José María Guijarro
José María Guijarro is a conceptual artist who mainly uses language, linguistic conventions, and their transposition to mathematics, as well as manipulating found objects and materials. His educational background is in philosophy rather than the fine arts. In 1979 he graduated from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Madrid, and for three years he worked as a philosophy teacher. In 1982 he gave up teaching and took part in a number of workshops at the Círculo de Bellas Artes. From 1987 to 1990 he lived in Cologne (Germany), where he participated in seminars at the Volkshochschule Forum (‘Just Mad, Just a Philosopher: Reflections on the Figure of the Artist-Philosopher Nietzsche’, ‘Les Lumières: The Enlightenment Staged As a Representation of Revolution – A Kantian Use of the French Revolution’, ‘Illustration: Light and Shadow in the Work of Goya’, and ‘On the Cliché “A Text/Artwork Is Beyond the Author/Artist”’). It was in Cologne that he produced his first sculptures, which he described as ‘spatial transcriptions on found materials, with the rhythm of a hexameter by Virgil, a stanza by Quevedo, a sentence from a letter’. In 1991 he had his first solo exhibition at the Galería Fúcares in Almagro. His work was presented in a number of significant group shows associated with the broadening of the Spanish panorama in the early 1990s, and in 1994 he received a grant from Banesto. He has had a total of fifteen solo exhibitions and participated in over twenty group shows. The most important of these, held in 2010 at the Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos (CAB), featured a number of simple rush chairs as the significant found element. His most recent exhibition, Agua salobre, held at his Madrid gallery in 2011, presented drawings and sculptures of the human body, as well as works produced in collaboration with Soo-Jin Yim Heil and her husband Heinrich Heil. The ”la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art holds a number of important pieces produced by the artist in the last decade of the twentieth century and the early 2000s: a unique ‘model’ of Marilyn Monroe in the form of a sculpture whose title consists of her measurements— 87, 52 y 83 (1990), two sculptures in metal and wood, Untitled (1992) and Untitled (2003), a photograph from 1995, and an important work on paper executed in 1999.