Eduardo Chillida, Saludo a los pájaros II (Salute to the Birds II), 2000, Hauser & Wirth Menorca © Zabalaga Leku, San Sebastián, VEGAP, 2024. Photo: Damian Griffiths

New Works in Menorca’s Outdoor Sculpture Trail

10 May 2024

Sculptures by Eduardo Chillida, Gary Simmons, Stefan Brüggemann and Pipilotti Rist are on view in Menorca.

Presented alongside the gallery buildings are four outdoor sculptures by gallery artists, and embedded in the natural landscape of Illa del Rei.

In the midst of Piet Oudolf’s perennial garden is the painted bronze sculpture, ‘Untitled (Crow 2)’ (2023), by Los Angeles-based artist Gary Simmons. Since the late 1980s, Simmons has drawn from icons and stereotypes of American popular culture to create works that explore the politics of race and class. The crow alludes to multiple references, including Jim Crow laws in the Southern United States, Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘The Birds,’ and the heckling crow characters rooted in minstrelsy from Disney’s animated feature, ‘Dumbo’. Using bronze for the first time on a large scale, the forms in Simmons’ sculpture remain unrefined, as if still in the process of being modelled and defined.

Stefan Brüggemann, OK, 2023, Hauser & Wirth Menorca © Stefan Brüggemann. Photo: Daniel Schäfer

Gary Simmons, Untitled (Crow 2), 2023, Hauser & Wirth Menorca © Gary Simmons. Photo: Daniel Schäfer

Beside it, in the sandstone water tower, is a neon work by Stefan Brüggemann, depicting the most frequently spoken and typed word on the planet: OK. Depending on the context, it can signify approval, acknowledgment or indifference, and denote acceptability or mediocrity. The neon bluntly exemplifies this range in its irony and nihilism, asking the viewer to consider these possibilities and take up a position. Brüggemann’s text pieces function as provisional observations that must be completed by an audience’s engagement, then impressing themselves as thoughts into the spectator’s consciousness.

In the olive-tree forest by the sea are two hanging sculptures with swimsuits mounted on clothes hangers from Pipilotti Rist’s work family ‘Enlightened Granddaughter <Die erleuchtete Enkelin> (Familie Elektrobranche)’ (2020-2023). Lit by LED lamps after dusk, these captivating works continue Rist’s playful explorations of domesticity and the human body. The works focus attention on the abdominal regions, which shine brightly and represent the center of the figure. Normally, the hip region is the heaviest part of the body with the greatest ambivalent feelings (from passion to vexation). The artist gives this region of the body a lightness by filling it with light.

Dondon and Ahu – The Enlightened Granddaughters, 2020–2023, Hauser & Wirth Menorca © Pipilotti Rist / 2024, VEGAP. Photo: Damian Griffiths

Finally, as a continuation of the major exhibition ‘Chillida in Menorca,’ the delicate corten steel ‘Saludo a los pájaros II (Salute to the Birds II)’ (2000) by Eduardo Chillida stands outside the large window at the end of the North Galleries, surrounded by trees and views of the harbor. Appearing almost weightless, the sculpture denotes Chillida’s mastery of material and form as well as his continuous passion for natural phenomena.