Agirre Arriaga, Imanol

Imanol Agirre, born in 1956, is qualified as a Primary School Teacher and has a Degree in Philosophy from the University of the Basque Country, with a Doctorate in Philosophy of Values and Social Anthropology from the aforementioned university, after defending his thesis entitled “Spatial metaphors of Basque imagery”. An anthropological exemplification of space as a narrative for Basque modern art. After fifteen years as a primary and secondary school teacher in schools in San Sebastian and Pamplona, in 1993 he joined the Public University of Navarra as an associate professor and then went on to form part of the teaching bodies of this Navarra university in 1998. He is currently a tenured professor of the Didactics of Plastic Expression and Director of the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy.

Furthermore, professor Imanol Aguirre has held a number of individual and group sculpture exhibitions and has been part of, or is member of the Board of Trustees of the San Telmo Museum, the «Escuela-Taller de Aia» workshop, and the Editorial boards of the Bitarte and Hik-Hasi magazines. Likewise, he was the Curator of two exhibitions on «Ibarrola 1948-1991» and «Arte 80» held at the San Telmo Museum, San Sebastian. He is also the author of a number of books and countless articles on artistic and educational topics. His artistic work, within the field of sculpture, was undertaken at the Aia Workshop, created in 1977 and located in the municipality of Aia in Guipúzcoa. The workshop was established for the purpose of using the arts to revive and disseminate Basque culture to the Basque community. Its existential idea was to offset the restrictive and minority access to artistic works caused by a lack of infrastructures and places where plastic art expression could be developed. Its organisers were Reinaldo López and Xabier Laka, and their aim was to create a place for training and artwork in stone, an important material in Basque culture. This initial group progressively increased to include new sculptors: Imanol Agirre (who became a member in 1979), Joxe Ezenarro and others. The workshop currently comprises a number of artists, such as Miguel Etxeberria, Amaia Zinkunegi, Jesús Sarasua, Ander Hormazuri, and others. The workshop has held numerous exhibitions. In 1981, the artists exhibited at the San Telmo Museum in San Sebastian, with an extensive collection of 120 sculptures. In 1983 they held an exhibition at the Pabellones de Mixtos in the Citadel of Pamplona, where a sculpture created by Imanol Agirre is still on show today. In 1985 they held an exhibition in Vitoria. Their most representative works were made in stone, with the idea of preserving stonework as an important tradition in the Basque Country and which was in decline at the time when the Aia workshop was founded.


Sources of information:

VVAA, Taller de Aya, Catálogo de la exposición en los Pabellones de la Ciudadela de Pamplona, CAMP, 1983.

MUEZ, M., «El taller de Aia en la Ciudadela de Pamplona», Deia, 8 de Septiembre 1983.

IRABURU, I., «El taller de Aia», Diario de Navarra, 3 de Septiembre 1983.

MANTEROLA, I y RODRÍGUEZ VALLE, E., «El taller de Aia», Cuadernos Ondare de Artes Plásticas y Monumentales nº 7. 1989.