How many times have I been in Plaça dels Angels in front the MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art)? I had never stopped to think about the curious coexistence of two sculptures, both made by two great spanish artists of the twentieth century. I discovered why the two sculptors were at odds over three decades. The mural of Eduardo Chillida (1924-2002), named Barcelona, on one side of the square and on the other hand, La Ola (the wave) of Jorge Oteiza (1908-2003).

Two works are a testament to the street of the best sculpture, as a clash of the titans.

Vanity was the origin of the conflict, which of the two held the authorship of the first non-figurative iron sculpture of Basque School? J. Oteiza, with a difficult and uncontrollable character, never admitted to E. Chillida disputes this honor. He attacked ruthlessly through articles, interviews and even with the publication of the Book of Plagiarism in 1991. Chillida maintained a discreet silence over time, as if indifference was the utmost contempt, except some harsh statement, Oteiza is a man I do not care for, he once said.

After years of attacks and slander, even confrontation between their supporters, oteizianos and chillidistas, former Senator Juan Ignacio Uria got, not without great effort, a bridge of understanding between the two geniuses. In 1997 there was a meeting at Chillida´s house. Both sculptors made peace, not with a smoking pipe but with great meal facing the Bay of La Concha in San Sebastian. A hug sealed the truce.

I like to imagine the hug and to see it reflected in my town, Barcelona, with their works in front of the museum instead facing each other.

Barcelona mural, it’s composed by 416 refractory concrete plates heated by oven, then painted with copper oxide and baked again. It was made in Grasse (France) and it’s the first mural of his career. It measures 15.55 meters long by 5.9 meters high, it’s raised three meters above the ground. It feature the apparent simplicity of the work and the play of spaces, fullness and emptiness, everything and nothing.

Barcelona marco

Mural Barcelona. Eduardo Chillida

chillida correg marco

Barcelona mural in Plaça dels Angels in front of MACBA

La Ola, weighing about 3,500 kilos, is made of aluminum and polyurethane paint. Part of a sketch of the author, 1957. Its concave and convex shapes engage in dialogue with the city and its right angles cut the space. It’s an icon of the building of Richard Meier, MACBA museum.

Ola marco negro

La Ola. Jorge Oteiza

La ola 2

Sus formas y ángulos nos hablan.

Felicidades Martín, hoy es tu santo.

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