Chillida Leku reopens its doors looking towards the future

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Mireia Massagué.
Ignacio Chillida and the museum’s exhibitions staff.
Public Opening.- April the 17th 2019.
From April to September.- Wed. to Mon.: 10.00 am - 8.00 pm. From November to February.- Wed. to Mon.: 10.00 am - 6.00 pm. October and March.- Wed. to Mon: 10.00 am – 7.00 pm. Closed on Tuesdays, except holidays.
Barrio Jauregui, 66, Hernani, Gipuzkoa.

Eduardo Chillida

Eduardo Chillida (San Sebastián, January 10, 1924 - San Sebastián, August 19, 2002) was a Spanish sculptor and engraver known for his work in iron and concrete, outstanding continuator of the tradition of Julio González and Pablo Picasso. He initially enrolled in architecture at the University of Madrid before turning his attention to drawing which he studied at Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid.

Chillida’s early interest in architecture was to have a lasting impact on his development as an artist, his understanding of spatial relationships and, in particular, his interest in making space visible through a consideration of the forms surrounding it. 1950 also marks the artist’s first exhibition, Les mains éblouis, at Galerie Maeght and the beginning of Chillida’s longlife relationship with friend and gallerist, Aimé Maeght.

Chillida is highly celebrated for his approach to monumental public sculpture and his first major commission came early in his career when, in 1954, he produced the four doors for the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu. Another key public commission, a monument to Sir Alexander Fleming, for San Sebastián was finally not installed.

1958 saw several key presentations for Chillida who represented Spain at the Venice Biennale, receiving
the International Grand Prize for Sculpture, the first of numerous awards and public recognitions in his career. He also exhibited for the first time at the Guggenheim in the exhibition ‘Sculpture and Drawings from Seven Sculptors’. At this time, Chillida began a series of sculptures entitled Rumor de Límites (Rumour of Limits). Hewn in iron and steel, they feature geometric components morphed into gravity-defying structures and are at once sculptural and architectural. These totems have their origins in drawing: alongside the Ikaraundi (Great Trembling) series of 1957, this body of work emerged from gestural, minimal, abstract drawings that Chillida produced in the mid-1950s.

The early 1960s was a period of exploration for Chillida who travelled extensively to Greece, Umbria, Tuscany, Rome and Provence. A resulting enduring interest in the interaction between light and architecture led Chillida to begin to work with alabaster, a material which appealed to the artist due to its glowing, translucent properties. The first work he produced in this material was Homenaje a Kandinsky (Hommage to Kandinsky) (1965).

In 1968 Chillida met the German philosopher Martin Heidegger and, the following year, collaborated with him on an illustrated version of his text, Die Kunst Und Der Raum. Both conceived of space as a material medium of relational contact and understood sculpture as a means of revealing how we belong in the world and this consideration of site was central to Chillida’s monumental public sculptures.

A landmark commission for the artist was his Peine del Viento (The Comb of the Wind) which was installed in 1976 in San Sebastián, his birthplace. The work rises above the waves at the western end of La Concha Bay and consists of three steel elements each weighing 11 tonnes embedded in the rocks. Chillida conceived of this work in relation to the horizon and water, two elements which he returned
to throughout his career.

Of the many public commissions, other ground-breaking projects include his collaboration with architect Luis Peña Ganchegui to create the main square at Vitoria-Gasteiz, and his 1988 monument in Guernica. In 1987 the city of Barcelona commissioned Elogio del agua (Eulogy to Water) for the Parque de la Creueta del Coll.

The work of Eduardo Chillida has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions and retrospectives including at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1966); Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh (1979); National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1979); Guggenheim Museum (1980); Palacio de Miramar, San Sebastián (1992); Museo nacional centro de arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (1999), and Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany (1991).

Chillida was the recipient of many awards including the Grand International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale (1958), Kandinsky Prize (1960), Carnegie Prize for Sculpture (1964), Goethe Foundation’s Rembrandt Prize (1975), Andrew Mellon Prize (1978, with Willem de Kooning), Grand Award for Arts in France (1984), the Order Pour le Mérite für Wissenschaft und Kunst (1987), Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association (1991), and Jack Goldhill Award from the Royal Academy of Arts in London (1996).

Luis Laplace

Founded in 2004 in Paris by Luis Laplace and Christophe Comoy, Laplace has developed an international clientele sensitive to high-end design and execution. Through good use of space and light, design concept based on local cultures and traditions, selection of materials and color as well as passion for art and craftsmanship, Laplace combines modern simplicity with great elegance. 

