Sculptor, philosopher and architect of the void, Eduardo Chillida is an icon of post-war art. Born in 1924 in the Basque city of San Sebastián, his oeuvre constitutes a life-long investigation into the confluence of material, form, time and space. Working in diverse media such as iron, stone, alabaster and terracotta, Chillida’s sculptures draw inspiration from the dark, rich mineral earth of his homeland and pay tribute to the organic and elemental forces that lie at the very core of existence. At the heart of his practice is a deep philosophical enquiry into the interaction between the intangible properties of space and the dense, earthbound substances he employs.
For Chillida, the invisible and dynamic void is the counterpoint to the heavy physicality of his materials. His sculptures are the product of this interplay, cast as much from solid media as from the negative space around them. Volume and mass are born anew in their interaction with the light and the air, the wind and the sun. His materials are returned to their ephemeral origins, dispersing their energy to the earth below and the sky above.
Chillida’s outlook is grounded not simply in the history of sculpture, but in nature and architecture, in poetry, literature and music. The universality of his practice is manifest in the diverse international artists who have paid homage to his work: from Anthony Caro, Arnaldo Pomodoro and Anish Kapoor to Anselm Kiefer, Zao Wou-Ki and Ellsworth Kelly, his legacy is truly global.