Iñigo Manterola has entered into the year 2019 through the big door; more specifically, through the big door of his new studio, which he has just inaugurated. Said facility, which is located in Zarautz, includes a workshop where the artist will create his work from now on. Likewise, it has an exhibition space aimed at collectors who want to get to know his work in more detail. Manterola needed a warehouse of monumental dimensions to comfortably work with the large-scale sculptures made with weathering steel that have brought him fame around half the world. This space is complementary to the gallery that the artist has in the center of San Sebastian, where he permanently puts paintings and sculptures of a small and medium size on display.
Over the last few years, he has had a great presence on the international scene through two major exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates and Mexico, as well as with the installation of several large-scale sculptures for private individuals and institutions in Germany and Japan.
This link with collectors and companies from other countries is greatly due to his continued presence in luxury hotels. His work is on display at the Hotel Villa Soro of San Sebastian and at Villa Magalean of Hondarribia. He has also exhibited his work several times at the María Cristina Hotel of San Sebastian and at the Château de Brindos of Biarritz.
Those who are most familiar with his work have seen a progression therein, a logical continuity that has led to the creative lines that characterize his paintings and sculptures. The origin of all this lies in his childhood: when he was a child, Manterola spent hours watching the inshore fishermen and soon began to paint that reality that surrounded him. It became his obsession to capture the movement of the sailors, the rocking of the boats, and the efforts of the fishermen to take the food to the port. After years of working with figuration, he soon introduced an abstract touch into one of his paintings: it was a line that represented the movement of a crew member. The artist didn’t take long to fully let go of the figurative world surrounding that abstract line – a line which, from that point on, was to become his great protagonist. This inevitably makes us remember Wassily Kandinsky in his famous Point and Line To Plane and the relevance that these forms acquire for the Russian painter.
The devious line of Manterola began as a scribble on a canvas and gave way to sculptural painting: a movement that attempted to get out of the realm of the painting through the use of a body made of rope. Finally, the line became fully liberated from the canvas that was holding it and materialized as an independent piece. That sway towards sculpture has been the central theme of his career over the last few years. He has captured movement with different materials (weathering steel, rope, iron, and resin) and in different sizes: from pieces that measure just a few centimeters to others measuring up to 4.5 meters in height.
After years respecting the color of the materials he used for his sculptures, the latest trend of the artist in terms of his professional evolution has been to add color; but not any color – the palette that accompanies the fishermen in their daily lives: eternal blue, the red of the boats, and –mainly– the characteristic yellow of the sailors’ raincoats. The images that Manterola so vividly recalls from his hometown have once again influenced his latest collection, thus closing a new cycle. That faithfulness to his memory is what provides his magnificent work with its exceptional quality.
Plaza Zaragoza 3, Bajo, San Sebastián.
Tel.: +34 617 332 813