Frutos María He was born in Hontoria de Valdearados (Burgos) in 1959. Son of agriculturists, he made his first studies in his hometown, where he spent his childhood. He has many creative concerns since his youth; he built his own toys and started making crafts. At 12 and 13 years old, he was selling his first paintings and decorative items. His passion for tools and mechanics leads him to study industrial masters where he starts creating sculptural pieces made of iron. However, he sets aside this creative work to be a car mechanic and work in car and motorbike restoration. Given his eagerness, his good vision for business and adventurous spirit, he tries to travel and work out of Spain, even in Arab sultanates, but he has many problems to go because of his young age. So he decides to become an entrepreneur, he devotes himself to businesses of purchase and sale of cars in Aranda de Duero (Burgos). Later, he moves to Alicante in 1985 where he combines his work as entrepreneur with art. There he finds more opportunities to introduce himself in art and he meets his great friend and expert Juan Guardiola, architect and plastic artist and great expert of art with huge artistic level. He encourages him and they share creative works in sculptures and paintings and he introduces him in this field. Nowadays, he combines his businesses with art while enjoying everyday more creativity. Art reviewers and friends encourage him to exhibit his work, but he is more interested in creating than in exposing.
Gracia 66 Frutos Maria is a self-taught artist who has a long history, which has long evolved into abstraction, where he feels freer. His current artistic proposal focuses mainly on the sculptural practice that deals with iron and steel.
His work is inseparable from his person and therefore speaks for himself, his character and his personality. Frutos is a person who has made himself, simple, entrepeneur, industrious and connected to his origins. All this is reflected both in the creative process and the realization of his artistic work. His intellectual curiosity is intimatelly related to his desire to know and learn. which leads him to be a regular visitor to exhibitions, museums and abstract art fairs. Frutos intellect is enhaced by numerous catalogs and art books of all kinds and more specifically those related to the proposals related at all times. His curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit are manifested in the continuous experimentation of his sculptures which translate into a large diversity, hampering their classification and in somehow, they encompass the influences of his work. Steel is one of the materials most used in his sculptures including cut steel, both for its visual texture and color it brings to us to past times and, manual work related to iron and work tools from the earth. This somehow evokes its origins and attachment to them. His desire to excel and work capacity are manifested in his artistic development, learning and mastering the different techniques necessary for the completion and finishing of his sculptures, given that his main activity is not directly related to art. In general, his works are in different formats (making them suitable and appropriate for indoor exposure) and high visual impact, both because of the materials they are made of as shown by the concentration of masses of his works. His compositions are very heterogeneous, in terms of the formal elements, and follow a creative process based primarily on intuition, continuous experimentation and the choice between the various combinations to provide different relative positions and set the items of composing his works. In his sculptures of steel we can consider three main ways of treating and processing this material. We can differentiate a series of two-dimensional works that follow a carefully design first on paper and then it is materialized on cut sheets, sometimes with holes and connected to each other, via different geometric shapes: circles, rectangles and triangles. 67 Other works are based on parallelepiped parts that generate very compact and suggestive compositions. Other work show a much freer trend blends with bars, various pieces, cuts and other elements found in steel, sometimes mixed with other materials, creating compositions with different types and formal classification. In short, we can conclude that Frutos´work are very intriguing from the artistic point of view.
In this context we must place the sculptor Maria Frutos’s artwork (Hontoria de Valdearados. Burgos, 1959), stayed in the city of Alicante since 1985, where he had the support and guidance of the architect and artist Juan Guardiola Gaya. Some stayed and trips to the País Vasco enabled him the knowledge to artists like Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza.
He admires them ability to convert in art some materials associated only to the technology work, practically since the Iron Age. As they have become the hardness of the iron and the solid bar suitable plastic material for them proposals, establishing dialogue enters the form and space of great personality and creativity to get extract from an extremely inhospitable and heavy material a series of possibilities that allow you to express your personal approaches.
This interest has been reinforced iron and enriched with your hobby and professional dedication over a number of years the world of mechanics. In this sense, Frutos María is a man of his time working with materials that are largely the raw material of our civilization developed. All these experiences begin to materialize in 1974, when his first works still appear small format. However, the jump to larger formats and a much stronger commitment occurs in 1985, when it finally settles in Alicante. In this city of adoption it has developed over the past 30 years, most of his work and has managed to establish a "workshop" in his own home where it has the most appropriate and specialized tools to carry out their work in the and the number currently reaches more than 300 works.
