Yunque de sueños XIII (Anvil of Dreams XIII)

Eduardo Chillida

San Sebastián, Spain, 1924 - 2002
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    Wood and steel
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    74 x 54 x 27 cm
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  • Long-term loan of Telefónica Collection

After a series of works inspired by ancient Greek sculpture, Eduardo Chillida evolved more towards the abstract, marked by his use of wrought iron in a way that was new to the European tradition, completely breaking away from any kind of representational approach to nature, and including an emotional, intimate element. In Yunque de sueños XIII (Anvil of Dreams XIII), the subject is the exaltation of ancient ironwork, which Chillida incorporated into his work in what he himself described as an intuitive way. The piece belongs to a series he worked on until the mid-1970s, which combine the wood of the pedestal with the iron of the thrusting shapes of the sculpture on top. The emphatic presence of a perishable material like wood contrasts with the volatile appearance of the upper element of iron, so the whole piece becomes a poetic figure that approaches paradox in order to capture and fix spatial limits. Mexican poet and writer Octavio Paz saw the way that the opposites play off each other as one of the fundamental aspects of Chillida’s work. In this piece, Paz saw how “the anvil acquires the property of the dream, and, like the comb and limits, denies itself, is transformed into its opposite, and so becomes again empty space.”

Carmen Fernández Aparicio