II. Return to Spain:
The Years without an Etching Press (1981-1986)
Yolanda del Riego (YR) returned to Spain in 1981 and set up her residence and studio in Madrid. Without an etching press, she worked at traditional etching ateliers and found that artists did not perform the end-to-end process from inking to printing. This incompatibility with the artist/printmaker approach led her to order an etching press from the Charles Brand company in Coventry, Rhode Island (USA). During the long wait she branched out and focused her attention on other mediums. The result of this intermission was a cycle of different periods of experimentation, each culminating in a solo exhibition.
Attracted by the idea of creating collage with fabric, YR created a series of abstract large-format patchworks. In 1983, in collaboration with the United States Embassy, these patchworks were exhibited in Madrid, first at the Institute for Ibero-American Cooperation, under the title "Oil paintings, Prints and Textiles" (presented by Jose de Castro Arines) and later that year at the United States Cultural Center (presented by the Spanish poet José Hierro).
Yolanda knows —or intuits, which for an artist is the same— that the spontaneous must be tamed and subjected to unwritten rules. And that anarchic outbreak of colors and shapes that must exist in her pre-conscious shortly before starting to create, is contained by expressive procedures that require patience, reflection, and slowness in their realization.
—José Hierro (except from the exhibition catalog,
“Oil paintings, Prints, and Textiles”, 1983)