“hacer crecer” by gorka chillida & concrete art

galeria cadaqués – huc malla reopens its emblematic galeria cadaqués 2 by inviting upcoming artist gorka chillida (san sebastian, 1981) and london-based curator irene altaió, the latter proposing a dialogue between the mentioned artist and key works by internationally acclaimed artists of concrete art – max bill, richard paul lohse or max hubert, among others.

gorka chillida’s exhibition, entitled hacer crecer (‘make grow’), hosts a set of eighteen steel sculptures of various formats and more than forty recent drawings. gorka chillida, who is son and grandson of a saga of basque artists of international renown, has in recent times begun to show more of his work, meeting with an exceptional welcome in madrid, donosti, barcelona, and now in cadaqués. he has authored the poster of the current edition of the cadaqués music festival, where he delineates the perimeter of cadaques’ bay with the very characteristic geometric shapes of his drawing persona.

his work delves deep into the volumetric potential of space. sculptures originate from small steel tubes, the ends of which expand progressively and, in turn, generate layers, cavities and openings that gravitate onto themselves. the welding that joins those small pieces is left visible by the artist, thus revealing various contrasts of textures. it is an exercise that builds on the balance of dualities: inside and outside, visible and hidden, suspension and gravity. the work requires from the viewer an active attitude so that it may discern a path within the cavities where to direct one’s gaze and thought.

in his drawing, he continues the exploration initiated in his sculpture and, starting from the void, constructing a fabric of forms of noticeable geometric nature. these constitute so-called “colonies”, created and recreated with repetitive rhythms and variations. his drawings, of a strong visual impact in monochrome, are rigorous formal variations of something that grows in an organic manner.

gorka chillida’s exhibition relates to a selection of concrete art works, one of the principal exhibition lines of the italo-swiss gallery owner, the architect and artist lanfranco bombelli –founder of galeria cadaqués (1973-1997), which reopened in 2003 under huc malla. thus, twenty years after the closure of historic galeria cadaqués 2 (1976-1982) -which arose from the need to host a greater and noted number of artists such as joseph beuys, joan brossa, adolfo estrada, richard hamilton, david hockney, frank stella, or mies van der rohe–, this summer the gallery pays homage to the concrete art movement as it coincides with the bauhaus movement’s centenary.

the constellation of artists linked to the biography of lanfranco bombelli establish an historical and conceptual framework that relate closely to geometric, rigorous and systematic compositions based on purely plastic elements; which, in concrete art’s case, finds inspiration in mathematics. this resonates with what gorka chillida does in its abstract compositions and its way to make them grow organically.

galeria cadaqués played an almost legendary and indeed very important role as editor of graphic art works, some of which are revisited in this exhibition. two works of beautiful coloured rhythms (1977), by max huber (artist and graphic designer of swiss origin, and protagonist of the postwar constructive typography) are shown; as well as an avant la lettre by max bill, vier mal drei gleiche farbquanten (1990) -edition for the poster of the cadaqués music festival, and an exceptional edition of 1943. one may also see the artist’s proofs and prints of richard paul lohse, dario grossi, and heijō hang, in cadaqués portfolio one (1973) –the founding event of galeria cadaqués and edited by lanfranco bombelli. the work presented from jakob bill is the silkscreen integrated in cadaques portfolio four (1997), in memory of his father max bill. from françois morellet, an exceptional edition of a post-bauhaus drawing is presented, made with the programmed chance system (1997), as well as diagonale fragmentée (1978), a piece of contemporary stainless steel jewellery. from sol lewittt, the work shown is the stunning and beautiful wood engraving on japanese paper: a form driven from a rectangular solid (1992). from the artist antonio calderara, one may see two silkscreens in large and small format of the chromatic variations’ series (1977). from adolfo estrada (only representative of concrete art in spain), a frieze of a/p of the series cassia (1975) is shown. finally, making an explicit tribute to lanfranco bombelli -who collaborated in the resumption of concrete art in the immediate years after world war two-, three of his graphic works in black and white are faced with the work of young artist gorka chillida.

from july 20th until august 31st 2019