January 18, 2021

Martin Chirino dies

Martin Chirino dies


The Canarian sculptor Martín Chirino died on Monday at 93 years of age after a long illness, sources close to the artist confirmed to Europa Press.

Born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1925, he is one of the most important sculptors of recent decades. In 1944 he began his artistic studies in the Academy of the sculptor Manuel Ramas and later he enrolled in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, but abandoned those studies to enter the School of Fine Arts of San Fernando (Madrid).

After graduating, he focused his work on ironwork, which was reaffirmed after his trips to Paris and London, where he completed his training at the School of Fine Arts.

During his formative years, he met and became interested in the works of Julio González, Miró and Picasso, who, together with constructivists such as El Lissitzky, became the masters who inspired his steps and to whom he dedicated his first tributes as a sculptor.

He had a prominent role in the renewal of plastic languages ​​during the postwar period. Its incorporation in 1958 to the group El Paso, integrated by Antonio Saura, Manolo Millares or Rafael Canogar among others, coincides with the emergence of an art rooted in the Spanish tradition, from a critical attitude to the social political situation.

At this time he found the allegorical motif of his entire career: The Spiral, the Wind as a result of his reflection on prehispanic iconography and the legacy of his culture.

He was responsible, among other works, for sculpting one of the sculptural assemblies of the Valley of the Fallen, great friezes of the disembarkation of the legionaries in Almería, modeled by his then teacher, the also Canary Manolo Ramos.

Among others, he has been awarded the International Sculpture Prize of the Budapest Biennial, the National Prize for Plastic Arts, the Canarian Prize for Plastic Arts and the National Sculpture Award from the CEOE. In addition, he highlights in his career the creation of the Atlantic Center of Modern Art of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (1991).

Likewise, Chirino also headed the Board of Directors that recovered the Fine Arts Circle after the Franco regime, where he was president between 1982 and 1992 and of which he received the Gold Medal in 2001. He was also named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Las Palmas of Gran Canaria (2008) and by the Nebrija University of Madrid (2011).

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