Eduardo Chillida is widely recognized for his prominent monumental public sculptures displayed throughout Spain, Germany, France and the USA, although his varied and pioneering practice also spans small-scale sculpture, plaster work, drawing, engraving and collage. Chillida drew on his Spanish heritage combined with a fascination for organic form, as well as influences from European and Eastern philosophies, poetry and history, to develop an artistic voice that communicated and resonated with a continent undergoing rapid transformation. Originally a student of architecture, Chillida created art guided by its principles. His formally rigorous constructions in oxidized iron – the material a reference point to the industrial past of the Basque region – are imbued with tension and poise.
Chillida’s contribution towards Spain’s postwar artistic reputation and his personal legacy endure through his work and also through the Foundation which he set up in 2000. In the same year, Chillida opened Chillida-Leku, an exhibition space and sculpture park converted from the historic Zabalaga farmhouse in the town ofHernani, near San Sebastian.
Since 2011, Chillida-Leku has been open to the public only by appointment, but under the support and guidance of Hauser & Wirth it will reopen in 2018 to the wider public as a vital resource for experiencing and learning about the work of Eduardo Chillida. Together with the Estate, Hauser & Wirth will develop a new and sustainable model for Chillida-Leku that is sensitive to the artist’s vision, centered around a changing program of exhibitions that position Chillida’s work alongside other major figures from the art historical canon and contextualize his practice for future generations.
Image: Eduardo Chillida with Homage to Calder at the Larrañaga workshop in Lezo, 1979
© Zabalaga-Leku. ARS, NewYork / VEGAP, Madrid 2017
Courtesy Estate of Eduardo Chillida and Hauser & Wirth