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Caja metafísica por conjunción de dos triedros, 1959

Metaphisical Box through the Conjuction of Two Trihedrons, 1959
Sculpture, 27 x 34.5 x 24.4 cm

Influenced by Mondrian, Malevich and, above all, Cezanne, in the mid-fifties Jorge Oteiza began to investigate the square and the cube as essential units. In his stone, iron and steel sculptures he put forward a concept of closed volumes seen as metaphysical presences, rather than the absence of solid mass. The point was to capture the essence of the void, its capacity for generating both spiritual and physical energy.

The fifties were Oteiza’s most fertile period as a sculptor, although in parallel to his sculptural production, he also developed a theoretical body of work of great importance and complexity.

Besides his significant studies on the cultural and artistic roots of the Basque country, Oteiza expressed his main aesthetic concerns and his ideological commitment in numerous texts and, in 1959, he decided to abandon sculpture altogether to devote himself entirely to art theory and the study of Basque cultural identity. From then on, his work included collaborations in fields as diverse as architecture, poetry and cinema.

Like Desocupación no cúbica del espacio (Non-cubic emptying of space), Oteiza’s Caja metafísica por conjunción de dos triedros (Metaphysical box by the conjunction of two trihedra) is also part of the series dedicated to Construcciones vacías (Empty constructions) and Cajas metafísicas (Metaphysical boxes). It is based on complex combinations of stepped planes and internal and external spatial volumes. Despite its affinity with Neo-Plasticist and Suprematist practices, the procedures used in this sculpture follow a constant trend in the artist’s trajectory: his determination to preserve the vital content of his works in the face of pure logistics. In opposition to the analytic rigidity of mathematics, the Basque sculptor favours biology and physics, two sciences anchored in reality.

OF MY EMPTYING OF SPACE
creation of voids in empty spaces
in sculpture as experimental object
spatial emptying of the cube
of the sphere
and the cylinder
while embracing Cézanne
emptying of the polyhedron
emptying of the city
in architecture and urbanism empty the city
to see the sky
in the cinema concavity and holes
in sports places outside the world
in football
displace defences
open holes
to escape.


Technical details

Original title:
Caja metafísica por conjunción de dos triedros
Registration number:
4
Artist:
Oteiza, Jorge
Date created:
1959
Date acquired:
1988
Status:
On display
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Sculpture
Media:
Copper plating steel and marble
Dimensions:
27 x 34.5 x 24.4 cm(width x height x depth)
Room:
Meier Building, Level 1, Rooms 3 and 4
Credits:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Gift of Fundación Bertrán
Copyright:
© Pilar Oteiza, A+V Agencia de Creadores Visuales
It has accessibility resources:
No

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.

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