Luis Laplace is an Argentine-trained architect with a sharp eye for interior design, taking an unique approach to unite works of art in a living context. Laplace’s talent rests in in his ability to synthesize art and its surroundings in such a way that both remain distinct and retain their singularity, while entering into a supplementary exchange. His architectural goal is to unite aesthetical and functional spaces that can complement and be enhanced by artworks, revealing unexpected nuances, generating new interpretations and readings, and precipitating an altogether more in-depth engagement with the pieces.

Therefore, our competence goes beyond architecture and focuses on interior architecture as well as decoration. We can design a house from scratch and carry out the project to the ultimate details of everyday living. This “clé en mains” service is a key distinctive characteristic of Laplace.

A successful project demands a constant dialogue with the clients to develop a thorough vision of their goals, aspirations and challenges. This communication is essential to develop trust relationship and to deliver a project in line with clients’ expectations. 

Our objective is not only to offer timeless and elegant design but also to give practical solutions to 21st century high-end living challenges. In some instances, Laplace may assist clients in their quest for their ideal home by visiting the house before acquisition, defining budgets for renovation and interiors, setting up a team of experts in charge of delivering the project under Laplace’s supervision, etc. 

The Laplace team counts 15 professionals, including architects, interior architects and designers. We rely on an extensive network all over the world of real estate agents, artisans, quantity surveyors, contractors, local architects, etc... This network of professionals allows Laplace to deliver projects on time and on budget all over the world while controlling the execution in line with the design intent.  Inspired by both South American modernism and the brutalist movement, Luis Laplace likes to mix French tradition and savoir-faire with vintage furniture, exclusive 20th century antiques and bespoke furniture designed and made in Paris. This furniture line, Laplace Bespoke, is currently shown in our Parisian showroom located place Saint-Georges. The Laplace Showroom is also an exhibition space for vintage furniture and exclusive antiques selected by Luis Laplace and Christophe Comoy.

Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf. Considered a renegade in the landscape industry, the Dutch nurseryman Piet Oudolf (1944) has revolutionized the way perennial gardens are designed and viewed in landscapes today. With a new planting style and meticulous attention detail to the plants, Oudolf has forged the ability to break the rules when his eye finds it necessary to do so.

Born on October 27th, 1944 in Haarlem, Netherlands, Piet is known for his warm, generous, and humble openness. Oudolf first discovered his passion for plants after having travelled to England in the 70’s; that trip fueled his imagination to create a different type of garden (Sorin, Gardening gone Wild). At the time, his inspiration was the much talked about Mien Ruys from the Netherlands who was best known for her work at the Tuinen Mien Ruys, a collection of thirty model gardens.

Since 1982, he has lived and worked in Hummelo, a tiny village in east Netherlands, where he started a nursery with his wife Anja, to grow perennials. His garden has since become renowned for its radical approach and ideas about planting design.

With no formal training, he designs through instinct which is inspired from nature. He notes that in a garden, symmetry is easy but balance is trickier to attain, while always seeking to understand what the intent of a design is when looking over an architect’s plan. Using the texture and form of a plant to guide much of his designs, he believes that the color of a plant will fall into place accordingly in the landscape.

It is Oudolf’s innate curiosity, horticultural knowledge, and ability to create and undertake vast, open canvases with a new wave planting style that awarded him the design proposal in 2000 for the Lurie Garden, the world’s largest rooftop garden located inside Millennium Park, Chicago, IL. Working hand and hand with Seattle landscape architecture firm, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Piet considers the two and a half acre garden to be his greatest garden to date. He considers his work to be ‘purposeful abandon’, with a very naturalistic feel and appearance, stating that his philosophy while designing the Lurie garden was to bring nature back into the city.

Some of Oudolf’s most influential works in the United States have included the perennial plantings at Battery Park, NY; The Highline perennial plantings, NY; and the Goldman Sachs headquarters, NY. Among the many awards he has received, Oudolf was also the recipient of the prestigious Prince Bernhard Culture Prize, an award given by the Queen of Holland to a person who has contributed something extraordinary to the culture of the county. Oudolf continues to design perennial gardens while also serving as a masterclass in the classroom at numerous prestigious schools around the world.

Oudolf also co-founded Future Plants, a company specialising in selecting, growing, breeding and protecting plants for landscaping and public areas. Oudolf`s recent projects include No. 5 Culture Chanel, Paris, France; The High Line, New York NY; Lurie Garden, Millennium Park, Chicago IL; Serpentine Gallery, London, England, and the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.

Oudolf is also a successful author, having co-written numerous books such as; “Planting: A New Perspective” (2013); “Landscapes in Landscapes” (2011); “Gardening with Grasses” (1998); “Designing with Plants and Planting Design” (1999); “Dream Plants for the Natural Garden” (2000); “Planting the Natural Garden” (2003), and “Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space” (2005). In his 35-year career, Oudolf has achieved international acclaim, and has recently been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from RIBA for developing radical ideas in Planting Design (2012) and the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation Award (2013).



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