Eduardo Chillida

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Eduardo Chillida

Eduardo Chillida Juantegui (born January 10, 1924 in San Sebastián , † August 19, 2002 there ) was a Spanish - Basque sculptor and draftsman . He is one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. His best-known works are large sculptures with extensive structures.


Chillida moved to Madrid in 1943 and studied architecture at the Universidad de Madrid until 1946 . In 1947 he left his architecture studies behind to study drawing at the private art academy Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. In 1948 he moved to Paris and set up a studio there. Here Chillida made her first figurative sculptures out of plaster of paris and clay. In 1949 and the following year he took part in the Salon de Mai .

In San Sebastián, Chillida married Pilar de Belzunce in 1950 and returned to San Sebastián in 1951. In the same year he moved into a villa in neighboring Hernani , in which he set up a studio with his own forge . The drafts created here and the first works in forging technology created the basis for his later large works in iron sculpture .

From 1959 to 1977 he took part in the documenta exhibitions 2 , 3 , 4 and 6 in Kassel . In the 80s and 90s there were important retrospectives of his life's work in New York , Bonn , Münster , Berlin , Frankfurt am Main and San Sebastián.

During Chillida's lifetime, the Chillida Leku Museum dedicated to his work opened in Hernani in 2000 with a sculpture park that extends over 12 hectares . At the end of 2010, however, the museum was closed to the public due to financial problems as a result of the financial crisis , the conservation care of the collection and the lending of the works for external museum exhibitions will continue. Since then it has only been possible to visit it by prior arrangement.

At the end of 2017, the Swiss gallery Hauser & Wirth announced that an exclusive representation of the estate had been agreed with the heirs. As part of the agreement, the reopening of the Chilliada Leku Museum was announced in April 2019.

His younger brother Gonzalo (1926–2008) was a painter.

Works (selection)


  • " Nunca se conoce bastante ya que lo conocido oculta, en su interior lo desconocido " - (Our knowledge is never comprehensive - the well-known hides the unknown inside.)
  • La verdadera importancia de la razón reside en el poder que tiene de hacernos comprender sus proprias limitaciones. “- (The real meaning of the mind rests on its ability to make us aware of its own limits.)
  • Yo soy de los que piensan, y para mí es muy importante, que los hombres somos de algún sitio. Lo ideal es que seamos de un lugar, que tengamos las raíces en un lugar, pero que nuestros brazos lleguen a todo el mundo, que nos valgan las ideas de cualquier cultura. “- (I am one of those people who - and this is very important to me - think that people come from one place. Ideally, we come from one place, our roots are in one place, but we reach out into it whole world, let us be inspired by the ideas of different cultures.)
  • Mi vida ha sido una aventura, me la he jugado en cada obra. Mi vida y mi obra han consistido siempre en intentar hacer lo que no sabia hacer, y he pasado mi tiempo preguntando, dudando, buscando. “- (My life has been an adventure, I risked it with every work. My life and my work have always consisted of trying to do what I did not know how to do, and so I have my time questioning, doubting , spent searching.)



  • Claude Esteban : Chillida. Maeght, Paris 1971. (French)
  • Martin van der Koelen: Eduardo Chillida · OPUS PI; Catalog raisonné of prints 1959–1972. Chorus, Mainz 1999, ISBN 3-931876-11-X .
  • Martin van der Koelen: Eduardo Chillida · OPUS P.II; Catalog raisonné of prints 1973–1985. Chorus, Mainz 1997, ISBN 3-931876-12-8 .
  • Martin van der Koelen: Eduardo Chillida · OPUS P.III; Catalog raisonné of prints 1986–1996. Chorus, Mainz 1996, ISBN 3-931876-03-9 .
  • Martin van der Koelen: Eduardo Chillida · OPUS P.IV; Catalog raisonné of prints 1966–2001. Chorus, Mainz 2005, ISBN 3-931876-44-6 .
  • Gisela Fiedler-Bender, Dorothea van der Koelen and Johann Schuierer: Documents of our time XVII: Eduardo Chillida - paper works. Dorothea van der Koelen Verlag, Mainz 1994, ISBN 3-926663-17-0
  • Elisabeth Guth: The magic garden Chillida-leku. In: art The art magazine. 2001, No. 1, p. 62.
  • Friedhelm Mennekes: Eduardo Chillida - cross and space. Chorus Verlag, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-931876-40-3 . (Reading sample)
  • Sabine Maria Schmidt: Eduardo Chillida, The monuments in public space. Chorus, Mainz 2000, ISBN 3-931876-25-X . (Dissertation University of Münster)
  • Peter Dering: Eduardo Chillida - graphics and sculptures from four decades. Niggli Verlag, Sulgen / Zurich 2001, ISBN 3-906966-01-1 .
  • Klaus Bußmann : Eduardo Chillida - major works. Chorus Verlag, Mainz / Munich 2003, ISBN 3-931876-48-9 .
  • Eduardo Chillida Juantegui , in: Internationales Biographisches Archiv 47/2002 of November 11, 2002, in the Munzinger Archive ( beginning of article freely available)

Web links

Commons : Eduardo Chillida  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Francisco Calvo Sera Creator: Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Collection. Guggenheim Bilbao 2009, p. 503, ISBN 978-84-95216-61-8 .
  2. ^ A b Thomas M. Messer: Eduardo Chillida - a retrospective. Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main 1993, p. 181.
  3. Chillida sets up a studio with a forge., accessed on June 30, 2013.
  4. cf. the website of the museum ( memento of July 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive ).
  5. Los últimos visitantes del Chillida-Leku. El País , December 31, 2010 (Spanish, accessed May 9, 2011).
  6. Museo Chillida Leku: Bienvenida ( Memento from September 28, 2018 in the Internet Archive ).
  7. Chillida Leku to reopen in April 2019. Hauser & Wirth, January 14, 2019.
  8. Is that art, or can it go away? FAZ of August 27, 2013, page 27
  9. a b Website of the Museo Chillida-Leku.
  10. Museo Chillida-Leku, 7th edition, 2007, p. 14