He received his initial training in Valencia at the end of the 1950s, drawn to the constructivist aesthetic of the “arte normativo” movement, and ever since, José María Yturralde has sought a balance between the coldness of geometric abstraction and the warmth of expressive use of colour. Along with others in the Antes del Arte group, he took a perceptual approach to art, with its implicit democratization of art as a rational experience. During and after residences at the Computing Centre of Complutense University in Madrid (1968 - 1973) and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT (1974 - 1978), he aimed to bring together two spheres that he saw as complementary, science and art, using technological advances to realize his works in an innovative way, without forgetting the role of sensitivity and emotion in making them unique.
Yturralde seeks to transcend the two dimensions of the picture’s plane surface, introducing the fourth dimension, time, which leads him to reflect on themes of the absolute and, by extension, the sublime. He does not conceive of space as a passive void but one permeated by tensions, forces, radiation and emotion, as the power of energy and matter. Knowledge of our material and transcendent reality drives him to concentrate on the infinitesimal and the infinite to approach the threshold of our consciousness, the limit beyond which may lie a new beginning. In these pictorial haikus, he condenses the immensity of the knowable universe, offering powerful images for contemplation where aesthetic intensity is reached through compositional simplicity.
If the titles in the series Horizontes evoke the names of stars, some of them related to classical mythology, in the series Enso and his most recent works, the references embrace deities of many different cultural traditions, from Egyptian to Norse by way of Greek, Roman and Indian, in the ancestral personification of the natural world, the hours of the day and seasons of the year, evoking a wheel of time endlessly turning. In Eastern thought time is not linear but cyclical, a circle without beginning or end.