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With over forty projects in cities around the world, Eduardo Chillida’s public sculpture has played a fundamental role in his artistic career. The artist always defended it as a mechanism for guaranteeing universal access to art.

Octavio Paz, an expert on Chillida, said that whether the sculptor worked in clay, iron, wood, concrete, alabaster or any other material, ‘they all say the same thing: space’.

Keith Haring made his first public mural in 1982 at Houston Street, New York. Since then to the time of his death, seven years later, he produced murals in various cities such as Berlin, Paris, Pisa and Barcelona.

Haring’s mural in Barcelona was created in an almost fortuitous manner. On his way back from Madrid in 1989,, Haring met his friend Montse Guillén, a gastronome and restaurant owner living in New York. When Guillén suggested the possibility of making an intervention related to AIDS in Barcelona, Haring accepted on condition that he could choose the site, and selected a square in the Raval, then a seedy area known as the Barrio Chino.

Permanently located on a podium outside the MACBA building, in the Plaça del Àngels, Barcelona, La ola by Jorge Oteiza has become an icon of Richard Meier’s building.

 

‘In Basque, shadow is called itxal, meaning the power of being, not a lack of light. Shadows are the power of the light: the greater the shadows, the greater the light.’ Jorge Oteiza

A regular object in Jordi Benito’s iconography, this time the piano becomes an object of public art. Produced in 1990, in 1994 it was installed among the pine trees outside the vice-chancellor’s office on the campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. 

The lightness of the sound and the intangibility of the music are in sharp contrast with the weight and material solidity of the stone.

Located since 2010 outside the Postgraduate School on the campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the sculpture encapsulates the language of this New York artist who has numerous public works in the United States and Europe.

‘Monumental sculpture is directed to man and his perception, not to function. There is no need to adapt. No need to use the work. The only inescapable need is to relate and create an interaction between man and aesthetic experience. Which here becomes a social act.’ Beverly Pepper

In 2004, Descobriment de Barcelona was relocated outside the Faculty of Education on the campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. It is a monumental sculpture made of iron and other materials found in the urban waste of Barcelona.

 When asked whether he noticed any difference working in a Mediterranean context, Caro replied: ‘I do. Here there is a different emphasis in the streets, things like balconies and very accentuated lights and shadows, which we don’t get at home.’ The very title of the work, Descobriment de Barcelona, reveals Caro’s impressions of working in the city.

S.M. La Reina and S.M. El Rei, are two large basalt monoliths, each over three-and-a-half-metres high, which evoke one of the greatest symbols of power – the monarchy – through their titles and their monumentality. Made in 1987 and located since 2004 on the Rambla Nord, outside the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting on the campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, these works encapsulate the artist’s sculptural language.

The artist ‘humanises’ large blocks of stone by turning them into a family, a traveller or legal practitioners, this time he has opted for the figure of monarchs.

I believe an artwork should leave the viewer perplexed, make him reflect on the meaning of life
Antoni Tàpies