Technology is a key to calibrate your job well chapter. The bar or the iron sheet are cut with different procedures as oxiforte, laser or water jet. Linking the different parts with welding wire, electrodes machine or the tig machine, depending on the thickness, material characteristics and the results to be obtained. It has also resorted to more traditional techniques such as molded forge and anvil and hammer. The polishing process with full radial exquisite finishes that conceal seams and irregularities until a work great elegance and precision like a gear. Finally elaborately care surfaces so as to tackle strength over time, weathering or deterioration. Apply acids for oxidations, bathrooms to stop this process at the point that interests you, various waxes and temperature to achieve finishes of great delicacy, patinated perfection and durability.
He works within the geometry with a very clear option for abstraction, as always has been attracted "by geometric elements of great simplicity." It has also been intensely interested in the informal matérica painting roots and indeed his studio houses a large number of works of dense and delicious fillings. Somehow geometry and 107 informalismo are two ways of seeing and expressing the world, always from the screen of abstraction, and constitute a complementary relationship between ethos and pathos opposite. Its main objective in the field of three-dimensional, is to design sets of formal balance, empty space.where dialogue with the artistic field. Sometimes uses serialization effects or evokes images that come from architecture or of his own invention, or perceptual experience. However, his works fleeing from an ortogónico, cold and cartesian space, and seek a dynamic harmony that appraise the harmonic dialectic of plans and line segments that make up each proposal. His curiosity and investigative spirit is such that hardly we see a repetition of expressive codes.
On the contrary each work within their personal style, is a new "adventure" a different "challenge" that transcends above and seeks innovation. In a recent interview at his home studio he told me, "When I have a clear work in my mind, I need to get into another to continue imagining and creating new universes." He has worked primarily in three directions; two-dimensional works in cut sheet, with geometric shapes inside through which the viewer can transir your skin and observe the thousand and one shades of shadows cast on the wall depending on the angle of light they receive. Works made of metal, usually solid bar, where the goal is the concatenation of the various line segments to the search for formal harmonies visually rich, dynamic and daring (sometimes loosely) balances, where the viewer is invited to surround them with your look to capture and assimilate all the wealth offered by different views and cross-linking of its elements that provides continuous metamorphosis.
Finally the metal plate allows real exercises "Origami" folding and cutting fragments its surface until voids interleaved with planes that evoke the idea Jorge Oteiza on the evacuation of the space, which in turn connects to the theories Russian constructivists, who understood the work of art as a process of "elimination" material in the line of traditional sculpture but as a process of "construction" based plans, to finally get a balancing act between limits and related fields and dialoguing with each other from polyhedral structures. In short we have a solid, exquisite work, born of his desire to show their own reality with an abstract view, which dispenses with the detail to make the shape and space their main constituent elements.
As time passes Frutos Maria envolves through his sculpture towards principles based on abstract design. Abstraction is not considered as lack of arguments about reality, but as research of space that surround us.
Since his arrival in Alicante the host city Frutos sculpture has been consolided through structures dependent on the precise shapes and on the sculpture subordinated its geometry. Since its inception, while in school workshop in Aranda de Duero, he began to shape cubic volumes of steel molding them just with slight plates as a way to transgress but also investigate from his understanding that pure volume.
Currently Frutos explores the subtle play when dealing with the volumes and space, with the use of different materials and their corresponding meanings and shapes for each of the materials: weathering steel, wood and concrete. His experiences has helped him to dimensionalize and size his sculptures. An analysis of the emptiness but from the conception of the block, hollow volumes treated and outgoing where the polyhedral shape is dominant. Its polished surface gives life to sculpture in which the textural values, in terms of color variations, are another attraction in this search between the precise forms. Always appreciating the nature of the cement, creating drawings and surface waters.
Frutos artwork and sculpture is based on an idea of how the Chillida flavors outcrop based on Oteiza´s work, one of great sapanish sculpture of the twentieth century envolving research that does not end. It is in this form in which the sculpture is debated and discussed as an essential human problem: the vision of space transforming its most elementary forms into solutions to analyze ourselves and to further understand the world.
