SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN.- Spanish sculptor Jorge Oteiza, 94, died at the Policlínica Gipuzkoa of San Sebastián after being hospitalized since January 30. Oteiza suffered from a severe lung obstruction illness. He will be buried later today at the Alzuza cemetery in Navarra, next to the tomb of his wife Itziar Carreño, with whom he married in 1938. He lived in this area for many years and next to his house the Museo Jorge Oteiza has been buil. The museum will be inaugurated in the month of April.
Jorge Oteiza was born in Orio, Guipuzcoa, Spain, 94 years ago. He was the recipient of the Fine Arts Medal of Honor. He began studying medicine, but in 1931 he turned to sculpture. From 1935 he was an art professor in different Latin American countries, until 1948. During this period he wrote the “Letter to American Artists on the new post-war. He founded the “Espacio” group. He returned to Spain in 1949. In 1950 he was awarded the Great International Award of Sculpture at the São Paulo Biennial. Between 1953 and 1969 he collaborated with architect Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza in the sculpture decoration of the Church of Our Lady of Aránzazu, to which his famous frieze Fireze of the Apostles belongs to.
In 1963 he published “Quousque tandem. . . ! Ensayo de interpretación del alma vasca” (An essay to interpret the Basque soul). Three years later he founded the GAUR group. And in 1969 he founded the Deva School. Oteiza had been an enemy of the other great Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida, but they reconciled just before Chillida died.