Jorge Oteiza
Spain, 1908
Spain, 2003
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Jorge Oteiza (Orio, 1908 - San Sebastian, 2003) is considered one of the leading figures in Basque sculpture, and his artistic career holds an important place in Spanish art from the post-war period to the sixties. He discovered his artistic calling during the mid-twenties in the tumultuous creative atmosphere of San Sebastian. The early sculptural work of the self-taught artist was strongly informed by Expressionism and Primitivism. During his time in South America, where he lived between 1934 and 1948, he developed the foundation of what would constitute his future sculptural work. Upon his return to Spain, he was commissioned to create the sculptures for the frieze and façade of the Basilica of Our Lady of Aranzazu, designed by the architect Francisco Javier Sáez de Oiza. On this project, Oteiza experimented with his theories on weakening, the void and the aesthetic of negative space. In 1957 he presented a series of small-scale works entitled ‘Propósito experimental’ at the Bienal de São Paulo, which earned him the Grand Prize for Sculpture. Two years later, at a time when his work had achieved significant international recognition, he abandoned sculpture to concentrate on a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, teaching, poetry and cinema. Oteiza’s work bridges the avant-garde movements and the post-war generation, offering a reappraisal of the European tradition of geometric art, particularly Neo-plasticism and Russian Constructivism and their influence on Basque culture. During the sixties and seventies, he explored popular Basque traditions and, most importantly, the Basque language. He published the famous Quousque tandem…! Ensayo de interpretación estética del alma vasca, a controversial text with strong political implications that he expanded upon in subsequent critical essays.
Valentín Roma

Artworks by the artist included in the Collection Artworks by the artist included in the Collection

  • Empty Box / 1958

  • Ternary Macle with the Malevich-Atarrabi Matrix / 1974

  • Mobile Sub-product of the Clearing of the Sphere / 1957 -