Another path in the contemporary sculpture, is painting, but this takes another direction. A painting in which the contrast of textures and materials, including polyester resins, sand, rusted iron, old wood, give preference to the world of surfaces, where the routine plastic elements establish formal talks about old memories about plasticity its objects. As a sculptor his picturesque condition allows him to play with the volume of some parts, inviting the audience participation. A painting sometimes is essentially a combination between the different textures and color, surfaces and forms, sometimes random ones that are the product of the blending or appropriation in any case, and that depend on the visual sensations that the artist materials will transmit to the artist.
Professionalism and self-education may seem contradictory terms but need not, as in almost everything depends on each situation. In a contemporary, multidisciplinary and heterogeneous reality, we find one of the most consistent positions that have always taken place in the artist’s career, training and the need to develop a work in which the artist’s interests converge.
In the public schools, as in any other training institution depends on the contents, concepts and techniques, sensitivity or reception capacity to develop artistic research or just fall under an empty dynamic content. Sometimes, the environment of fellow students is one of the greatest stimulus to investigate novel artistics ways. German or American universities the artist devotes an important role in workshops and conferences. This direct experience in the Spanish School of Fine Arts is not the norm, being self-education an essential part in the formation of our artists, each traveling or seeking information and experiences that really has to do with each artist.
The exhibition of sculpture that we see in the Club lounge INFORMATION, Maria de Frutos, we find an executor of forms on a hard and difficult material to handles iron. With it the artist builds an exercise in ways ranging from the exaltation of its physical structure to compliment geometry, based in the Basque school of contemporary sculpture, Oteiza and Chillida, basically. It is impossible without a thorough understanding of the work methods that one can make a coherent work whit this material. The excess weight of the iron and the obvious difficulty of processing its makes almost an unfeasible treatment for those who do not know how to master their difficulties. Frutos´ need for expression is not born of mere hobby or academic artistic training but his experience comes from the vocational school in engineering workshops, where he was to perform complex exercises, with an accuracy in measuring cubic structures of iron. His professionalism is based on the decision to build parts of a well-known with clear insight to let the mind wander between shapes and volumes in space, knowing that sometimes this fierce self-teaching process can accumulate experiences and findings, and raise the existence other worlds, using forms of abstraction.
He has recently finished in the house museum Barbera Villajoyosa in the province of Alicante, "Hatching Form VI," an exhibition of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of great visual impact created by the artist Frutos María, who has his native place, Burgos, brought with him to Alicante, as a feature of its "modus operandi" a strong expression ', much appreciated by the public in other exhibitions.
Referring to the works exhibited in the museum house La Barbera, I preferred to use the 'two-dimensional' definitions and 'D', excluding the traditional differences between painting and sculpture, because both expressive in Frutos types have a common sign in the realization of the material of which are made, despite the diversity of its execution and occupying different times in the career of Frutos.
In fact, the artist began his career as a sculptor and later, in the last years, it approaches the two-dimensionality, with successful results relies on plastic research. In both techniques is implied the same pleasure to present the material reality, achieved or obtained through tridimensionalidad: with a strong and bright overview having to use hard materials such as iron and steel complexes such as wood, or completely to discover, such as concrete. Different is the material reality exhibited in the two-dimensional works, which require in Frutos great efforts, if not a great fantasy and sensitivity, combined with a careful study of the chosen materials: such as sand, resin, natural pigment selected on the pursued base end chromatic effect.
Apropos of this miracle represented by artistic creation, comes up one anecdote of the great artist of Italian Futurism, comparable to Balla and Boccioni is Fortunato Depero, which reacting to complaints from his wife because they had no children, he replied: "our children are my works ...". Thus following the comparison, if we take as reference the fruit itself, and their creations happen to their three-dimensional works would be violent and rebellious children, two-dimensional: creative and shifty children How much firmness and patience to educate the first! How much sensitivity and fantasy for seconds! Referring to these two productions, he said, with great intuition, in the introductory text sample Villajoyosa, Pasqual Patuel, a professor at the University of Valencia, which Frutos captures the link between these two creative moments and trace a description details of both procedures, which describe the successive stages in matters dealing differently. Procedures only in very distant appearance, as the titles: "picture" and "sculpture" might do understand. In the Contemporary Art Space Barbera, former property of the rich Aragonese family, that the City of Villajoyosa has recently restructured and dedicated to contemporary art, you can admire about thirty creations of the artist.
