Las Maderas de Julio Alpuy / Alpuy's woodwork: Maderas de los años 60

26 August - 30 October 2022

“Los relieves realizados entre 1962 y 1969 fue una época de oro dentro de su trayectoria y esas obras sobresalen entre lo más destacado de su producción”

Alicia Haber

The woodwork by Julio Alpuy (1919-2009) carried out in the 1960s arose from Alpuy's search for a new language to express his ideas, and the change of material was fundamental in finding that new path. After a stay at Fonseca's house in East Hampton, which gave him a change of environment from New York, Alpuy adopted wood as a new expressive medium and decided to dedicate himself to relief. There was also a change in the theme, abandoning the urban and putting the emphasis on the natural.


As medium he used woods that had their own history. He collected them from the street or from deposits to later work them with incisions, thus creating powerful reliefs.

Alpuy developed a powerful language which accentuated the irregularity of the edges and the depths of concavities and convexities. His work thesaurused the rough, rugged and rustic, with deep discontinuous cuts, testimony to the harsh task of digging, carving and making holes or putting shapes in the cavities.


Alpuy's woods materialize as the discovery of that "thread of tradition lost at some point in history" that Torres García sought so much. These works formulate an aesthetic that triggers metaphysical and meta-archaeological trances.

The magical value of the symbol, freed from the grid, is activated in organic contours. The wood, testimonial body of esoteric pulse, recovers the forms of the ritual. Roughing and cracks reveal the primacy of the archaic. The relationship of the human being with nature. The fertile and mother land, authentic archive of ancestral memory. These tables configure small altars that commemorate the primitive and recover the sense of the gregarious.


With the wooden reliefs, Julio Alpuy inserts himself into the history of modern western relief that begins with Joseph Hoffman in 1902 and develops from 1912 onwards by artists such as Picasso, Archipenko, Tatlin, Arp or Torres García.