What do Chillida, Sempere, Torner, Berrocal and Chirino have in common?

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Despite the clear differences between these artists’ spacial, existential and intellectual approaches, they seem destined to share an ongoing dialogue in the gardens of the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, where their sculptures form part of the museum’s permanent collection. 

Each piece was conceived by its respective artist as a reflection on space, fruit of their studies and personal search to understand material and the effect of its absence.

The building itself was designed by the architect José Luis Picardo en 1975. Its imposing presence is enriched by this collection of sculptures in the grounds, an appealing artwork in its entirety just as each piece is attractive in its own right.

Fire, air, water and earth

As these sculptures share the same space, we could say that what links them is the passing breeze or the gentle murmur of everyday comings and goings as visitors take them in. What links them, perhaps, is transience. Occasionally it reverberates across the brute form of reinforced concrete, sometimes it whistles coldly through metal, wraps around smooth, womanly curves or even scratches at the corroded surface of a spiral. Monumental in scale, this is a whispered choreography that flows unstoppable. 

As if it were alchemy, each of these works seems to contain the world’s most basic elements. Their language is one of contrasts between solid mass and emptiness; they are the materialisation of disperse dreams and the opening of imagination’s limits. The air has carried them to this location, where sculpture calmly coexists with architecture and, in its company, makes quiet music in the breeze.

My route

Twists, bends, folds, edges;

all evoke a distant wind comb.

Imposing, the kinetic rhythm traps the air.

Whispered caresses with a feel of flesh,

a dream of tangled knots.

The square grates, its song out of metre.

And the breeze whistles a spiral into rust. 

Photography: Oscar Rivilla

Translation: Rebekah Jane Rhodes

Music: Dr Symtosizer

Art direction: Oscar Rivilla&Carolina Verd

Hair&Makeup: Lucía Pando for Guerlain


Main picture and picture 3: black jacket by Ernesto Naranjo; ankle boots by Pura López courtesy of Finally

Picture 2 and 4: white dress by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada

Picture 6: cherry dress by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada