Eduardo Chillida’s Guggenheim Bilbao Exhibition To Be Auctioned At Christie’s

Christie’s is presenting the complete Homage to Chillida exhibition curated by Kosme de Barañano and held at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 2006 for sale in the Christie’s London evening and day auctions of Post-War & Contemporary Art on 25 and 26 June 2013. ‘Homage to Chillida’ is a collection of works representing a fitting testament to the remarkable career of Eduardo Chillida (1924-2002). A star work from the exhibition is Eduardo Chillida’s monumental sculpture Buscando la Luz IV, 2001, which was first on long-term display at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park from 2002–2004 before its installation at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 2006 (estimate on request; illustrated above).

A poignant tribute to the renowned Basque sculptor, this homage includes forty-five sculptures, paintings and drawings by a group of prominent international and Spanish artists, including Elsworth Kelly, Cy Twombly, Zao Wou-Ki, Miquel Barceló, David Hockney and Anish Kapoor.

María García Yelo, Director, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Spain: “We are honoured to bring to London the exceptional collection ‘Homage to Chillida’. First showed at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in 2006, the exhibition featured works by a wide range of major international artists, who made work in response to the  Basque master Eduardo Chillida. To be offered for sale in the Christie’s auctions of ‘Post-War & Contemporary Art’ on 25 and 26 June, this selection includes works by Anish Kapoor, David  Hockney, Ellsworth Kelly and Zao Wou Ki, among others. Also part of the sale is a monumental masterpiece by Chillida himself, the largest by the artist ever erected in a public space in London, which will be specially installed in the gardens of The Royal Hospital Chelsea, offering a rare opportunity to see this spectacular work in the UK.”

A master of Post-War sculpture, Eduardo Chillida made work that explored both material and form, but beyond that, he became a philosopher and an architect of the void. Throughout his career, Chillida questioned notions of time, space and material in a variety of different media that include iron, alabaster and terracotta. Highlighting the ‘Homage to Chillida’ collection is one of Eduardo Chillida’s grandest and most ambitious works, Buscando la Luz IV (Searching for the Light IV), 2001, a spectacular 8-metre tall monolith, standing as a tribute to light and to the earth (estimate on request; illustrated on page 1). Rendered out of corten steel, Buscando La Luz IV is a unique form from the artist‘s last large-scale sculpture series, completed only a year before Chillida’s death. It marks the culmination of his pioneering investigations into scale and the architecture of space.

The artists brought together in ‘Homage to Chillida’ are united by their admiration for the Spanish artist, and this collection expresses the esteem in which Chillida was held by his peers. Many of these works are poignant reflections of artistic friendships forged with the Spanish artist known for his charismatic persona and warm disposition.

Among the highlights of ‘Homage to Chillida’ is Ellsworth Kelly’s Untitled (EK 692), a graceful embodiment of the artist’s elegant minimalist aesthetic executed in 1983 (estimate: £250,000-350,000; illustrated above). Revealing its materiality and physicality through the medium of weathered steel, Untitled is a sculptural counterpoint to the Kelly’s painterly practice and a fitting homage to the artist’s friend Eduardo Chillida.

Untitled (Homage to Chillida) is a sculpture made by Cy Twombly from 2003, appears to serve as a kind of monument or memorial to the art of sculpture and to its innate poetry (estimate: £600,000-800,000; illustrated right). Cast in bronze in an edition of four, Twombly’s sculpture takes the form of a tower of disparate architectonic forms – all made from found objects – that collectively build to a peak in the form of a large and seemingly petrified flower blooming at the top.

Forming part of a series of homages created by Zao Wou Ki, Hommage à Chillida (2004) is one of the most compelling paintings by the artist produced in the last years his life (estimate: £250,000-350,000; illustrated right). A monumental canvas spanning nearly two metres, Hommage à Chillida is among the largest of the artist’s entire ‘Hommage’ series. Offering a painterly impression of the epic landscape at the foot of Mount Igeldo, Hommage à Chillida captures the feeling of standing at the crest of the bay in San Sebastián, where Eduardo Chillida placed his seminal El Peine del Viento. A poetic vision, Hommage à Chillida is a tribute to Zao’s urge to acknowledge the greatness of those who inspired him while leaving his own significant legacy.


‘Homage to Chillida’ will be exhibited from 10 – 26 June at Christie’s new gallery space at 103 New Bond Street. – Eduardo Chillida’s Buscando La Luz IV (Looking for the Light IV) , 2001, will be on view on 11-26 June at the Royal Hospital Gardens, Chelsea, London SW3 4SL.

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