The Quiet Labyrinth

Christian Bonnefoi


What was, what is and what will be, the history of the past and the future

the things that I have had and the things that I will have, all of this awaits us in some

place of that quiet labyrinth

Jorge Luis Borges


The collage ... is the most extraordinary event in the world

Jean Paulhan


Germinaciones, Semilleros: the recent works of Daniel Orson Ybarra arise, from a

principle, of the nature and dynamics that surrounds it: the process of growth, of generation, inflorescence, which ranges from the retained intensity (of potential, of the future) to the expanded, relaxed and specialized expression of its shape, fruits, flowers or leaves.


These paintings, or rather collages and assemblies, share the logic of the previous ones

paintings: games of coloured shadows, of iridescent lights crossing a foliage that Ybarra

restores with a slight blur on which the paint will be deposited in an attempt to mitigate the naturalistic reference and move it, carefully and slowly, to the field of


Here begins an inverse process that comes to oppose the natural model, diverting it from its

linear logic and opening it to a transformation that is characteristic of art. The metaphor replaces the metamorphosis; the leaves of the trees that represented the starting point for the paintings become, in 

Germinations, a foliage in the strict sense of the word, a stack of transparent plastic films; each stratum is marked by an intervention, painting or drawing on a part of the surface, so that once finished, lets us see the forms in an intelligent game of hidden-shown, within a contained depth. The attractiveness of the infinite depth, that is profundity, the crossing of the planes allow transparency, it’s punctuated, temporised by the different steps formed by the strata; These are both specific pauses of ones look (each stratum has its own form) and redistribution of it: some elements of each stratum come into contact with elements of other strata located above or below it, indistinctly. 

It is not about the indifference regarding the sense of letting go, but about a radical conversion about the art of painting that is undoubtedly one of the greatest discoveries of the twentieth century: the introduction, the mode of producing its form, devices, whose model is collage, which impose its own logic as objective, to the painter's subjective. Germinations are assemblages that represent two faces, two directions: one is stacking, each sheet previously painted by itself, as if it were a work in itself; the other is the interaction, in the form of impact or integration, each stratum with the one next to it and with the whole; all this in a spontaneous, unpredictable way; the gaze has no frame, it jumps from one place to another without beginning or end, until it finds a conductive thread and loses it again. This second direction is the word of the object, which broadens the limited field of subjectivity, providing it with its necessary materiality, applying it more deeply in the essence of painting, subtracting it from the tyranny of language, of story and of enunciation. Germinations, closer to being dream images, are condensations of possible mixtures of affection that the movement of the gaze, determined by the little certainty and support offered by the vertigo of depth, assembles and reassembles at will.


Paradoxically, the movement that "displaces the lines" annuls the meaning; the movement induced by the very nature of the assembly and not by the will of the painter or the spectator, it’s the work itself: what belongs to the work, what it transmits. Inspect is the

word that Jean Paulhan invented to describe the effect of this movement: "I saw them

(everyday objects) on all sides at once. Because I finally recognised the back and the sides now as well, or just as badly, that the face, and the bottom of the table was no less familiar to me than the top. I was not satisfied with the appearance, because it was the interior that it had ».

If Germinations metamorphose the natural metamorphosis, Semilleros will move it towards another land that we can qualify, using figures of rhetoric, synecdoche, part of the whole. The truth is that Germinations are an assemblage of strata installed in a frame that liberates the play of forms through the instrumentalization of depth, transparent, give the device (the object) the possibility of acting freely: radiating the set formed by non-hierarchical elements; betting on the induced movement of the device to distribute the effects in an infinite circulation. The Seeds, on the other hand, present themselves as willing to take up the reins of this labyrinth in movement, to walk, punctuate and expand it. The painted elements

are individual, cut out and distributed as if they were independent from the others. The thumbtacks that assume the inscription paper fix those pieces of paint on the support, generally by superposition, sometimes and juxtaposition. The character provisional of the thumbtack (we put the thumbtack to see and then set it) provides

to the general set up a character of uncertainty, a playful and unfinished aspect. But we know, from the collages with Picasso’s forks and their large suspended collages in the beams of his workshop, which is considered "greatest invention" in the history of painting: passing the technique, the device and the material conditions on the side of the form; the "ready-made" is neither more nor less than that, since it is, for painting, a moment, a step, the pure and radical place where what is used to expose is exposed,  and reversed immediately in the movement of the process in formation. Here, the artist takes up and deepens this gesture, taking it back from the past represented by the Germinations to look at the present of the Seedlings. If transparency is maintained, the time it is under the influence of fork clamping becomes an element in itself, ceasing to be the condition of the distribution of the elements. Therefore, the condensed intensity, retained, condition of every possible arrangement, and that represents what a painting is, it’s replaced by a surface that requires the abolition of the frame, something that turns towards the installation that represents another of the facets in the work of Daniel Orson Ybarra.


Cara y Cruz