2000·Continual Spatial Tracing, Paintings  Geometric Art by  ILUMINADA GARCIA-TORRES Exhibition  Kensington and Chelsea College Hortensia GalleryLONDON January 2000
1998·Installation sculptures, geometry digital by ILUMINADA GARCIA-TORRES, Gasworks Studios. 2000·Kensington & Chelsea College Hortensia Gallery. LONDON 
2000· installation, Continual Spatial Tracing, geometry digital on paper  and sculptures by  ILUMINADA GARCIA-TORRESExhibition  Hortensia Art Gallery Kensington and Chelsea College, LONDON January 2000 london
1998-1999· Continual Spatial Tracingpaintings and sculptures by ILUMINADA GARCIA-TORRES ·GASWORKS STUDIOS· LONDON 
1998-99 open studio at Gasworks Studios, London. Continual Spatial Tracingpaintings, mixed media geometry and sculptures by ILUMINADA GARCIA-TORRES (1949Elx SPAIN)·London1Dec1998-1 Mar1999

1998-99 open studio at Gasworks Studios, London. Continual Spatial Tracingpaintings, mixed media geometry and sculptures by ILUMINADA GARCIA-TORRES (1949Elx SPAIN)·London1Dec1998-1 Mar1999

Art Contemporani de la Generalitat Valenciana IV

Año: 2021

Páginas: 559

Edita: Generalitat Valenciana

ISBN: 978-84-482-6622-6

Iluminada García-Torres  Elx, 1949

El hilo de Ariadna. Trazado espacial continuo. 2002 Acrílic sobre tela 180 x 180 cm

Geometric purity

María Marco


Velázquez's fascination when contemplating the sculpture of Ariadna in the Villa Medicis gardens is probably the same that Iluminada García felt when she discovered this Roman copy in the Prado museum. The "sleeping Ariadne" lies on the beach, abandoned by Theseus, reminding us of the thread that helped the Athenian prince escape from the labyrinth. The death of the minotaur and the Ariadna’s deeds did away with Minos’ reign of terror; it signalled a break with tradition and heralded a new era. Also the painting copy of this sculpture, in terms of its analysis, led to a major shift in the pictorial production of Iluminada García. Its essence and history have led her to reflect on the labyrinth, more specifically on its layout. Thus begins a path that continues to the present day based on a plastic language based on geometry, on geometric abstraction. After attending the Alicante School of Arts and Crafts, in 1965 she entered the art school known as Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Fernando where she was taught by Antonio López in her first year. In her early works, the influence of this realist painter is noteworthy, as can be seen in the painting Paisaje urbano de Madrid (Urban Landscape of Madrid; 1982). On a wide and solitary landscape rises the communications tower, which leaves the city in the background. A bench in the foreground creates a right angle to the tower. The composition highlights two shapes, the rectangle in the lower area and the cylinder that represents the tower. Along with other landscapes of this first period, she created intimate still lives in which the objects acquire a metaphysical character approaching the aesthetics of Morandi. These objects are gradually shedding their functionality, being reduced to their own geometric shapes. In this way her first labyrinths appear, landscapes in which cylinders and rectangles face each other, generating corridors between the stillness of space. They are images that recall the empty squares depicted by De Chirico, with the soft light filtering through the objects and eerily intensifying their mystery.1 In 1993 she held an exhibition in the room of the Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo (CAM) with the title Combinables. In that exhibition works created since 1991 and revealing inroads to geometric abstraction were shown for the first time. The reference to reality disappears, leaving only the essence, the harmony based on repetition, the square as the base element. “The motivations of the fact and reflection of the act of painting lead me to express that: The square is the container of space, and its development carries time in itself. 

