a tricontinental bridge -
America, Africa and Europe- and an aesthetic, vital and even political commitment to his time, according to Manuel González Rodríguez.

This series is "a reflection of the
classical Mediterranean projection of Martin and it is that its aesthetic keys begin in the Greco-Latin world”, points out this specialist who had long talks with the sculptor who died three years ago.

The piece 'Afrocán 28', which is exhibited at the Foundation as part of this exhibition. /

He considers that these pieces reflect «the search for
a complex and universal identity» undertaken by Chirino, which is largely based on classical myths such as that of Daedalus, who according to Greek mythology was the creator of the Cretan labyrinth and who in the Chirino forge
«reflected in the spiral, emblem of his sculptures».

Daedalus and the labyrinth

«Daedalus has taught us to fly when leaving the labyrinth, hence Martin's aerovores. Also
put eyes on the statues and so he taught us to see. Martín Chirino for his part has taught us to see the world with its spirals and with 'Afrocán', to the same extent as Africa with its masks. The artist
has taught us to see the Canarian culture, as well as the African and American», explains Gonzalez.

This specialist highlights that 'Afrocán' supposes
«a fertile look towards a distant and wonderful culture like the African” and a novel approach to what was considered “primitivism”, far from the derogatory Western vision of the 18th century to adhere to “a return to the primordial natural state, to the essence”.

Jesús María Castaño, José Segura and Antonio Manuel González Rodríguez, this Friday at Casa África. /


Jesus Maria Castano, general director of the Martín Chirino Foundation for Art and Thought, recognizes that 'Afrocán. The oracle of the wind' has "two very different productions". One
"minimalist"in one of the rooms of Casa África and made up of a couple of pieces from the Afrocán series by the Gran Canarian sculptor together with large-format African masks and another more extensive and contextualized one at the Foundation's headquarters, where pieces such as 'Afrocán 23' , in gilt bronze, 'Oölogy', 'Petrecanes' and 'Aeróvoro (4) coexist with masks, sculptures such as 'Head of a lying man', by Julio González, four drawings by Ángel Ferrant or 'Champion: The black mask', gouache and ink on paper
Alexander Rodchenko.

On display is a copy of the
El Hierro Manifestoof which 46 years have passed and which had Martín Chirino as one of its signatories in search of "identity and freedom of creation", points out
Jose Segurageneral director of Casa Africa, who described this artist as "a progressive intellectual who transgressed barriers and borders between the real and the imaginary."

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