Within the two-dimensional works include the very recent "Villages" with a mixed technique of resin and pigment on wood 2015, and also other less recent work, 2012, but equally interesting and stimulating, which is 'Moonscape', it also made with mixed technique of sand, resin and natural pigment, both with a top surface 123 square meter and characterized by accentuated relief of the matter, as well as all two-dimensional works presented in the exhibition. Among these we must remem119
ber: "Seascape" or "Green Frame" always with sand, resin and natural pigment, but also emblematic works like "Geometric analysis" dated 1987 and "geometric composition" of 2013, both made with materials from sculpture: iron, for the first, and steel for the second, equally share smaller. "Hatching Form VI" title of the exhibition, emphasizes the peculiarity and distinctive feature of the works of Fruits: research and experimentation. Inclinations or behavior that have developed in a tour stages, presented in several exhibitions including the sample of Villajoyosa, is the sixth. the result of a constant effort that has persisted since as a young technical student in Burgos, where he discovered the potential of massive iron and later warns those offered by steel and wood reaching his artistic maturity characterized by two-dimensional works . Who observes the artistic production of fruits, you will find a tenacious and constant search, although inspired by the international neoplastiscism is enriched by personal experiments, expressed in the success by approaching the geometric rigidity of the plane, the curvilinear element, learned with parallel work and Two-dimensional experiments, so close, first, to the European informalism, with all its organicism, his gestures and movements and Spanish informalism, historically early with respect to European even after the French artistic movement trends. As for this would mark "Luna" made of steel and iron in 1987, where the curvilinear element planifice interrupts and breaks the metal. Likewise the curved line focuses the most recent work "Brocal" patinated iron 2001, and the subsequent "cut forest" in iron and steel, 2011, which seems resume and modular with unexpected results emotions of another work " hugs "of 1999, where a large tribute to the history of Spanish art as Chillida is evident. Eduardo Chillida Frutos has meant a constant reference in numerous tests that measured before. Speaking of teachers, we can not forget J. Guardiola, the Alicante architect, architect of the modernity of his city, which Frutos worked as an assistant for many years and where he learned, the fact that a sculpture before be such architecture is above all: raw an idea and then a careful and laborious construction. With great awareness, self-knowledge and humility, interviewed by Martin Sanz, he said some years ago. "I seek the immediate result, I worry a job well executed with courage and feeling."
This is the greatness of enjoyin his creation that is based on the pilars of dimensional volume compedium.
Nobody can get shocked of his grade of motivation and eagerness in Frutos Maria´s work, simply because, his work emotionally motivate us, in my case even more, for the shake of knowing his professional and personal path splashed with adversities he has learned to accept and fought to overcome, to interfere in the artistic dimension of his work.
I am so pleased to meet a master of self-imposed style, honesty and gravitational balance. When observing his work, while looking at it, you observe and enjoy.
This is how to summarize a feeling tha i hope to share with you all and you will also understand.
Gregory A. L. Martinez de Riquelme
Frutos María is an established artist from alicante, born in burgos in 1959. His first exhibition was held in 2008, and he has taken part in many individual and collective displays ever since. He is both a sculptor and a painter, employing a wide range of materials such as wood, iron, stone or reinforced concrete.
