Ignacio Ipiña


Pintando en el estudio (1999)

Ignacio Ipiña (1932-2010)

Attorney, counsel for the Bank of Bilbao, Deputy of the Board Council of Gernika, vice-minister of Public works, Transport and Urban planning of the Basque Government, writer and, primarily, a painter.
Born in Bilbao, in Calle García Rivero. Soon he moved with his family to the Calle Pelota in the Casco Viejo of Bilbao, where he lived his childhood of war and postwar, between its streets, near the estuary.
In 1946, at age fourteen, he had his first experience with oil, painting landscapes in Orduña, where he spent the holidays with family, his parents and three brothers. Draws attention to the painter Baysala, who will allow him to accompany him in his outputs to paint and from whom will acquire bases and knowledge to use the tools of the painter. The first pictures of a certain format (70×50) painted at the age of sixteen, and denotes knowledge and training in the composition of landscapes.
During his law studies, he began painting in the mines of San Luis, in Bilbao, and in the mining districts around. The momentum of his youth and a nascent but strong social conscience led him to leave the quiet of the countryside of Orduna and Délica and choose the strength in expression and color. He begins his interpretation of the landscape by way of expressionism.
Near the end of his law studies, in the 19 mid-50s-60s,, he embarks on a quixotic adventure that today is incredible and will mark his life. With three companions remains hidden a young Carlos Hugo de Borbon for seven months in Calle Iturribide in Bilbao, to know the customs of the people and adapt his training as a democratic alternative to Franco, until they organize the presentation and flight of Montejurra Mountain. He left this story collected in his book: “Sun in the hills. The hidden forging of Carlos Hugo “. During these years, parallel to the clandestine activities, contact in Estella with Retana, the painter, who will join a lasting friendship and who will share many exits to paint by countryside of Estella. No longer draws, volumes are built on powerful stain colours, pictures are fast and natural with thick brushstrokes, full of paint.
On February 11, 1964 he married Blanca Sarasua, who will prove to be a recognized and award-winning poet, among others, winner in 2008 of the nineteenth edition of the International Poetry San Juan de la Cruz.

En el bosque con Agustín Ibarrola y Blanca Sarasua (1982)En el bosque con Agustín Ibarrola y Blanca Sarasua (1982)

In the early years of the 70s refocuses attention on the Bilbao of the miners, alternating the subject, as if it were a necessary break, with the scenery of Urdaibai, their villages, its old shipyards, the remains of the oyster farms, its beaches, now placid and sleepy landscapes and soon surprised by the darkest storms. In 1977, in Huesca, exhibits paintings of Aragonese landscape and Basque marine, and in 1979 in Perpignan, pays tribute to Antonio Machado being profiled in his painting.
With the end of the dictatorship, he becomes part of the PSE and he serves as deputy spokesman leasehold Socialist group at General Meetings and later as vice-minister of the Basque government. In general meetings participated in the attempt to bring the Gernika of Picasso to Euskadi organizing an international architectural competition to create the right space. In the early 80s he participates in editions of Arteder’81 and Arteder’83 and in 1984 participated in a group exhibition at the Salon des Nations in Paris. Subsequently he decides to interrupt the exhibiting activity not the pictorial, as incompatible with the policy.
A few years back, in 1977, with the support and complicity of a friend they get into Altos Hornos de Vizcaya and prepared, with annotations that he takes and a few photographs, one of the pictorial series which will be most announced. He painted corners to which no painter could reach, like the Silo of Limonite, the restorative of “torpedoes”, stores mineral, the sintering, the decanter … to which added industrial landscape exteriors and a specific set of working class districts generated around the industry. This work will extend over the entire decade of the 80s and early 90s.
From 1998 he restates his work. Exhibits at Sestao, Madrid and Bilbao, in the gallery Caledonia. At the end of the century, he concludes his series on the “uptowns” the miners districts of Bilbao and display in La Bilbaina as an act of that Society in commemoration of the 700th anniversary of the founding of the town.

Jurado Proyecto Museo Picasso (1980)Jurado Proyecto Museo Picasso (1980)

At the beginning of the new century, landscapes of Urdaibai with the series “Voices on water” and the valley of Oma, “Oma, green silence” in Caledonia Galery of Bilbao are exhibited. Subsequently, begins a new series that follows in the footsteps of Unamuno, from the Casco Viejo of Bilbao to Salamanca, the streets that he walked and the landscapes that most captivated him. Over the years dedicated to the theme of Unamuno, he starts to have different health problems, surgeries and postoperative, which make the act of painting a true test of endurance. The series “Traces of Unamuno” ends in 2009. After that work, he decides to paint some pictures about Orduña from the vision of the first oil and the memory of those landscapes where he began his artistic career, consciously closing a circle . In January 2010 he was admitted to hospital and died four months later.
At the end of 2011 and spring of 2012, the family of Ignacio Ipiña exhibits his latest pictorial series, “Traces of Unamuno”, in Bilbao and Salamanca.
Ignacio Ipiña painted hard and honestly. According he said: “There are pictures that urge me to paint with clenched fists, and other instead letting slip the sun setting”. He was a man of his time who reached into the air of the countryside footprints of man. Rarely appear in his paintings human figures however, something indicates that they are there, in the atmosphere of the painting, humanizing the landscape. It is the trace remained of the history of man what his brushes pursued.