Roots of the sky

This present sculpture, created in steel by the renowned Basque artist, Ricardo Ugarte, comprises a vertical column, stemming from which are a series of cubes linked together in different positions, in a abstract geometric composition. The work is mounted on a simple plate, anchored to the ground. The sculpture shows a clear sense of verticality, as it emerges from the ground and ascends upwards. The vertical column is made up of an irregular series of metal shapes and spaces, with fanciful forms that play with the metal. Stemming out from the top of the column are a number of incomplete cubes, resembling the branches of a tree. The sculptural work of Ricardo Ugarte, always loaded with symbolism, takes on a geometrizing vision of the object portrayed. This artist plays with the spaces created in the sculpture itself and which, in turn, open outwards. When creating outdoor sculptures, Ugarte pays considerable attention to those factors which are external to the actual material and formal structure of the work, such as light, the surrounding atmosphere and colours, aspects which unquestionably affect the aesthetic qualities of the work in one way or another. The sculpture installed in the Citadel was created during the stage in which Ugarte was explicitly centred on the world of dynamic plant forms. In just a few months, Ugarte had progressed from «heavy forms» to «flying forms» which are precisely called «sculptures of iron and wind». The most characteristic feature of this author is his distancing from the image and his ongoing use of iron as an irreplaceable tool for his artistic xpression. In 1979, within the framework of his exhibition at the Citadel, Ugarte installed this sculpture in the gardens there. The work entitled Roots of the Sky has remained in the park ever since.

José María Muruzabal