Museum Folkwang
  • Eduardo Chillida: ›Aundi‹

  • Known primarily for his sculptural work, from 1959 onwards Eduardo Chillida’s focus turned to printing. Space forms the central theme of his work, rendering the void visible and palpable, which is why he often referred to himself as »architect of the void«.
    The group of works ›Aundi I-III‹ (presumably named after the Basque word »handi« meaning large), all three parts of which are now part of the Museum Folkwang graphic collection, is characterized by an abstract formal language and the particularly flat appearance of the motifs.
    Chillida used just one printing plate for each print in the series.
    The artist employed the aquatint method to produce these large, black surfaces, whereby acid-resistant dust (resin, asphalt or colophony) is applied to the plate by controlled heating. And so, when placed in an acid bath the dust is only corroded around the grains, which in turn creates a rough surface on which the paint adheres to larger sections at a time.
    When contemplating the works one is initially struck by the unusual relationship between the pictorial plane and the motif. The latter moves to the upper edge of the plane such that the black shapes almost seem to be floating, in defiance of gravity. In combination with the clearly visible graphic plate the artist plays with the relationship between fore- and background.
    In ›Aundi I‹ the black shape consists of two parts, which are perceived as a whole. The slight distance between them comes across as a fracture, which although visible does not detract from the feeling of togetherness. As in almost all of Chillida’s graphic works, despite the lack right angles and straight contours there is something geometrical about the composition. The upper left end finishes at exactly the same point as the edge of the plate, giving the impression of a floating object. Both the left and the right ends stretch beyond the rectangle formed by the graphic plate. This creates an impression of various levels such that the black shape seems to hover in front of the rectangle.
    ›Aundi II‹ is the most complex work of the group. It also contains curved elements, which as part of the black shape combine two block-like elements. The lower edge of the rectangle formed by the graphic plate is perforated by another white shape. One is left unable to determine which is in the foreground and which is in the background, or how the surfaces are composed – which are positive, which are negative. This creates the vague suggestion of three-dimensionality on the two-dimensional surface.
    In the final work in the group, ›Aundi III‹, the entire black shape moves to the upper edge. Broad lines, some of them curved, emerge from a horizontal beam and extend into the centre of the plate. Once again, the black areas extend beyond the rectangle of the graphic plate, while the positioning of the object brings gravity back into play.
    Experimentation with seemingly light and heavy shapes is a common theme that runs throughout the series. Thanks to the interaction of the empty space and solid shape, the artists merely suggests the presence of space, and since the latter cannot be grasped in the truest sense of the word, we are brought back to Chillida as »architect of the void«. Therefore the formal vocabulary of the artist’s sculptural works is also reflected in his prints, and the prints often resemble plans for his sculptures. However, the prints do form an independent medium used to shape the idea of the space. They create a special tension between fullness and emptiness or lightness and heaviness that is immediately comprehensible to the beholder.
  • Exh_Title_S: Eduardo Chillida: ›Aundi‹
  • Exh_Id: 1,552
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): Department of Prints and Drawings
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 186
Works
Aundi I
Aundi II
Aundi III