Considered in light of today’s systemic global homogenization of artistic practices, the concept of a local “school” may sound outdated, but the art of Spain’s Basque Country has been shaped by a strong awareness of identity and territory. The leading light was Jorge Oteiza, who left behind an immense legacy, not only sculptural but also ideological. He abandoned sculpture in 1959 to devote himself to writing and philosophy for the remaining four decades of his life. Oteiza’s example was assimilated in the 1980s by Ángel Bados, Txomin Badiola, and other colleagues, who added gestures derived from committed aesthetic and political positions ranging from Constructivism to those of Joseph Beuys.
Bados is an elusive character in Spain’s art scene. His current show in Bilbao is his first there in two decades, although he exhibited in Madrid four years ago. But his teaching at the
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