Empty space suspended

Along with Chillida, the Basque sculptor Jorge Oteiza represents the renewal of sculpture in the Basque Country during the second half of the 20th century.

The three works on display here are from the 1950s. In them, space has become an integral part of the sculpture, which at times embraces it, as in this Empty Space Suspended, in which wrought steel draws an arch around empty space. The work is a tribute to French engineer and aviator René Couzinet.

The sculptor managed to achieve a solid balance in his work, in which he retained the spirit of the Avant-garde, while neither succumbing to local stereotype not abandoning his Basque identity. The solid theoretical basis of Oteiza’s pieces did not make him blind to the appeal of rough, primitive works. His stone sculptures rediscovered an aesthetic style that is only rudimentary in appearance, like those of Pre-Hispanic Peru and Colombia. He had studied both of these in depth when he lived in Argentina and Colombia between 1935 and 1948.

Oteiza’s work is linked to the private patronage of the Huarte family of Navarrese entrepreneurs, who were very active patrons of the arts during the second half of the 20th century.

(c) (R) 2012, MUSMon com S.L.