Spatial poetry. Poetic spaces. Starting from abstraction as a vehicle of expression, he attains the essence of this language that invests it with universality and gives empty space a prominence without precedent in the history of Art. His forms twist and penetrate like three-dimensional handwriting, and they are not limited to self- complacency: Chillida always seeks an interaction with the surrounding landscape so that his pieces receive the viewer with unusual warmth, despite the hardness of his materials.
Chillida’s enormous capacity for continually reinventing space comes from his solid architectural training, which he finally abandoned in favor of drawing. His stay in Paris in the 1950s led the way to sculpture after he was profoundly affected by the ancient Greek masters that he visited time and again in the Louvre. And Paris was also where he met Pablo Palazuelo, with whom he formed a strong friendship that would last until his death.
Eduardo Chillida’s first contact with a forge took place in Hernani, after he returned permanently to San Sebastián. Manuel Illarramendi opened the door to a fascinating world for him, in which iron, steel and stone would define the character and content of all his subsequent work. In 1954 he exhibited for the first time in Madrid in what was also the first abstract sculpture exhibition in the history of Spain.
Chillida did not omit any field of plastic creativity from his experimentation. He always felt comfortable with graphics, and concepts that were already present in his three dimensional work were transferred to paper with lines that would define territories of the imagination unexplored until then.
Eduardo Chillida was also an artist with a commitment to his time. His art finds meaning when it serves Man, and he did not ignore the social and political circumstances in which he lived. He was always ready to contribute to institutions such as the United Nations, Amnesty International or the Red Cross in their campaigns in favor of human rights.
The creator of prolific material, Chillida can be found among the greatest figures of the Spanish Vanguard, together with Oteiza, Gargallo, Serra and Gabino. His final great sanctuary is the Chillida Leku, a museum in Guipúzcoa which houses the best of his unique career.