Hauser & Wirth announced worldwide exclusive representation of The Estate of Eduardo Chillida, Spain’s foremost sculptor of the twentieth century.
Eduardo Chillida is widely recognized for his prominent monumental public sculptures displayed throughout Spain, Germany, France, and the USA, although his varied and pioneering practice also spans small-scale sculpture, plaster work, drawing, engraving, and collage. Chillida drew on his Spanish heritage and a fascination for organic form, as well as influences from European and Eastern philosophies, poetry and history, to develop an artistic voice that communicated and resonated with a continent undergoing rapid transformation. Originally a student of architecture, Chillida created art guided by its principles. His formally rigorous constructions in oxidized iron – the material a reference point to the industrial past of the Basque region – are imbued with tension and poise.
Chillida’s contribution towards Spain’s postwar artistic reputation and his personal legacy endure through his work and also through the Foundation which he established in 2000. In the same year, Chillida opened Chillida-Leku, an exhibition space and sculpture park converted from the historic Zabalaga farmhouse in the town of Hernani, near San Sebastian.
Since 2011, Chillida-Leku has been open to the public only by appointment, but with the support and guidance of Hauser & Wirth, it will reopen in 2018 to the wider public as a vital resource for experiencing and learning about the work of Eduardo Chillida. Together with the Estate, Hauser & Wirth will develop a new and sustainable model for Chillida-Leku that is sensitive to the artist’s vision, centered around a changing program of exhibitions that position Chillida’s work alongside other major figures from the art historical canon, and contextualize his practice for future generations.
Upon Chillida’s death in 2002, the Estate was taken on by his late-widow Pilar Belzunce. It is now managed by his sons and daughters.
Iwan Wirth commented:‘Chillida has always loomed large in my mind as a true genius and the guiding force in Spanish postwar art. Spain has been an area of great interest to me both personally and artistically for many years, and as a family we have spent much time there over the course of the last decades, absorbing and appreciating the local culture. This is a particularly poignant moment for Hauser & Wirth since we included Chillida in one of the very first exhibitions at the gallery 25 years ago, focused on contemporary Spanish art.
I am delighted to now have an opportunity to work closely with Chillida’s family on shaping and preserving his legacy and I look forward to furthering his reputation in the United States as well as in Europe and Asia. Chillida joins a number of important European postwar sculptors in our program, including Hans Arp, Fausto Melotti, and Henry Moore, as well as American heavyweight David Smith.
We are thrilled to support the reopening of Chillida-Leku to the wider public, so that the local and international community can once again experience this important window into the artist’s life and work. It is our hope that facilitating wider access to the museum will enhance the already rich offering of cultural destinations in the Basque region.’
The gallery looks forward to a number of exhibitions and publishing projects with the Estate, and to establishing an archive devoted to the artist’s work. Hauser & Wirth will organize a Eduardo Chillida exhibition at the gallery’s 69th Street location in New York in 2018. A significant sculpture by the artist will be presented by Hauser & Wirth at Art Basel Miami Beach this year.