Miguel Berrocal Ortiz
Miguel Ortiz Berrocal was born on 28 September at Villanueva de Algaidas, in the province of Málaga, in Spain. At a very early age he shows a vocation for art and research. He makes his own toys with recycled material, draws, and paints with colour that he prepares himself. He completes his education in Madrid. A fundamental experience is his first visit to the Prado, to which he returns regularly. He attends the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and the Escuela de Artes Grafícas, and goes to evening classes at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios, where the sculptor Ángel Ferrant becomes his teacher and his friend.
He enrolls at the faculty of Exact Sciences to prepare for the entrance examination for Architecture. He becomes particularly interested in analytical geometry, a decisive choice that subsequently stimulates his artistic creation. His first exhibition takes place in Madrid at the Galería Xagra, where he shows drawings of people and landscapes of Algaidas and Madrid, signing with his paternal surname, Ortiz. He is awarded a grant to study in Italy. After visiting the scenes of Roman civilisation, with which he is familiar only through his classical studies, he lives in Rome for several months. There, for the first time, he discovers the work of Picasso – prohibited in Spain at the time – in a major exhibition at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna.
In 1954 he goes back to Spain to do his military service. He returns to the Faculty of Exact Sciencies and resumes his drawing and sculpture classes. He finds his friend Ferrant, who encourages him and stimulates him to work. He is invited to take part in the XXVII Biennale di Venezia, where he exhibits his drawings in the Spanish Pavilion, still signing as Ortiz.
From 1957-1959 he exhibits his first sculptures in wrought iron at the Galleria La Medusa. Moving away from the canons of traditional statuary, Berrocal wishes to go beyond the external appearance of form and the surface of sculpture, imagining an inner prolongation of the external volumes that delimit the work: the search for a fourth dimension. After taking a decision to devote himself exclusively to sculpture, he has a house/studio built in Crespières , near Paris, to a design by Le Corbusier. An important first exhibition at the Galleria Apollinaire in Milan, for which he signs his work definitively as Berrocal. Bruno Lorenzelli, a well-know director of an art gallery in Bergamo, becomes his first dealer.
Beginning in 1966, his sculpture becomes increasingly complex. The search for a “fourth Dimension” becomes evident in "Opus 97 Adamo Secundus" and "Opus 98 David," small works with complex possibilities od disassembly. The sculptures of this period are so successful that in the U.S.A. they acquire the status of “conversation pieces”. Numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums in Europe and the United States.
Throughout his career, Berrocal participated in many solo exhibitions and art fairs and earned many awards and recognitions all over the world. Miguel Berrocal died on May 31, 2006.