Ángel Bados
Spain, 1945
Ángel Bados is an artist and teacher who played a key role in training the group of Basque artists responsible for renewing the syntax of sculpture in the 1980s. After completing his studies at the San Fernando School of Fine Arts in Madrid, he settled in Pamplona, where he had his first solo exhibition, San Fermín. Objeto Kitsch. The show featured a collection of iconographic objects related to the famous local festival, which revolves around the running of the bulls. Together they constituted a critique of local self-absorption and the cultural fetishisation of the festival. This marked the beginning of the first stage of his career, which was dominated by installations that drew on the language of Minimalism, Conceptual Art and Arte Povera to articulate a critique of the social context. Beuys’ influence, reflected in all Bados’s output, is already evident at this early stage. The work of both artists is characterised by the use of natural and found materials, which underscores the process-oriented nature the work, social sculpture that aspires to have an impact on life, and an interest in ritual. The year 1983 was a defining point in Bados’s artistic output. When he moved to Bilbao to take up a position as a lecturer at the School of Fine Arts, he came into contact with Txomin Badiola, Pello Irazu, Juan Luis Moraza, Ricardo Catania, and María Luisa Fernández. Together they formed a discussion group and, building on the legacy of Constructivism and the ideas of Jorge Oteiza, debated the strategies of modern sculpture and the possibility of revitalising the medium. The ideas they discussed had a profound impact on Bados, who turned his attention to space as a central issue. He became an advocate of sculpture as a ‘transformative artefact’ that must engage with the space it occupies and with life. These ideas took him in a new direction: he now produced simpler sculptures in iron, steel and wood, and the box became a key formal principle for him. Untitled, which dates to this period, is a composition made up of empty boxes that mediate a dialogue between the viewer, the space and the sculptor. In the early 1990s, iron was replaced by more fragile and domestic materials, including Formica, wood, lead, and especially glass. Together with Badiola, Bados taught sculpture workshops at the Arteleku art centre in 1996 and 1997. The courses made a vital contribution to training new generations of artists. In recent years, he has also curated exhibitions, including most notably Oteiza. Laboratorio Experimental.
Julia Morandeira

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

  • Untitled / 1987