Silent Music / Música Callada
Born in San Sebastian in Spain's Basque country, Eduardo Chillida (1924–2002) was one of the most renowned sculptors of the 20th century. He is well known especially for his many large, rusty steel monuments, which are found in Spain and other European countries and in the United States. There is one in Helsinki, too, in front of the Porthania Building at the University of Helsinki. Commissioned by the University to celebrate its 350th anniversary, it symbolizes the union of science and art. The exhibition Silent Music (Música Callada) at Art Museum Meilahti comprises 30 miniature sculptures and paper works by Eduardo Chillida. They are shown concurrently with paintings by the Israeli artist Ido Bar-El.
Eduardo Chillida studied architecture in Madrid in 1942–1947, after which he moved to Paris, where he soon established himself as a sculptor and printmaker. During his long career, he received countless international awards. He was proud of his Basque background and demonstrated his respect for the Basque culture by entitling many of his works in Euskera, the Basque language. One of his principal works is Peine del Viento (Comb of the Wind, 1977). Standing on the rocky shore of his hometown San Sebastian, it has come to symbolize the Basque country. Chillida made several variations based on this theme, one of which is shown in the exhibition in Meilahti.
The exhibition stands witness to Chillida's love for various materials and form. In his miniature sculptures, he used, for example, iron, steel, clay shale or terracotta. Paper was also one of his chosen materials. His paper works, which he called gravitations, are three-dimensional reliefs comprising several overlying sheets. Both the sculpture and paper pieces are defined by the dynamic between empty and full space and the relationship between different forms.
All works in the exhibition share a strong association with music. Many of the titles refer to composers or musical terminology, but there also is a musicalness in the structure of his works. Chillida had a special fondness for Johann Sebastian Bach's music, which is often described as architectonic.
The exhibition is organised by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, with the collaboration of the Chillida-Leku Museum, and curated by Marisa Oropesa. It was realized in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in Finland. Prior to Helsinki, the exhibition is shown at the Hermitage in St Petersburg.
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