Ignacio Iturria (1949)

Considered one of the greatest painters of his generation, Ignacio Iturria is not easily classified. New York Times writer Ken Johnson characterized him as akin to a blend of “equal parts... Dubuffet, Giacometti, Guston, Kiefer, and Red Grooms.”

Born in Montevideo, Iturria grew up on the Río de la Plata. His work reflects this connection, often featuring the earthy, muddy tones of the river’s merging with the Atlantic Ocean. In 1977, he traveled to the Mediterranean coast of Spain for a time, where he came into contact with the vivid colors and lifestyle of the Spanish. There, he says, he “calmed his expressionism, clarified his palette, and transformed linear drawing into painting.”

In 1984, Iturria returned to Uruguay, and in 1988, was selected to be one of 15 artists to participate in a colony of artists in New York, where he would spend three months. In the 1990’s he won a number of prizes for his work, including the Grand Prize at the 4th International Biennial in Cuenca, Ecuador in 1994 and the “Cassa di Risparmio” Prize in the Venice Biennial in 1995. In 2002, with the help of his brother in law and his son, he opened a school designed to integrate all the arts, including painting, dance, theatre, and literature.

Iturria explores the meaning of the objects around him and themes associated with childhood memories and events, helping us to understand the human condition. Museum director Laurel Reuter called this journey a “tracing [of] the maps of the territory of human life through the intimate confines of the home.” Known for his sculptural qualities and miniature characters, Iturria’s work can be found in major collections throughout the Americas.