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Ugarte Zubiarrain, Ricardo

A sculptor, painter, engraver, photographer and writer who belongs to the Basque School of Sculpture alongside Jorge Oteiza, Eduardo Chillida, Néstor Basterretxea and Remigio Mendiburu. Born in Pasajes (Gipuzkoa) in 1942, he is now one of the biggest names in modern-day Basque sculpture. He was trained at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in Valencia and started to forge a relevant position for himself within Basque art towards the end of the 1960s. He held his first individual exhibition in 1967 in San Sebastián’s Galería Barandiarán. In 1969, he won first prize in San Sebastián’s International Biennial of Sculpture for “La estela”. In 1974, he held another exhibition in San Sebastián, this time in the San Telmo Museum, and had his first exhibition in Pamplona in 1979 in the Art Pavilions in the Citadel. In 1982, he won the “Gure Artea” First Prize for Sculpture sponsored by the Basque Government and followed that with the “Villa de Madrid” National Prize for Sculpture in 1986. He has worked a great deal in the realm of public sculpture, with almost two dozen works in the Basque Country, as well as pieces in other cities such as Murcia, Tenerife, Granada, Madrid, Oviedo, etc. He is an artist who is greatly concerned about how his sculptures fit in with their surroundings, always going to great lengths to choose locations for them.

Ricardo Ugarte has mainly worked with metal and particularly iron and steel, his technical knowledge of which is great. His sculpture experiments with the abstract and Ugarte is known for the great intellectual rigor that marks his work, evident in the development of his “series”, in which his initial notions are taken to their very limits. Such development can be observed in the series “Estelas”, “Noray”, “Distorsiones”, “Huecos habitables”, “Monolitos”, etc. There are works by Ugarte in the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Vitoria, San Telmo in San Sebastián, Jovellanos in Gijón, etc. His literary work, which from the very outset never took second place to his ventures in the visual arts and sculpture, is also worthy of note. He wrote both essays and poetry. The magazines “Kurpil” (which he co-founded) and “Kantil” are good examples of this side of the artist. In 1970, he won the City of Irún Essay Prize for “Collage número Uno”.

JMMS

Sources:

«Ugarte», Catálogo de exposición en Pabellones de Arte de la Ciudadela. Pamplona, CAMP, 1979. MARTÍN CRUZ, S., «Ricardo Ugarte», Diario de Navarra, 21 de Abril 1979. VVAA, «Ricardo Ugarte», Los Vascos. Tomo IV, San Sebastián, Lur, 1989. ALVAREZ MARTINEZ, MªS., «Basterretxea y Ugarte en la escultura vasca de vanguardia», Boletín de la Real Sociedad Vascongada de Amigos del País. Tomo 48 (II-IV). 1992. ÁLVAREZ, S., «Ugarte», Catálogo de la exposición celebrada en el Museo Piñolé. Gijón, 1994. OCHOA, J., «Ricardo Ugarte», en Catálogo de Exposición en Sala de Cultura Carlos III. Pamplona, UPNA, 1999. SANZ, P., «Una proa en la UPNA», Diario de Navarra, 12 de Junio 1999. «Ugarte presenta en Pamplona su escultura para la Universidad Pública de Navarra», El Diario Vasco, 12 de Junio 1999. URQUIJO, J., «El escultor de arquitecturas, Ricardo Ugarte revisa el conjunto de su obra en Pamplona», El Mundo, 20 de Junio 1999. P. S., «La Proa de la poesía arribó al campus de la UPNA», Diario de Navarra, 21 de Septiembre 1999. MARTÍNEZ, L., «Ricardo Ugarte dona la escultura, la proa de la poesía a la UPNA», Diario de Noticias, 21 de Septiembre 1999. KORTADI, E., «Ugarte, de hierro y papel», Catálogo exposición en Tolosa (del 14-12-2001 al 12-01-2002) y Pamplona (del 25-01-2002 al 24-02-2002).