The Department of Modern Languages has organised a Hispanic Studies research seminar on Basque Art. Dr Juan Arana from the University of Liverpool will speak about two of the most significant Basque artists during the 20th century, Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza.
“Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza: A Posthumous Confrontation”
Wednesday 29th February, 3.00pm
Strathcona Lecture Theatre 6
Jorge Oteiza Enbil (October 21, 1908 – April 9, 2003), was a Basque Spanish sculptor, painter, designer and writer, renowned for being one of the main theorists on Spanish modern art. Oteiza was born in Orio (Gipuzkoa). He moved to South America in 1935, just before the Spanish Civil War, and stayed there for 14 years. In 1963 he published Quosque tandem!, an essay about the aesthetics inherent to Basque soul, based on Basque prehistoric art and Basque people's anthropological roots.
He died in San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, in 2003.Following his will, a month after his death a museum dedicated to his career was opened in Alzuza, Navarre, in the place where he had lived since 1975. The Oteiza Museum is a monographic exhibition space housing the personal collection of Jorge Oteiza, which includes 1,690 sculptures, 2,000 experimental pieces from the artist’s Chalk Laboratory, and an extensive collection of drawings and collages.
Eduardo Chillida Juantegui, or Eduardo Txillida Juantegi in Basque, (10 January 1924 – 19 August 2002) was a Spanish Basque sculptor notable for his monumental abstract works.
Chillida's earliest sculptures concentrated on the human form (mostly torsos and busts); his later works tended to be more massive and more abstract, and included many monumental public works. Chillida himself tended to reject the label of "abstract", preferring instead to call himself a "realist sculptor".
From quite early on, Chillida's sculpture found public recognition, and, in 1954, he produced the four doors for the basilica of Arantzazu, where works by other leading Basque sculptors – Jorge Oteiza, Agustin Ibarrola and Nestor Basterretxea – were also being installed. The following year, he carved a stone monument to the discoverer of penicillin, Sir Alexander Fleming, for a park in San Sebastián (it subsequently disappeared, but a new version has been installed on the promenade at San Sebastián bay).
At their best his works, although massive and monumental, suggest movement and tension. For example, the largest of his works in the United States, De Musica is an 81-ton steel sculpture featuring two pillars with arms that reach out but do not touch. Much of Chillida's work is inspired by his Basque upbringing.
(texts adapted from the Wikipedia)