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Zarina, Steps, 1981, cast paper with black pigment and surface sizing with aluminum powder

The investigation of the qualities of space has been one of the pillars of 20th century art and continues well into the 21st century. Key moments in this collective inquiry can be found in the recent history of Basque sculpture, and especially in the trajectories of artists Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza, both of whom received international recognition at a time when other European movements, such as Spatialism and Zero, proposed their own strategies to explore similar questions. Particularly, Chillida’s interest in the qualities of space brought him to engage in multiple collaborations with such referential philosophers and poets as Gaston Bachelard, Martin Heidegger, René Char, and Octavio Paz, among others. The exhibition Art and Space at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao aims to interrogate this cultural dialogue, to expand it historically and geographically, and to track down its persistence in contemporary practices.