Eduardo Chillida was a Spanish artist born in 1924 in San Sebastian, Spain. Known for his colossal public installations, he worked principally with iron, wood and steel. Chillida was interested in abstraction, using connected geometric shapes that would morph into imposing works. The tension between the natural and unnatural, line and curvature, and the shapes and contours of a space is at the center of his practice. The artist studied architecture at the university of Madrid before moving to Paris in 1948 and turning to art. He made his first plaster sculpture Forma there and exhibited at the Salon de Mai in 1949 before making his first iron sculpture Ilarik. He returned to Spain in the 50s and found a particular interest in landscapes and the different possibilities linked to the space a work inhabits. His first solo exhibition was at the Maeght Gallery in 1956.
His Gravitations were a revelation in his creative process in relation to paper. They were considered to be like « paper surfaces » or « carved sculptures in paper. » These works were made from sheets of paper superimposed and suspended. Up until the mid 60s, Chillida works with materials such as iron and wood. His inclusion of a new material, alabaster was more malleable and lead to more luminous and diaphanous pieces.
Chillida is awarded the Grand Prix International of sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1958 and the Kandinsky prize in 1960. His own museum ‘Museo Chillida-Leku’ is created in 2000 in Hernani, Spain. Retrospectives of his work have been organized in Berlin, Madrid, Caracas, London, Palermo or even at the Bilbao Guggenheim. During his career, as demonstrations of respect and admiration, the artist made multiple tributes to artists he felt connected to such as Alexander Calder, Georges Braque, Cy Twombly, Joan Miró amongst others. He died in August 2002 in San Sebastian.