Ignacio Iturria (Uruguay)
"Ignacio Iturria was born in Motevideo, in 1949. He grew up in the Uguguayan capital and studient commercial art and graphic design there before turning full-time to painting and fine art. Iturria traces his family roots to the Basque region of Spain; during the 1980s, he and his family spent several years living in a town on the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona, but inevitably he returned to his homeland.
Over the years, Iturria's art has dramatically evolved from the playful drawings of his earliest years as an artist to his spare, bleached-out images from his period in Spain. Since that time, the artist has developed his mature style, with its strong, personal vocabulary of earthy colors and dreamy-whimsical, memory-provoking, history-laden characters who have become the hallmarks of his deeply poetic and humanistic art.
Iturria has exhibited his work throughout South America and Central America, in the United States and Canada, in Europ and Japan. In 1995, he won a major aquisition prize at the Venice Biennale. In recent years, in addition to regular solo and group shows at Praxis Internation Art's galleries in New York and South America, and at major international art fairs, Iturria'swork has been featured in solo exhibition at the Sixth Havana Biennial; the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota, Colombia; the Museum of the Americas in San Juan, Peurto Rico; Plug-in, an arts center in Winnipeg, Canada; the North Dakota Museum of Art; and other museums.
Major exhibitions of Iturra's work, which will include paintings, sculptures and mixed-media constructions, art scheduled for 1998 at the Rufino Tamayo Museum in Mexico city and at the Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The artist lives with his wife and children in a suburb of Montivideo, where he also maintains his studio."
-"About the Artist" in Ignacio Iturria: the First Etchings, published by Praxis International Art, New York City, to accompany the exhibition "Ignacio Iturria: The First Etchings," November 20 - December 27, 1997. Born in Montevideo in 1949, the son of a Basque immigrant, he took Drawing for Advertising courses and soon began to paint, obtaining several awards in his country. Right after his marriage in 1977, he and his wife moved to Spain. They settled in Cadaqués, a small iconic artists' town on the Mediterranean coast, not too far from Barcelona where he worked with Ramon Aguilar Moré. There he aspired to "appease his expression, to clarify his palette, to transform the line drawing paint ..." as he confessed.
In 1984 he returned to Uruguay and held very succesful exhibitions in Punta del Este and later in Buenos Aires and in the next two years in several Latin American cities.
In 1988 he is one of 15 artists selected by the Fund for Artists Colonies of New York, to participate of a Residence in an Artists' Colony. This gave him the opportunity of spending three months in the U.S. living with artists from different countries. Since then, he starts planning his dream projects: an Artists' Colony in Uruguay.
In 1994 he wins the Grand Prize of the IV International Painting Biennial of Cuenca, Ecuador.
In 1995 wins the special award "Casa di Risparmio" in the Venice Biennale.
In 2002, still motivated by the experience in the Artists' Colony, Iturria decides to open a School of Arts: "Casablanca, art in action". With the important collaboration of his brother in law, Nestor Pinon --who runs the school--, and his son Nacho in the field of music, they begin a adventure that continues to grow to this day. The idea here is to interrelate the various artistic disciplines: painting, music, dance, theater, literature, photography, audiovisual, a sort of a cross-pollination of the arts.
In 2004, he was invited to Guatemala to partake as a juror in the XIV Bienal de Arte Paiz of that country. He decides to stay for a long season working in the Salvadoran jungle, where he creates a small community of artists: the group "Coatepeque".
In April 2006 he settled back in Cadaqués, Spain. He spends three years there, painting in a huge workshop where he receives continuous visits from students and friends who stay and paint with him, under his mentorship.
In 2011 he creates the "Ignacio Iturria Foundation", its primary objective being the promotion of emerging artists' career development, making his Artists' Colony dream come true in Rosario, Colonia, Uruguay. -Ignacio Itturia's website, http://iturria.com.uy/