I call the matrix square (universe), the container square of the 25 structures. The structures deployed imaginatively or represented, with points or lines are supports and referential anchors of the composition. The elements, the point, the line and the figures that are generated can be interpreted as independent worlds that, in turn, participate in the same meaning that we give to the totality. Therefore, each element participates in the whole and the totality is contained in the essence of a single element.” 2 Each of the works are mathematically studied. The matrix square acts as a module that is repeated throughout the pictorial space. A mathematical system that establishes a continuous, infinite path, an order that is governed by the principle of harmony. Thus, lines, shapes and colours are established as a whole and each part also has a distinctive character. The painting El hilo de Ariadna. Trazado espacial continuo is an enormous 180cm square, containing, at the same time, multiple squares. In different shades of blues, the vertical lines are marked by three strips of horizontal lines. Within this structure there is a subdivision into small squares that are barely perceptible. The work possesses the spirituality of neoplasticism as well as the repetition of minimalism, and creates an internal musicality, a rhythm of its own. She was fortunate to be taught by Eusebio Sempere in 1969 at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Madrid’s Universidad Complutense; under Sempere’s supervision, she did various artworks and delved into geometric abstraction. Eusebio, at that time, was part of the Automatic Generation Seminar at the Complutense Calculation Centre. Iluminada García tells of the impression made on her by using a computer as an artistic tool. This was a radically new art based on mathematical and geometric principles. 3 Although her interest at that time tended towards figuration, she affirms that meeting Sempere and his utter enthusiasm for a new form of production influenced the artistic discourse in her later works. She happily remembers how Eusebio took his class to visit the Open Air Sculpture Museum on the Castellana boulevard, with those magnificent abstract works and the bridge railing designed by the academic himself. These experiences, together with his exhaustive study of geometric abstraction and mathematical developments, resulted in a deep exploration of digital art at the beginning of the new millennium. The use of the plotter gave her the opportunity to execute larger pieces and achieve lines as fine as those drawn by Zóbel or Sempere. In 2002 she inaugurated in the halls of the Alicante Fish Market the exhibition El hilo de Ariadna (The thread of Ariadna); the work can now be seen as part of the Col ·lecció d’Art Contemporani of the Generalitat Valenciana. Again, in the catalogue, she summarizes the process of abstraction of her artistic production, which starts from the image of a dormant Ariadna until her last works, in which the lines multiply and the process becomes more complex. “As a result of the vision of the sculpture of Ariadna in the Prado Museum and through the oil paintings that I painted of her image there, I obtained the awareness that her harmony, alchemy of power and subtlety that so impressed 258 — 259 me, provoking my fascination, was not the result of mere chance. I discovered that this harmony invokes a geometric and mathematical cosmos that now guides the poetics of my painting.» 4 As Vicente Verdú pointed out in the catalogue published by the Elche City Council in 2000, the harmony of the lines in combination with the colour purifies the object in such a way that it “delves into the drawing akin to music emanating from it” Iluminada García uses a musical kind of discourse or pattern that repeats notes harmoniously, as in Bach, possibly one of the musicians who best represents the relationship between music and mathematics. Many of the master's compositions possess a symmetric property, a stream of geometric relationships, an established fractal system. The work in this exhibition creates a matrix plot where a play of light and shadow is established on the same blue tone. Although the pattern is not exactly the same in this piece, the multiple repetitions are enough to create an internal harmony, an order that we find in each of her works. All this tracing takes us back to the myth of Ariadna, and the thread that helped Theseus to escape from the monster. A thread that serves to get out of the labyrinth, understood as a line that configures geometric shapes that allows, in its journey, to escape from any complex situation.


1 Both her still life Works and the labyrinths that were exhibited in 1990 at the Galería Albatros in Madrid, are the preamble to her new stage based on geometric abstraction. Landscapes, portraits and objects give way to orthogonal shapes, thus beginning a whole research process that has the square as its starting point. 2 Iluminada’s own words in: Combinables. [Exhibition catalogue]. Fundación Cultural CAM, 1993. Pág. 11. 3 In 1966, through an agreement between the University and the IBM company, the Computing Centre of the Complutense University of Madrid was created. As a result of years of work, two exhibitions were held at the said centre: the first in 1969 with the title Formas computables (Computable forms) and the second Generación automática de formas plásticas (Automatic generation of plastic forms) in 1970 to mark the closure of the academic year. The collaboration between computer scientists and artists aimed to show that the machine could also help in the tasks of creativity. Two other exhibitions were held in 1971: Computer Assisted Art Exhibition at the National Congress Palace in Madrid, coinciding with a European symposium on computer design and the second Formas computadas (Computed Forms) with works from the seminar. 4 GARCÍA-TORRES, ILUMINADA, 2002: El hilo de Ariadna 1991-2002. [Exhibition catalogue]. Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Alicante. Patronato Municipal de Cultura. Pág. 14.


—GARCÍA-TORRES, ILUMINADA, 2014: Ariadne’s Thread-Music, digital music diagram 1991-2014. [Exhibition catalogue]. Diputación de Alicante. Área de Cultura. —GARCÍA-TORRES, ILUMINADA, 2003: El hilo de Ariadna - Combinatoria (2003). Colección Amérigo. [Exhibition catalogue]. Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Alicante. —GARCÍA-TORRES, ILUMINADA, 2009: Retrospectiva 1982-2009. [Exhibition catalogue]. Ayuntamiento de Alicante. Alicante Cultura. —HUERTA, RICARD (COORD.), 2001: Eusebi Sempere. De l’art al microxip. Universitat de València