The Matter and Imagery of Air in Eduardo Chillida’s The Comb of the Wind XV

Mei-Hsin Chen

Abstract


Eduardo Chillida’s The Comb of the Wind XV, embedded in natural rocks rising from the Cantabrian Ocean in 1977, expresses the artistic potential of air as a material, a metaphor, and as an art-maker. With this sculpture, Chillida opened up the possibility for air itself to show indefinite imageries. Although much has been written about this sculptural group from different perspectives, no study has been systematically undertaken to analyze it regarding the theme of the matter of air, which should be considered the core of the work of art. As Gaston Bachelard stated: ‘Chillida wished the iron [of The Comb of the Wind XV] to show aerial realities.’ Hence, this article seeks to study to what ‘aerial realities’ Chillida might refer, and the relationship between air and his artwork. First, this paper delves into the meanings and functions that air involves in Chillida’s artwork, as well as into how the sculptor embodied his poetic of air and allowed the spectator to perceive his sculptural installation with five senses. Also, the interaction between Chillida’s work and Luis Peña Ganchegui’s architectural installation La Plaza del Tenis is examined under the scope of Martin Heidegger’s notion of place. All these aspects are discussed to help readers realize why the air in natural motion is the foundation of The Comb of the Wind XV, and map the holistic imagery of air that Chillida intended to express.


Keywords


Air art; Art as experience; Contemporary art; Eduardo Chillida; Imagery of air; Metaphor of air; Public art; The Comb of the Wind

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18432/R2PG81

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