For Spanish Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida, working with the term Abstract was merely a misnomer— even though most of his work falls into what we would name Abstract Art, his focus was never outside of the pursuit of representational realism, whether that be suggestion of figurative forms or of movements and space. After attending three years of architecture school at the University of Madrid, he abandoned his degree to devote himself to art, leading to what could be seen as a potent combination of formal material training and creative confidence, something clearly evident in the lines and motions of his work.
Interested in the philosophy behind artmaking as much as the physical practice, Chillida engaged in meaningful dialogue with other inquiring thinkers, reinterpreting the concepts of space and a human’s existence within one, and proximally commenting on themes like self identity, homelessness and cultural tolerance. “My whole Work is a journey of discovery in Space. Space is the liveliest of all, the one that surrounds us. I do not believe so much in experience. I think it is conservative. I believe in perception, which is something else. It is riskier and more progressive. There is something that still wants to progress and grow. Also, this is what I think makes you perceive, and perceiving directly acts upon the present, but with one foot firmly planted in the future. Experience, on the other hand, does the contrary: you are in the present, but with one foot in the past.” Although most known for his often monumental public sculptures, his radiating individuality is intimately visible in the gestures and structures of his painting and printmaking, an inescapable unique perspective on the world surrounding him that comes across in everything he did.