Untitled – 02/248
Olazagutía, Navarre, 19/05/1945
Cast iron, lead and cloth
39.5 x 537 x 154 cm
Last quarter of the 20th century
Acquired in 2002
Sculpture is Ángel Bados's sphere of action. This piece was part of the exhibition Mites i delictes (Myths and Crimes) held at Barcelona's Metrònom gallery in 1985, and it later travelled to the Aula de Cultura of the Caja de Ahorros Municipal de Bilbao (although it was not presented there). It is a ground sculpture which resignifies the sculptural tradition in its relationship with two of the historical tenets defining it: the pedestal and the idea of the statue. This plane of the ground is significant in the artist's career, as he views the horizontality of the ground as an operative place from which he can establish a relationship of proximity with the sculpture, and by extension with the world. Art is a cognitive experience which emanates an ethical mode of behaviour. Bados's first forays into art date back to the 1970s, when he showed an interest in the conceptual languages in which a series of spatial concerns predominate, which he resolves by recourse to drawing and installation. In the ensuing decade, from which this piece dates, his works settle on sculpture based on a dialogue with the poetics of the languages of conceptual art and post-minimalism; in this he is joined by fellow artists like Jorge Oteiza and Josef Beuys.
These sculptural forays can be viewed based on a gradual approach to and distance from the aforementioned artists and movements, always in the quest for a praxis whose subject is constituted based on the object. For example, in this work, the reference to Oteiza's "metaphysical box" gives way to a materiality that is closer to Beuys. This sculpture as sign and representation is also, in his words, "a narrative objective whose dense materiality and physical solidity makes a distancing in action possible." In this work, the cast iron and lead and the fabric wrapped around them become materials which the artista has returned to time and again since then; particularly significant is the fabric, which has become an element to convey sensitiveness.
The piece in question is characterised by being situated at the intersection of the revitalisation of the question of the modern project and modernity in the midst of the emergence of the debate on "the post-modern". This debate influenced the "New Basque Sculpture", a name which has associated Bados with artists like Txomin Badiola, Pello Irazu, Juan Luis Moraza and María Luisa Fernández, among others. However, this sculpture maintains roots in the aesthetic of the artistic avant-garde (especially Soviet Constructivism). More recently, Ángel Bados has chosen lighter materials like wood, Formica, glass and objects in extraordinarily precise formal compositions. His art reveals a kind of idealism and classicism, a desire to seek internal uniqueness which binds it to artistic forms. In this sculpture, we can see an unyielding responsibility with the nature around it and with a poetic objectuality, in which the sublime must not be cast away. [Peio Aguirre]
- Adquisiciones 02/07 [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2007. pp. 90-91, n° cat. 36.
- Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. pp. 164-165.
- Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. pp. 164-165.
- Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. pp. 164-165, n° cat. 91a.
- Viar, Javier. Historia del arte vasco : de la Guerra Civil a nuestros días, 1936-2016. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2017. pp. 787-788, il.
- 110 Años 110 Obras [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018. pp. 296-297, sin n° cat.
- 110 Ans 110 Oeuvres [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018. pp. 296-297, sin n° cat.
- 110 Years 110 Works [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018. pp. 296-297, sin n° cat.
- 110 Urte 110 Artelan [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018. pp. 296-297, sin n° cat.
- Después del 68 : arte y prácticas artísticas en el País Vasco, 1968-2018 [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018. p. 433.