Author: Angel Bados
Published by the Jorge Oteiza Museum Foundation.
Collaborating institution: CAN Foundation and C.S.P. La Catedral
First edition in June of 2008
Throughout his life, Jorge Oteiza’s idealistic character made him name what has no name, and place himself on the very limits of representation. This is where he deploys his Experimental Laboratory, a central element in the sculptor’s creative process, which the Oteiza Museum has now analysed and reviewed, by the publication o with the same name, within a project directed by Angel Bados.
Oteiza worked in his Laboratory with close and usable materials such as plaster or zinc sheet plate, which allowed him to directly attack very precise structural objectives such as the “inoccupation of statues by means of hyperboloids and light modules”, or the “inoccupation of cubes and spheres”. At the same time, the procedure of the experimental series promoted the “repetition” of the sculptural aspect, with abundant and delicate solutions, the whole of which manage to manifest, precisely, what is beyond the representation of an idea and which only art dares to unveil.
This publication, of over 1600 experimental pieces, is related with Oteiza’s sculptural processes. The publication starts in the Laboratory of the 1950s, which includes the Arantzazu project and the works for Sao Paulo together with the conclusion of the Experimental Purpose, in 1959, when Oteiza announces his departure from the workshop in order to dedicate himself to educational and cultural projects, in order to conclude the studies on the piety of Arantzazu, elaborated in 1969, and the 1972-73 chalk Laboratory.
This preview of the Laboratory implies “acceding to the interior of the artist’s work and to the interior of art”, as Bados points out. In this sense, the Laboratory “is what the artist invents in order to resolve himself beyond his own aesthetic ideology”, according to the director of the publication. In the Laboratory, “the resolution between Oteiza’s private and public sphere is carried out, and this is an operation that is necessary in order to make sculptor’s know-how transmissible”.