Eduardo Chillida (1924-2002)
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 2… Read more Each of the works in this remarkable group by the Spanish artist Eduardo Chillida provides an exciting journey into the artists lifelong fascination with the relationship between space and the physical form. Brought together by the distinguished American collector Frank Ribelin, who did much to establish Chillida's international reputation, this varied collection of collages and works on paper and clay demonstrates the processes by which the artist was trying to redefine the conventional notion of space and breathe new life into the sculptural form. Space is the chief protagonist in Eduardo Chillida's work. He has stated, 'Sculpture is a function of space. I am not concerned with the space which lies outside the form, which surrounds the volume in which the shapes dwell, but the space actually created by the shapes, which dwells in them and is all the more effective when it works in secret. I might perhaps compare it to the lifegiving breath which causes the form to swell up and contract and makes visible that inner psychic space which is hidden from the outside world. To me this space is not something abstract, but forms a reality as concrete as the reality of the volumes which enclose it.' (E. Chillida 'Aphorismen' quoted in Chillida, exh. cat., Berlin 1991, p.118). Each of these works provides us with a physical manifestation of Chillida's ideas and allow us to glimpse the process with which the artist wrestles as he tries to convert his concepts and ideas into a physical form. Although Chillida is accomplished in working in a variety of materials, including wood, clay, marble, granite, concrete and alabaster, it is the intimate scale of these works that allows him the artistic freedom to explore the unbounded possibilities of his art. It is with works such as these that the seeds of his ideas are allowed to germinate and explore their full potential. This process is most evident in Gravitation, whose dominant form is a clear precursor to one of Chillida's most celebrated works, the imposing De Música sculpture that guards the entrance to the Dallas Symphony Center. Executed in 1988, the year before the sculpture was unveiled, Gravitation explores Chillida' s interest in the spatial nature of art, combined with the elemental nature of individual works. De Música was fabricated in corten steel, a material with which Chillida found his true resonance. Born in San Sebastian in 1924, he began to learn the centuries-old art of forging only upon his return to the Basque country in 1951, after having first trained as an architect in Madrid and then as a sculptor in Paris. Straddling the crest of the Western Pyrenees between France and Spain, the small region steeped in oak forests, green mountain valleys and the rugged coasts of the Bay of Biscayne is possessed of an ancient culture, to which the mining and forging of iron is inherent. De Música was a gift to the City of Dallas by Frank Ribelin, an influential art collector and businessman, whose patronage of Eduardo Chillida did much to help establish the artist's career. Of the significant collection that Ribelin built up, the works by Chillida can be seen to form a consistent core. It therefore comes as no surprise that several of Chillida's sculptures that have entered public collections in the United States of America did so from Ribelin, a renowned philanthropist who helped to bolster the collections of various museums and had even helped in the foundation of others. Ribelin had already been in contact with Chillida in the mid-1980s and had met the artist, owning several of his works, before embarking on his most ambitious collaboration. In 1988 Ribelin suggested that he would commission a monumental sculpture from Chillida to adorn the Morton H. Mayerson Symphony Center in Dallas, a building that was being designed by the international architect and the man behind the famous glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris, I.M. Pei. The artist leapt at the chance and began working on drawings, such as Gravitation, which would eventually lead to the unveiling of De Música the following year and in the process becoming the first sculpture by the artist to feature in a public space in the United States of America. The works currently being offered provide an intriguing insight into the mind of the artist and the mind of one of the great collectors and aficionados of his work. PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF FRANK K. RIBELIN
Eduardo Chillida (1924-2002)


Eduardo Chillida (1924-2002)
signed and with the artist's monogram 'CHILLIDA' (lower centre)
ink and hand-made paper collage with string
15¼ x 9in. (38.6 x 23cm.)
Executed in 1989
Tasende Gallery, La Jolla (acquired directly from the artist in 1989).
Acquired from the above by the late owner in 1992.
Dallas, Adams-Middleton Gallery, Musical Gravitations, 1989, no. 35.
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Beatriz Ordovas
Beatriz Ordovas

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This work is registered in the archives of the Museo Chillida-Leku, under number CH-89/GT-60.

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