precisely these materials are a vital key to this highly instinctive artistic style, with a creativity flowing from his inner depths, as they allow him to conceive and develop a certain artistic motif leading him to realise his personal and existential ideas. In general, the artistic form chosen is taken from other artists he imitates in a natural way, also aware that his personality lies mainly in the specific construction-related problems in each case and in the solutions he finds – in other words, the way, the exact steps to finish his works of art, which always stem from a general process going from matter to spirit. this exhibition of sculptures by Frutos María, produced by the university of alicante Museum and displayed in front of the museum itself, outdoors, is inspired by the Greco-roman god Janus, an ambivalent deity if ever there was one, in the sense that it alludes to beginnings and ends, to origin and fate, to life and death, to gates and paths, to heaven and earth... these are the two poles involved in the meaning of this exhibition, albeit accompanied by a major emotional factor. apparently, Frutos wants to tell us that all the doors that we go through, all the paths that we take and all the spaces that we build, whether in nature or in architecture, unavoidably lead us to shared emotion. as if we were unable to get anywhere alone, as if we needed the company or the embrace of others for our endeavours to succeed. the exhibition, curated by aramis lópez Juan and Juan a. roche cárcel, a lecturer in Sociology at this university, comprises several sections – Gates (origins), Ways (emotional process), Spaces (reflection), architectures (construction) and emotions (ending) –, which are consistent with the artist’s thinking and make up a narrative storyline. Furthermore, this series of sculptures has been placed outdoors, on a rectangular platform before the expanse of water which is in front of the Mua building and leads to the entrance, interacting with the elements in the landscape, both natural and architectural. thus, the sculpture and the landscape are inextricably interwoven, with an increase in their meanings, in the sense they make to viewers. I am certain that visitors will find this exhibition interesting, that it will make them think about and feel the paths their own lives have followed, about the role that art, a companion of existence, can play in them.
Gates, paths, spaces, architectures and emotions. Frutos María, sculptures on the university of alicante campus.Janus, the roman god of gates and architecture, of beginnings and ends, of the past and the future, seems to be responsible for many of the things in the life of Frutos María, author of the works displayed on the university of alicante campus.
This god is the motif of one of his most intuitive paintings, a large canvas in landscape format depicting two faces in profile, looking in opposite directions, and trying to move away from each other clearly convinced that they are one, that there is no future without a past.
Why is art heart-warming? there are no answers, there are artistic objects. Frutos María presents a series of objects coming from his emotions, objects he uses as an armour – there always comes a time in artists’ careers, especially at around fifty years of age, when they make an armour. all artists build that armour with the symbols and images they think could be useful to proceed with the second part of their existence.
Janus was the god providing for wars. He was in charge of protections, and his temple’s gates were always open during wartime. our turbulent existence requires an armour, like that of a warrior. Frutos María builds his armour using emotions. emotions he cannot represent with his body, but with his sculptures – sculptures in the way of an armour.
creation saves us. art saves us.being an artist is looking for salvation – the hidden space, the un known place, where nobody goes, not even your loved ones. Making, giving birth to a new object from what we think and mould, creating something which contains parts of oneself and made only by oneself – nobody else would make it the same way, nobody knows how I have made it, nobody will understand a thing, nor do I want anyone else to look at it like I do, because what I make is not for anybody, it is just for my salvation. Selfishness art is selfishness, without adding a comma to its bluntest definition, without avoiding what should be criticised.
The doors and windows of houses become eyes and mouths in people, passageways from public to private and from private to public. In Spain, we cover windows with curtains, with eyelids. and in alicante the blinds in front of doors are tongues, so we can see without being seen, so light and air – but not people or looks – can come inside, so we can talkwithout allowing others to talk. In the Muslim era, in the Iberian land, houses and people were protected against the evil eye – talismans on central pillars, surahs of the Qur’an written with saffron ink on small pieces of animal skin between walls, small farming or household items filled with power against the shayateen.1 When the romans were here, the image of Janus was placed on doors to let people in or keep them out, and he was also the guardian of the entrance to hell.
Walking does not guarantee movement, creating does. to go from one place to another we can use already trodden roads or create new ones. If you use the existing ones, you will get the same as those who trod them before. opening new paths is not a promise of a better path. Janus was the guide of immortal souls. Some of them went to hell, where they were punished, and in a few cases those souls could leave. others went back to new bodies, waited and wandered and returned to earth – others changed from mortal to god, like Janus himself, who became a god in exchange for his services to Saturn, the god who devoured his own children. Saturn, a sociated with melancholy, with black bile, driver of art and thought. Melancholy, acutely felt by many great creators.
Melancholy, necessary to turn the idea of path into the image of a path. Frutos María creates images of paths, of personal and individual transition, paths allowing him to save his soul and his body. bodies do not have a meaning, souls do. can we use Frutos María’s paths? I do, and.I also use other artists’ paths. artists point things out – if artists have a social purpose, it is that one. artists’ role is creating objects which point things out and objects which provid protection.
