Elena Asins - Exhibition view, 2020 © Galería Elvira González

Elena Asins

Elena Asins during the exhibition, Fragmentos de la Memoria, Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2011.

Madrid, Spain 1940 - Azpíroz, Spain, 2015

A painting is simply a fact, an action or an intervention, in which all the internal elements are intertwined in a determined way. This connection or relation is precisely what I have been denominating, for years, structure.

Considered one of the pioneers of cybernetic art in Spain, Asins developed her own graphic systems to produce shapes. These systems  were based in numeric series, grammatical structures and musical developments. Interested in the core fundamentals of semiotics, she studied with Max Bense at the Universität Stuttgart in Germany and later on with Noam Chomsky at the University of Columbia, New York. In 2011 she was awarded with the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas (National Prize of Fine Arts).

Asins’ artistic investigation was determined by her early experience, in 1968, at the Centro de Cálculo, Madrid, where she took part of the seminar Generación Automática de Formas Plásticas. In this context, she started to explore the mathematical basis of art and the possibilities of working with new technologies. The origin of Cybernetic art in Spain took place in this seminar. During these years Asins was part of other experimental circles such as the “Cooperativa de Producción Artística y Artesana”, a project initiated by Ignacio Gomez de Liaño, and surrounded herself by colleagues who were open to explore the crossovers between different disciplines: Fine Arts, mathematics, poetry, linguistics, philosophy, music or architecture.

Asins’ work was strongly influenced by these currents, and, specifically, by Optical art, monochromatic paintings and the Suprematism of Malevich. The artist progressively incorporated new materials such as thread, nylon or folded paper. These early advances in her artistic approach were strongly reinforced during her time at the University of Stuttgart, in 1970, where she met Max Bense and got familiar with his theory of “aesthetics of information”. From this moment on, Asins worked intensively in the exploration and implementation of structures. But it was not until the eighties, during her time at the University of Columbia, New York, that she produced her first works with a computer. Asins was invited as a Visiting Scholar to the Department of Computer Science and conducted her research on the digital application of fine arts.

Elena Asins received numerous grants during her career, including Fundacion March’, Madrid, “Beca para España” (Grant for Spain) in 1978, the Spanish Ministry of Culture’s Grant in 1980,  and the Juan March Foundation’s grant for the U.S.  In 1985 she was invited by Columbia University, New York, as Visiting Professor, and in 1988 she received the First Prize Zeitscrift fúr Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe, Germany.

In 2011 Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, dedicated a large retrospective to Elena Asins. Her work is included in museums and private and public Collections such as Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Museo de Arte Abstracto de Cuenca, Museo de Bellas Artes de Álava, Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Museu d’Art Contemporani Vicente Aguilera Cerní de Vilafamés, Fundación Banesto, Unión FENOSA Collection, MACA (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Alicante), or Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao.

 

Works

Elena Asins, Untitled, 1971.
50 x 50 cm | 19,7 x 19,7 in.
Ink on paperboard.

Elena Asins, Canons, 1990.
51,5 x 73,5 cm | 20 x 29 in.
Ink on paperboard.

Elena Asins, Elevation Scale, 1989 – 1990.
(24 elements).
34 x 34 cm | 13,4 x 13,4 in (c/u).
Ink on paperboard.

Elena Asins, Untitled.
(16 elements)
34 x 34 cm | 13,4 x 13,4 in (c/u).
Ink on cardboard.

Elena Asins, Canon 22 hexagonal, 1990.
(72 elements).
24 x 24 cm | 9,45 x 9,45 in (each).
Ink on cardboard.

Elena Asins, Die Engel, 1989-1990.
(15 elements).
42 x 30 cm | 12 x 16,5 in (each).
Ink on paper.

Elena Asins, Canons 22 3D3, 1993.
(2 elementos)
50 x 338 cm | 19,7 x 133 in (each).
Ink on cardboard.

Elena Asins, Canons 22 3D3, 1993.
179,5 x 50 cm | 70,67 x 19,7 in.
Ink on paper.

Elena Asins, Preussische Quartete, 1989.
(12 elements)
51 x 24 cm | 20 x 9,45 in (each).
Ink on cardboard.

Elena Asins, Kindertolenlieder, 1985 – 1989.
(3 elementos)
42 x 29,5 cm | 16,54 x 11,6 in (c/u).
Ink on cardboard.

