The Wall as a Spatial Work: the Reliefs of Jorge Oteiza in Architecture (1951-58)

Emma López-Bahut

Abstract

This paper analyses the mural projects of Basque sculptor Jorge Oteiza on façades and internal walls between the years 1951-58. At first, he dealt with walls as ground planes on which to execute his sculptures, finally viewing them as an empty plane with spatial possibilities, defined by the minimum forms and the action of natural light. Based on original, previously unpublished material, we explore the evolution of this work with the aim of establishing to what extent this process was marked by the architecture on which his work was executed, by the architects with whom he collaborated, or the stage of his sculptural experimentation with which they are associated. We show that apart from the presence of an architect, there is a correlation between the way in which the reliefs were applied to the wall and the work carried out on the space where the project was created: the larger the spatial work on the wall, the greater the relationship with the space within which it was inserted, at every scale, from the interior of the architecture to the urban space.

Keywords

architecture; sculpture; Jorge Oteiza; space; light.

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References

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