Spaces. according to Wittgenstein, logical space is that created by the rules of logic. and artistic space is the space created by the rules of artistic depiction. Frutos is a businessman. He is good at his job, a hard worker, someone who understands the job and knows that business and art are technique, learning and understanding, intention and chance. logic tries to find certainty, space is real or not, governed bylogic or not, a valid premise or not. Schrödinger,3 in his experiment with the box and the cat, brings logic closer to art. art as an image construction technique is, by definition, imagination. In certain cases, the coincidence of art and logic is remarkable, unusual.
Janus was summoned at the start of an important activity or a business affair. He was also the god of spatial transitions architecture. If Nature were wise, architecture would not be necessary– a sofa made by a carpenter is more comfortable than anything we can take from Nature. oscar Wilde tells us, in his The Decay of Lying, how the artificial, the artistic,4 is always better than nature. Janus is also the god of architecture, the technique able to set up comfortable spaces,better than those offered by nature. Humanity is partially defined by
progress, by the evolution from nature into the artificial, into what is made by humans for themselves. protecting our body with our body’sown resources, and creating what does not exist from intelligence so the mortal body can enjoy a longer, more pleasant existence than the one nature bestowed upon us. being human is fleeing from nature. architecture is artifice, never naturalness. creating symbolic architecture means working at a third level of creation. creating art is not working on real things or on an imitation of nature, but working and thinking about the image, about the idea conceived by the mind of something that exists, but which is not actually an object of interest – the object of interest is the idea devised by one mind based on reality. First level: nature; second level: idea; third level: creation from the idea. plato wanted no artists in his republic because they worked at this third level
– artists were dangerous for living together. architects, however, would be accepted
Art is rooted in life. It is not by copying reality that art is created, but by being an artist. and this is a fact nobody can explain. a man with a gift for architecture will make a Greek temple in Greece, a cathedral in France, and a pyramid in ancient peru. and if he wants to, he will not mind making one or the other: all he does is architecture.
And the ar- chitecture he creates will also include the unprecedented solutions he will find. thus, he must not believe that he will find art by virtue of cer- tain prevailing ideas (for it consists of that and nothing else), because by combining and measuring the elements of his work, by delving into the inherent truth of the materials, in other words, by being a workman, he will find the revelation of something wonderful.
Some people are born with unique gifts already manifest in childhood. children for whom a cardboard box is a whole universe to be explored. Kids who, with the insolence of curiosity, ruthlessly break their toys apart. little ones who can look at things as passionately as an explorer who gives himself to a map. their torches shine with the fiery blaze of childhood. this is the guiding star of Frutos María (Hontoria de Val- dearados, burgos, 1959), and I have heard him say:
«I always believe in my work, in my capacity to do what I like».
Believing in oneself and maintaining the personal commitment be- comes the basis and foundations for leading an artist’s life. Whether this endeavour starts at the beginning of life or at any other age, it mat- ters not. being an artist, building things, as pointed out by uruguayan torres García in the keynote lecture quoted above, is “the revelation of something wonderful”. I insist on this because, despite having no specific academic background, Frutos María has kept the flame of cre- ativity alive ever since he made his first toys at the age of five. creativity is more persistent than our shadow. at this exhibition you will see almost fifty pieces out of the more than three hundred created by the artist throughout forty years of (light- weight) work. He has conceived all of them, without any other help. Frutos María cannot understand creation outside the studio, which seems inevitable in these frantic times, when manual work is delegated to others. He, however, is morally committed to it - it must be under- taken if one is to master matter, the creative basis of his work. to see this, we just have to take a look at the long list of materials he uses: weathering steel, cast iron, stone, concrete, aluminium, debris... Not a trace of self-indulgence is to be found in his ongoing desire for exper- imentation. His object of interest has always been to bring fresh air to what he does, as he never conforms to the conventional conquests of what is already known. each piece brims with the effort and faith of an achievement. the syntax of his viperous and forked language is beautifully weaved with lines forming concise, silent shapes or architectural pieces able to delineate space, which is the same as limiting passage or filtering light. there is a reason why the artist, during a conversation, assimilated