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(1924 – 2002), Spain

Eduardo Chillida Biography

With a varied and pioneering practice that spans small-scale sculpture, plaster work, drawing, engraving and collage, Spanish artist Eduardo Chillida is best known for his prominent monumental public sculptures, mostly displayed in Spain, Germany, France and the USA. Throughout his career, 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.

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Originally a student of architecture, Chillida created art guided by its principles. His formally rigorous constructions in oxidised iron 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 of Hernani, near San Sebastian.

Chillida was born in San Sebastian, Spain in 1924. He conducted preliminary studies to enrol in architecture at the University of Madrid before turning his attention to drawing which he studied at Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. In 1948 Chillida was awarded a scholarship to attend the Cité Internationale Universitaire and travelled to Paris. On his return to Spain in 1951, he began experimenting in materials that resonated with the Basque region’s industrial heritage such as iron, wood and steel. Chillida settled in Hernani and, in 1952, he set up an iron foundry, learning techniques from a local blacksmith. During this period he continued to make engravings and collages and this core practice was to continue throughout his career, allowing him to explore form and line by cutting into paper. This technique arose from the concept of the collage in the mid 1980s (gravitations did not replace collages) by a new development, Gravitaciones (Gravitations), in which Chillida eliminated the adhesive from his collage, allowing the work to be suspended in space.

Text courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Eduardo Chillida Featured Artworks

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Sans titre by Eduardo Chillida contemporary artwork
Eduardo ChillidaSans titre, 1960Pencil on paper
23.5 x 32 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
Lurra G-164 by Eduardo Chillida contemporary artwork
Eduardo ChillidaLurra G-164, 1990Chamotte clay
27.4 x 15 x 17 cm
Galeria Mayoral Contact Gallery
Óxido 12 by Eduardo Chillida contemporary artwork
Eduardo ChillidaÓxido 12, 1978Chamotte clay and copper oxide
20 x 25.5 x 3 cm
Galeria Mayoral Contact Gallery
Lurra G221 by Eduardo Chillida contemporary artwork
Eduardo ChillidaLurra G221, 1991Terracotta
24.5 x 18 x 16.5 cm
Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris Contact Gallery
Gravitación by Eduardo Chillida contemporary artwork
Eduardo ChillidaGravitación, 1999Paper, ink, threads
20.5 x 15.5 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Gravitación by Eduardo Chillida contemporary artwork
Eduardo ChillidaGravitación, 1998Paper, ink, threads
25.3 x 17.2 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
CH-87/GB-15 by Eduardo Chillida contemporary artwork
Eduardo ChillidaCH-87/GB-15, 1987Paper, thread
21 x 30 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Untitled by Eduardo Chillida contemporary artwork
Eduardo ChillidaUntitled, 1996Ink on paper
27.8 x 24.4 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery

Eduardo Chillida Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Stronger Than Language at Hauser & Wirth, St. Moritz
Closed
11 June–5 July 2020 Group Exhibition Stronger Than Language Hauser & WirthSt. Moritz
Contemporary art exhibition, Eduardo Chillida, Eduardo Chillida at Hauser & Wirth, Zurich
Closed
17 January–2 March 2019 Eduardo Chillida Hauser & WirthZürich
Contemporary art exhibition, Eduardo Chillida, Eduardo Chillida at Hauser & Wirth, New York
Closed
30 April–27 July 2018 Eduardo Chillida Hauser & Wirth69th Street, New York

Eduardo Chillida Represented By

Galeria Mayoral contemporary art gallery in Barcelona, Spain Galeria Mayoral Barcelona, Paris
Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad, St. Moritz

Eduardo Chillida In Related Press

Art and Space Related Press Art and Space 17 January 2018, Frieze

2017 marked the 20 th anniversary of the Guggenheim Bilbao, the museum that launched the mythical 'Bilbao effect' and dozens of hopeful regional art institutions. The museum ended the year with an exhibition departing from a 1969 exchange between one of Spain's most prominent sculptors, Eduardo Chillida, and the German philosopher Martin...

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Eduardo Chillida In Video & Audio

Eduardo Chillida: Sculptor Related Video & Audio Eduardo Chillida: Sculptor 12 April 2018, Hauser & Wirth

Jed Morse, Chief Curator, Nasher Sculpture Center, talks about the work of Eduardo Chillida (1924–2002), Spain’s foremost sculptor of the twentieth century. Widely recognised for monumental iron and steel public sculptures displayed across the globe, Chillida is also celebrated for a wholly distinctive use of materials such as stone, chamotte...

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