This is the third Ordovas exhibition devoted to Eduardo Chillida and the monumental works to be shown in the gallery at 25 Savile Row reflect the intimate and universal themes that characterised his vision.
at Ordovas Gallery
London from 9 February to 23 April 2016
A central figure in European Post-war sculpture, Chillida produced an extraordinary body of work over a five decade-long career, and established himself amongst Spain’s most distinctive and internationally acclaimed artists. This is the third Ordovas exhibition devoted to Eduardo Chillida and the monumental works to be shown in the gallery at 25 Savile Row reflect the intimate and universal themes that characterised his vision.
“It is a great honour to represent the estate of Eduardo Chillida and, having inaugurated the Ordovas pop-up space in New York with his work, to now see this show travel to London,” says Pilar Ordovas. “My intention is to continue to increase international awareness of his major innovations in the field of sculpture and serve to introduce his work to new generations of audiences, scholars and collectors.”
Ignacio Chillida, son of the artist, says, “On behalf of the Chillida Estate, we are thrilled to be working with Pilar Ordovas again, firstly in bringing this exhibition of my father’s work to New York City for the first time since the Guggenheim exhibition in 1980, and now to see it travelling to London.”
Chillida: Rhythm-Time-Silence delves into Chillida’s long-time exploration of space as material, as well as his philosophical investigations into the relationships between sculpture, architecture, nature and site. Organised in collaboration with the artist’s estate and featuring rarely seen works that have travelled from San Sebastián, Spain, Chillida: Rhythm-Time-Silence will showcase monumental works made from corten steel and granite. Among them are ‘Elogio del vacío VI’, 2000, and an iconic ‘Peine del viento‘, both executed in corten steel. Created in 1999, ‘Peine del viento XIX’ derives from the famous ‘Wind Comb‘ series – one of Chillida’s most recognisable outdoor works, a series of giant steel forceps that extend from the cliffs of San Sebastián, emblemising man’s connection with nature. A carved granite work entitled ‘Lo profundo es el aire XVIII’, dating from 1998, will also be shown. The title of this work (‘Deep is the Air XVIII‘) is inspired by a phrase from a poem entitled ‘Más Allá’, published in 1928 as part of ‘Cantico’, a book of verse by the celebrated Spanish poet Jorge Guillén, with whom Chillida would form a lifelong friendship after meeting in 1971 during a visiting professorship at Harvard University.
Trained in architecture, Chillida turned his attention to drawing before settling on sculpture and quickly began experimenting with the art form, creating works out of iron, steel, wood, alabaster, cement and paper during his formative years. Chillida is, however, best known for his monumental works in corten steel, a medium deeply rooted in the blacksmithing traditions of his native Basque Country, a region already known in Roman times for its iron mines and forges. A pioneer in the use of industrial fabrication techniques and large-scale, site-specific works, Chillida investigated sculpture and its relationship to nature and time early on in his career, questioning the boundary between matter and space, and anticipating some of the explorations of artists like Richard Serra and Robert Smithson.
The exhibition’s title, ‘Chillida: Rhythm-Time-Silence‘, derives from the artist’s own words found in a book of his collected writings. The exhibition was first staged at a pop-up gallery space at 488 Madison Avenue, New York, from 30 October 2015 – 7 January 2016.
This is the third dedicated exhibition of works by Chillida that Ordovas has organised in collaboration with the artist’s estate.
Cover image: Chillida: Rhythm-Time-Silence installation view, Photography © by Mike Bruce
‘Chillida: Rhythm-Time-Silence‘ (9 February – 23 April 2016)
at ORDOVAS Gallery. 25 Savile Row London W1S 2ER T