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First exhibition to explore Eduardo Chillida's multitude of media opens at the Meadows Museum
Eduardo Chillida (Spanish, 1924–2002), Gure aitaren etxea (1ª versión Nº 2) / Our Father’s House (1st Version No. 2), 1985. Iron. © Zabalaga-Leku. ARS, New York / VEGAP, Madrid, 2017. Courtesy The Estate of Eduardo Chillida and Hauser & Wirth.

DALLAS, TX.- The Meadows Museum is presenting Dallas’s first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the work of Eduardo Chillida (1924–2002). Chillida, one of Spain’s most celebrated modern sculptors, is famous for his monumental iron and stone sculptures that shape both urban and rural landscapes. This exhibition includes 66 of the artist’s works, from his sculptures, to his drawings, collages, gravitations, graphic works, and a selection of his books. Co-curated by William Jeffett, chief curator of exhibitions for The Dalí Museum, and Ignacio Chillida, the artist’s son, the works in Memory, Mind, Matter: The Sculpture of Eduardo Chillida come exclusively from the Museo Chillida-Leku in Hernani (San Sebastián, Spain); the exhibition travels to Dallas from the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. A complimentary exhibition, Chillida in Dallas: De Musica at the Meyerson, is curated by Meadows/Mellon/Prado Curatorial Fellow Amanda W. Dotseth and will focus on the landmark commission by Chillida at Dallas’s Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The two exhibitions will open on February 4, 2018, and run through June 3.

Memory, Mind, Matter: The Sculpture of Eduardo Chillida focuses on the mature part of Chillida’s career, when he produced works such as Peine del Viento XV (Wind Comb) in 1976 and Elogio del Horizonte (Eulogy to the Horizon) in 1990, while also presenting important, rarely displayed works. The exhibition addresses the artist’s interest in space and form, which is anchored to the human body and to organic elements found in nature. His works express both the power of nature and humanity’s physical strength. Instead of seeing his works as abstract—an idea Chillida rejected—the exhibition demonstrates his connection to the pre-war avant-garde’s interest in human subjectivity and its poetic notions of form. The exhibition also includes a reflection on the artist’s engagement with poetry and philosophy in his artists’ books, and his admiration for writers of the period.

Chillida is also celebrated for the variety of media used in his works, including iron, stone, ceramic, alabaster and paper. His iron and steel sculptures are made of solid metal, while his alabaster works are made from a single piece of stone. His works on paper, known as gravitations, include the layering of pages to create a collage, creating an effect of shadows, weight and tension between the paper. Additionally, the pieces of paper are stitched together, which creates a contrast of negative and positive space in the cut outs. In connection to his Basque roots, Chillida’s works evoke interlocking fingers, arms and hands. He saw hands as an instrument for interaction with the earth: they are how the artist holds and shapes his materials. Eduardo Chillida’s use of natural forms in connection with the Basque country is best described in the artist’s own words: “In my Basque Country I feel at home, like a tree that is adapted to its territory, rooted in its earth but with its arms open to the world.”

“Eduardo Chillida is well-known to our community, by sight if not by name, as Dallas is fortunate to be home to one of his most important public sculptures,” said Mark Roglán, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum. “This exhibition shows Chillida’s different sides through his visionary use of materials, from the power of stone to the lightness of paper. We are thrilled to bring these works to Dallas and expand our understanding of one of the most important and influential modern Spanish sculptors.”

Chillida in Dallas: De música at the Meyerson, explores the monumental sculpture located in front of the Morton H. Myerson Symphony Center in Dallas. Chillida was selected for the commission by the Dallas Symphony Foundation Arts Committee, in close consultation with architect and Committee member I.M. Pei. What resulted was the impressive De música, Dallas XV (On Music, Dallas XV), which contains two imposing 15-foot-high cylinders of more than 3 feet in diameter, with commanding and elegant arm-like extensions. The work embodies Chillida’s artistic philosophy, his interest in Saint Augustine (after whose treatise on music the sculpture is named), and in the mystical number three. De música is the only public work by Chillida on display in Dallas and represents a dialogue between Chillida and architect I. M. Pei, who designed the Symphony Center’s glass and granite building.

Memory, Mind, Matter: The Sculpture of Eduardo Chillida will be accompanied by a catalogue with full color illustrations of the 66 works by Eduardo Chillida in the exhibition, along with an introduction by the artist’s son Ignacio Chillida, and essays by Hank Hine (Director of The Dalí Museum), Nausica Sanchez (Fundación Eduardo Chillida-Pilar Belzunce), and William Jeffett. The catalogue includes the artist’s biography, use of media, distinctive motifs, and artists’ books.

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