Throughout the history of art there have been the occasions in which the creators have contemplated the relation between the artwork and its environment, especially in the 20th century, when the interest in feedback given between the artwork and the environment in which they are located rose with the emergence of land art. It is certain that, on occasion, the art and the environment (though not necessarily in a natural space) work better together, as if establishing a dialogue between the human and the divine, between the beautiful and the sublime. Today, we offer you a compilation of 7 works of art in unique environments of our country, places that can put the cherry on top of an excursion or a visit to a new city.
This enormous sculpture, situated in the Avenida Marítima in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, is one of the works by the sculptor Martín Chirino. Placed in front of the sea in 1999, it is one of the most important works of art of this artist. Martín Chirino was one of the co-founders of the artistic group “El Paseo,” in which he cultivated a consecrated statue of abstract art, devoid of narrative elements but rich in formal and poetic elements. With Lady Harimaguada, the artist made a reference to “las harimaguadas,” figures of Pre-Hispanic Canarian culture, managers of the education of the “maguadas,” consecrated virgins to the cult of the gods.
This is a monumental concrete sculpture created in 1990 by Eduardo Chillida. It is situated in the Carro de Santa Catalina, in the Asturian city Gijón. Its curved and abstract form, barely connected with the ground by two pillars, seems to want to float above the Asturian ocean, creating a magical union with a strong symbol without equal. The beauty of the artwork becomes more accentuated over time, created so that the rain and the sea will add markings on the surface of the concrete. This is one of the most picturesque works of art in unique environments.
This melancholy group of sculptures is located close to the port of Santander. The work of José Cobo tells us about “los raqueros,” destitute or orphaned boys who made their living by diving into the water to retrieve the belongings that bourgeois visitors dropped upon disembarking in exchange for tips, or simply to retrieve the money that the visitors threw into the water for fun, which is written on a plaque near the statues. The romantic nature of the group will surprise the visitors that pass through the Cantabrian capital with the image of the four boys that lie in their sight on the horizon of the cove in Santander.
The Catalán sculptor Josep María Subirachs was the one responsible for this monument, one of the peaks of Catalán culture located in the Monesterio de Montserrat along with many other works of Catalán artists, the place where the virgin patron of Cataluña resides. This sculpture distinguishes itself from the other works of art in unique locations with its construction of nine huge irregular blocks placed like steps to represent the staircase of awareness that was designed by the blessed: stone, flame, plant, animal, man, angel, God (every block corresponds irregularly to create a perfect cube). Below the sculpture, like a sublime vision, lie the foothills of the Parque Natural de Montserrat.
More than artwork in a unique environment, in the Bosque de Oma (Forest of Oma), the artist Agustín Ibarrola finds that the natural environment permits the same work. Painted from 1982 to 1985, the forest is full of thrilling images and painted murals on the trees that you can see only from certain vantage points. Of the works of art in unique localities, this one is one of the most important examples of land art in Spain, on top of being situated in a beautiful area with huge biological value like the Reserva Natural del Urdaibai, an important space protected by the province of Vizcaya.
In the interior of a very calm and peaceful place like the Parque del Retiro de Madrid you can find one of the most unusual works of art in interesting environments that you can find in the capital; it pays tribute to the Ángel Caído (Fallen Angel), that is to say, to the devil. This statue was created by the madrileño Ricardo Bellver at the end of the 19th century for the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1878. What is most curious is that the point in the park at which you can find this statue is exactly 666 meters from sea level, a fact that has surged the imagination of the most esoteric madrileños through the centuries.
We will end this article with another work of Chillida. The Peine del Viento, situated in one of the tips of the bay of La Concha de Donostia, is probably the most important and well-known project of the Guipuzcoano sculptor, in addition to one of the most well-known pieces of artwork in unique environments. Three poems and curvy structures of cut steel can be found fastened to the steep rocks of the cliffs slapped by the Cantabrian sea. The group of sculptures integrates into the perfection of its location, seeming to be a natural part of the maritime horizon, and with the passage of time, it has come to stand as true symbol of the city.