Desocupación no cúbica del espacio, 1959

Non-Cubic Freeing of Space, 1959
Sculpture, 40 x 43.8 x 38 cm

Jorge Oteiza created his first sculptures under the influence of primitive art, even though these already display the transcendental quality of the later work. From 1940, influenced to some extent by Henry Moore, Jorge Oteiza began to separate the members of his figurative sculptures and to create interstitial spaces in the pursuit of contrast between areas of light and zones of shadow. It was during this period that he broke away from the organicism of Moore and set out to create a new sculptural alphabet, abstract in character, in which he fused the interior space and the exterior, man and the universe, the real and the ideal.

Conjunción dinámica de dos pares de elementos curvos o livianos belongs to Oteiza’s mature period. Here, the sculptor explores the “spatial non-occupation” of a volume starting from a dynamic sense of the sphere, which in its essence revolves around itself or roman in constant rotation. Produced only a year before he gave up the practice of sculpture, Desocupación no cúbica del espacio forms part of the series devoted to Construcciones vacías and to Cajas metafísicas. For all their closeness to neoplasticist and suprematist practice, the processes employed by Oteiza in this work reveal one of the constants of his career: the desire to preserve the vital content of his works from pure logicism. In this way, in place of the analytical rigidity of mathematics the Basque sculptor turns to biology or physics, as sciences grounded in reality.

In 1959 Jorge Oteiza abandoned the practice of sculpture to devote himself entirely to the theory of art and the study of the Basque cultural identity; since then, he has become involved in fields as diverse as architecture, poetry and film.

of my Non-occupation of space
creation of gaps of empty spaces
in sculpture as experimental object
spatial non-occupation of the cube
of the sphere
and the cylinder
with a hug for Cézanne
. non-occupation of the polyhedron
. non-occupation of the city
in architecture in urbanism empty the city
to see the sky
in film concavity holes
in sport places outside of the world
in football
displace defences
open gaps
to escape.”

Jorge Oteiza, n/d

Technical details

Original title:
Desocupación no cúbica del espacio
Registration number:
Oteiza, Jorge
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
40 x 43.8 x 38 cm (height x width x depth)
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Gift of Fundación Bertrán
© Pilar Oteiza, A+V Agencia de Creadores Visuales
It has accessibility resources:

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.

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