Of course, one can sense the presence of Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza’s long and powerful shadows in the extraordinary workshop of Juan Gorriti, the exceptional Navarrian sculptor.
Of course, in order to understand, one has to know that sculpture here is an art deeply connected to Basque Culture, its roots and its essence : One which is truly modern yet primitive, embodied in the popular and pastoral identity of the Basque Country.
It is according to this that Gorriti, so sensitive to his country, its mountains, its forest, and to “this art which emanates from the people and returns to it”, as Fernand Léger proclaimed, builds his universe. A universe pure and strong, as solid as these oak beams which come from the burnt roof-structure of the church in Sare. Several hundreds of years old, these beams have been burnished by fire, adding to their imposing appearance without altering their soul. These wooden sculptures are built and rebuilt by Gorriti such that light passes through them, illuminating and imparting life on its way. Amongst these severe and astonishing wooden sculptures, one notices a few chairs blue and surrealistic, appearing simultaneously like deviations from or witnesses or daily rural life in the Basque Country… imparting so much to the spectator !!!