Elena Asins, Analitic Geometry, 1985-1990.
(8 elements)
24 x 24 cm | 9,45 x 9,45 in (each).
Graphite on paper.

Elena Asins, Zettel L. Wittgenstein, 1986 – 1991.
(16 elementos)
30 x 21 cm | 
11,7 x 8,2 in (each).
Black ink, yellow, green, blue and red marker on paperboard.

Elena Asins, 11 Canons 18, 1992.
(14 elementss)
62 x 45 cm | 24,53 x 17,64 in (each).
Black ink on paper.

Elena Asins, Way of growing, 1989 – 1990.
(72 elements)
32,5 x 23 cm | 12,8 x 9 in (c/u).
Black and ochre ink on paper.

Elena Asins, Sin título, 1987.
21,5 x 195,5 cm | 8,46 x 76,97 in.
Digital print. Magenta ink on paper.

Elena Asins, Sin título, 1987.
21,8 x 195,5 cm | 8,58 x 76,97 in.
Digital print, yellow in on paper.

Elena Asins, Sin título, 1990.
(72 elementos)
24 x 24 cm | 9,45 c 9,45 in (c/u).
Graphite on paperboard.

Elena Asins, Zettel, 1986 – 1990.
50 x 64 cm | 19,7 x 25,2 in.
Red and black ink on grey paperboard.

Elena Asins, Untitled, 1971.
50 x 50 cm | 19,7 x 19,7 in.
Ink on paperboard.

Elena Asins, Canons, 1990.
51,5 x 73,5 cm | 20 x 29 in.
Ink on paperboard.

Elena Asins, Elevation Scale, 1989 – 1990.
(24 elements).
34 x 34 cm | 13,4 x 13,4 in (c/u).
Ink on paperboard.

Elena Asins, Untitled.
(16 elements)
34 x 34 cm | 13,4 x 13,4 in (c/u).
Ink on cardboard.

Elena Asins, Canon 22 hexagonal, 1990.
(72 elements).
24 x 24 cm | 9,45 x 9,45 in (each).
Ink on cardboard.

Elena Asins, Die Engel, 1989-1990.
(15 elements).
42 x 30 cm | 12 x 16,5 in (each).
Ink on paper.

Elena Asins, Canons 22 3D3, 1993.
(2 elementos)
50 x 338 cm | 19,7 x 133 in (each).
Ink on cardboard.

Elena Asins, Canons 22 3D3, 1993.
179,5 x 50 cm | 70,67 x 19,7 in.
Ink on paper.

Elena Asins, Preussische Quartete, 1989.
(12 elements)
51 x 24 cm | 20 x 9,45 in (each).
Ink on cardboard.

Elena Asins, Kindertolenlieder, 1985 – 1989.
(3 elementos)
42 x 29,5 cm | 16,54 x 11,6 in (c/u).
Ink on cardboard.

Elena Asins, Analitic Geometry, 1985-1990.
(8 elements)
24 x 24 cm | 9,45 x 9,45 in (each).
Graphite on paper.

Elena Asins, Zettel L. Wittgenstein, 1986 – 1991.
(16 elementos)
30 x 21 cm | 
11,7 x 8,2 in (each).
Black ink, yellow, green, blue and red marker on paperboard.

Elena Asins, 11 Canons 18, 1992.
(14 elementss)
62 x 45 cm | 24,53 x 17,64 in (each).
Black ink on paper.

Elena Asins, Way of growing, 1989 – 1990.
(72 elements)
32,5 x 23 cm | 12,8 x 9 in (c/u).
Black and ochre ink on paper.

Elena Asins, Sin título, 1987.
21,5 x 195,5 cm | 8,46 x 76,97 in.
Digital print. Magenta ink on paper.

Elena Asins, Sin título, 1987.
21,8 x 195,5 cm | 8,58 x 76,97 in.
Digital print, yellow in on paper.

Elena Asins, Sin título, 1990.
(72 elementos)
24 x 24 cm | 9,45 c 9,45 in (c/u).
Graphite on paperboard.

Elena Asins, Zettel, 1986 – 1990.
50 x 64 cm | 19,7 x 25,2 in.
Red and black ink on grey paperboard.

Exhibitions in the gallery