San Sebastián, 1924 – 2002
Informalist sculptor of international repute, who began working principally in plaster and stone, and in 1951—having settled in the Basque town of Hernani—incorporated iron as a sculptural material. In 1954 he was awarded a prize in the X Triennale di Milano. In 1956 he showed his iron sculptures at Galerie Maeght, where he was to exhibit on various occasions. He participated in Sculptures and Drawings from Seven Sculptors (1958) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and that same year won the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the 29th Venice Biennale.
In 1959 he was invited to show in a number of important exhibitions in the United States and Canada, as well as in the II Documenta in Kassel. He began working in wood, concrete, alabaster and clay, at the same time as making prints, collages and drawings, on occasion illustrating his own writings. The world’s most important museums have devoted monographic shows to him and his public sculptures are on display in cities all over the world. In 2000 he founded the Museo Chillida Leku in Hernani, which reopened to the public in 2019.