the order of eternal geometry along with his friend and architect Juan Guardiola Gaya. I go further. those made of concrete (Armonía I and Armonía II) could very well become majestic buildings at a much larger scale. Is this mere speculation? No. a piece is titled La casa del arquitecto (2015). another, Mi casa (2002), is a beautiful contrast of equals made of solid iron. Quite simply, both entertain the idea of a majestic construction originating from a modest sculpture. Mental note: the sublime ignores proportions. Due to his de-structured planes and his power when defining lines (straight or curved), the works by basque sculptors chillida and oteiza have become reference points for his pieces. and with good reason. the influence of oteiza’s Laboratorio de Tizas is obvious, especially in the pieces from the Spaces section, but let us be honest: is there a sculptor wishing to preview space, emptiness and its shadows who has not engaged in this wondrous game of variations and possibilities? In the right hands, trial and error with just a few pieces of chalk (the ones used for writing on school blackboards) can reach epic proportions. once the ever-so-humble gypsum is forged, it becomes something else. For dust thou art, and unto iron shalt thou return. the spell of geometry which fascinated brazilian neo-concretists back in the 1950s is also hinted at in his works. What is more, among the illustrious names who changed the course of avant-garde constructiv- ism, I highlight Waltercio caldas’s work. In both artists, their pieces, conceptually rigorous and sometimes unpretentious, give a critical view on issues such as materiality, tactility and space. Note his Elogio a la resistencia (2002), where he pursues (and hunts) these premises. but this does not matter. «an inner capacity is what encouraged me to create. I do not aim for success, but rather for good work, with courage and feeling.» these are the words of an artist who pursues his dreams. the evidence is here. the work Matrimonio is made up of two white rolling stones (brought from almería) with two iron threads going through them. both simul- taneously (and harmoniously) contract in February and expand in au- gust. It took Frutos María five years to capture the gentle caress of the eternal kiss. time is never short when you know you are creating eternity.
Artist Frutos María’s life has always been closely linked to the field of ar- chitecture and construction processes. a professional in a world where creativity is secondary to effectiveness, his career as a sculptor and painter is somewhat of a declaration of principles, but at the same time pays tribute to the craft and the physical and material elements of the work.
A key aspect in this process to connect the languages of architecture and the development of his plastic work has been his year-long part- nership with architect Juan Guardiola Gaya, who passed away ten years ago and also made a foray into pictorial and sculptural creation. Frutos himself has publicly acknowledged his bond with the catalan archi- tect’s work, settled in alicante since the late 1950s. Guardiola commis- sioned him to carry out major works, boosted his self-confidence and encouraged him to venture into the paths of creation. this assumed mentorship translated into a deep belief in the power of creation, be- yond the boundaries of disciplines. the ever-present inspiration in Frutos María’s work is imbued with Juan Guardiola’s spirit. the latter trained with Francesc Mitjans, who recruit- ed him while still a student for barcelona’s camp Nou stadium project – he would graduate with honours in the expressive use of exposed concrete. With Xavier busquets he delved into the compositional dia- logue between modern plastic art and the historical-building context, and antonio perpiñá provided him with a wealth of experience as an urban planner. this enriching journey started in Madrid’s azca complex and went on with the project which brought him to alicante, the urban planning of the first industrial area of San Juan beach. In parallel, Guardiola had received training as a plastic artist at la llotja in barcelona, where he had met antoni clavé and the painters from the Dau al Set group. this training experience translated into sporadic but brilliant works, waiting in his artistic haven at Finca capucho for the opportunity to reveal the plastic talent of this multi-faceted creator, an art brut lover and fond of assemblages made up of found objects. but he would not meet a young Frutos María until a few years later, when they struck up a professional relationship which evolved into a close partnership in key projects in the history of tourism architecture, such as benidorm’s coblanca towers and urban complexes. If we contemplate one of Guardiola’s landmark buildings, Vistamar tow- er, inspired by Gio ponti and pier luigi Nervi’s pirelli tower, we can find sculptural references which will be expressly present in Frutos María’s later works. this is the case of the lattice at the back, made in a single piece by Miguel losán, a recurring inspiration for the artist’s works. beyond specific allusions, and thanks to his training and professional bond with Guardiola, Frutos María is a model in the very current trend which links architecture’s sphere of action with the languages of art. this is a long-standing