Chillida Lives

Nanimarquina brings the work of artist Eduardo Chillida to life in a new collection of beautiful rugs.

by Janet Wiens

The family of the late Spanish sculptor and graphic artist Eduardo Chillida could have been content to let the beauty of his work stand as crafted by his hands—after all, Chillida’s work is known the world over and has been featured in international exhibitions for decades. Nothing else was needed to celebrate or cement his artistry.

In honoring him, however, his family believed that his work could be translated into another medium. They turned to Nani Marquina, an equally talented artist known for the beauty of her company’s rugs, to develop a new line of floor coverings based on his artwork.

Ignacio Chillida, the artist’s son, articulates the family’s vision for the project. “Our family and those who work at the Museo Chillida-Leku, the museum where my father’s work is featured, constantly seek ways that we can present his work on an even broader scale. Nani Marquina is known for her professionalism, and she and her company are important to the world of rug design. We believed that they were best equipped to bring my father’s work to the world in a new way.”

Ignacio and other members of the Chillida family were intimately involved in all phases of the development process and worked with Marquina to select the original works that would be transformed into rugs. Eduardo Chillida’s catalog encompasses both two- and three-dimensional pieces, making the selection process slow and time-consuming; remaining faithful to the requirements of the original designs served as a foundation for the collection’s development.

After three years of work, the collection was finally unveiled at Salone del Mobile in Milan earlier this year.

“We ultimately selected seven different works on paper that reflect the various techniques my father used,” says the younger Chillida. “The topics expressed in these works are relevant to his artistry, especially his line drawings of hands and his collages and gravitational elements.”

The seven rugs in the collection are based on works that were completed between 1948 and 1995, capturing the breadth and evolution of Chillida’s work, according to Marquina. “Figura Humana” (1948) is, as the name implies, a human figure. “Gravitación” provides two images in the collection (1993 and 1995) as does “Manos” (1995), from which two carpet designs originate. “Dibujo Tinta” (1957) and “Colage” (1996) round out the collection. The designs vary in size, and are available in special dimensions.

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