Paper, India ink and cotton thread. 21,1 x 29,8 cm. Framed under glass. Signed 'Chillida' and with artist's signum.
With his gravitations, Chillida achieves the greatest proximity of sculpture and graphics. Usually, the artist lays two, sometimes three sheets of paper over each other, cuts out geometricising shapes, others he blackens with India ink. The individual sheets of paper are not attached to one another as in a collage but are merely partly sewn together with a cord. Additionally, the entire object is attached to long strings and remains mobile.
For his design, the artist often chooses heavy laid paper that is greatly cockled and structured and thus he consciously accepts the respective character, the 'resistance' of the paper and emphasises this with his well-calculated design. Not only the nature and therefore the characteristic 'resistiveness' of various types of paper are thematised but also the problematical nature of the space. As the objects are freely suspended in front of the wall, it is no longer the implied space created only in the imagination. “[…] It is actual space that exists between the object and the backing and also between the individual, arched paper layers of the object itself. […] The crucial point is that Chillida does not, however, treat the paper sculpturally. The space of these works is mainly created with graphic means. The sphere of the unknown, however, also remains intact this time; the space forming between the layers of paper can be imagined rather than actually being visible. Merely the play of light and shade fringing the paper margins in the alternating light indicates the space. Ultimately, the gravitations, as the name suggests, are graphic synonyms of gravity itself. Depending on the design, they appear bulky, solid or floating, light. The paper object defines itself in direct dialogue with gravity, as it were, and thus symbolises its affiliation with the laws of nature. With the gravitations, Chillida succeeds in impressively illustrating the correlation between nature and art, their common principles and their common beauty. (Wolfgang Holler, Zu Eduardo Chillidas graphischem Werk, in: Eduardo Chillida, exhib.cat. Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, München 1990, p.20).
The work is registered under the number CH-88/GT-3 in the archive of Museo Chillida-Leku, Hernani.
Galerie Lelong, Zurich; private collection, France
Zurich 2004 (Galerie Lelong), Eduardo Chillida, Gravitations, illus.33