relationship, as the sphere of architecture and art have lived together in movements such as russian constructivism, expressionism, the bauhaus or De Stijl. Some other times, as a result of the tension over the limits of each discipline, the will to push their boundaries or the comparisons of their integrity and relevance, this bal- ance has been questioned, but it always comes back due to the multi- disciplinary nature of creation. over the latest years this shared flow has taken centre stage, bring- ing about a convergence process towards the revelation of the sensu- al power of space. this trend’s raison d’être lies in the emancipation movement of art, which is released from its confinement. Site-specific art is no longer an intervention category. even museum venues have somehow engaged in a new dialogue, where objects take the lead and spatial contexts are part of the work. on the other hand, architecture has broken the chains of its self-absorption and can only be understood today from the logic of places. In the same vein, Frutos María’s artistic work is born from a process linked to construction materiality and is now back, after an extensive and independent aesthetic diegesis, to a context defined by the preva- lence of architecture on the university of alicante campus. this marks an unprecedented opportunity to witness the re-encounter of form and matter with their spatial roots. Structures, surfaces, textures and colours of architecture, independent in their expression and inclination and concordant in the musical sense of composition. Frutos María’s sculptures thus reverberate like chords in this ebb and flow from a creative universe to another. taking this musical analogy one step further, we could say that the tonality of his work depends on the compositional treatment of matter, and that the key is inevitably determined by the passion and power of a spirit nurtured in the rigours of the construction craft.
The works of sculptor Frutos María are peculiar. they emit an aura equally unsettling and magnetic. their iron poetry recalls both past myth Hephaestus and present master richard Serra. It is this dichotomy, this confounding of historic and contemporary, that persists throughout María’s oeuvre. His sculptures exude a timeless quality—like creativity itself.
María maintains his artistic practice is driven by an urge to create more than to exhibit or sell works. His unstoppable and prolific creativity is evident in the expansive date range of the sculptures exhibited in “Jano. exposición de esculturas de Frutos María” (2017) at universidad de alicante (ua): 1990 to the present. they could easily span from the Iron age to the present. their scarred and rusted surfaces convey age, perhaps wisdom, as if they are relics of a past that imagined a future we have yet to achieve. Images of María’s sculptures are deceiving; out of context, they seem designed to dwarf skyscrapers. yet few exceed a single meter in height. their surprisingly diminutive stature is reminis- cent of prototypes that provide a glimpse of what’s to come. It is worth wondering whether Stonehenge began as a model made of pebbles. the artworks’ titles contribute to their mystique that rejects temporality; some are profound, others playful, and all utterly apt with startling sim- 89 JANO plicity. “Geometría” (1991) inclines toward piet Mondrian’s color-block- ing, but María’s rendition is imbued with dimensionality and warmth, its earthy surface textured in swirls. “bocacalle” (2011) expresses a sen- suality unexpected from iron—something seldom described as supple. “Movimientos” (2003) really, truly could be captured mid-movement, frozen in time. “composición geometría I” (2013), one of the few art- works not made of iron, resembles a planar and perfected interpreta- tion of rome’s colosseum. “Sonido” (2009) is at once rustic, modern, and alluring as it mesmerizes both visually and sonically. ua’s con- ceptualization of the exhibition similarly eschews temporal specificity, organizing María’s works into visceral themes evoking human process, effort, or actualization rather than chronology. It is impossible to find fault with the categories’ suggestions; take the time to meander, muse, and marvel. the quantity of sculptures included in “Jano. exposición de esculturas de Frutos María” is exceptional—especially upon realizing the selection is a mere fraction of the artist’s oeuvre. to wander among his 46 works is to experience the maze of María’s mind, a monochromatic kaleido- scope of form that refuses to be anchored to any era. In totality, the works are a shapeshifting sea of iron; individually, they are the flotsam and jetsam of human ingenuity washed ashore—as likely from the past as from the future. Who knows how long they drifted before running aground at ua. It is easy to forget the mind-bending power required to craft the lyrical curves of “abrazos I” (2005) and angular precision of “armonía vertical” (2014-15) from a material as resolute as iron. their raw sensitivity is proof of the process endured in order to reach their final forms, like laugh lines and wrinkles on a weathered face. their diverse shapes and punctuations are evidence of María’s mastery of his artistic medium and unending creativity in imagining what it might become—a creativity unbound by time as only an eternally creative artist could possess.