Homage to the fighters against Francoism by Juanjo Novella

Homage to the fighters against Francoism by Juanjo Novella
Homage to the fighters against Francoism by Juanjo Novella

This work made in 2006 by the Basque artist Juan José Novella (1961 –) is placed in the Artxanda viewpoint over the urban area of ​​the city of Bilbao, and with it is intended to pay tribute to the victims of the Spanish Civil War, since this place was precisely bombed by Franco's troops.


Juanjo Novella's work

It is a sculpture of enormous dimensions, since it reaches 8 meters in height, as well as weighing almost 8 tons. All this made of carbon steel, to represent a gigantic shape reminiscent of fingerprints. In fact, they are forms that have inspired other works by this artist, such as La Huella that he installed in the Asturian city ofGijón.

That is, he also works with the concept of series and recurring forms, something that is somehow characteristic of the creators of public art at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century, as is the case of fellow Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, creator of his famous crouching men.

Juan José Novella comes to represent the great tradition of Basque sculptors of the 20th century, in which the likes of Jorge Oteiza, Agustín Ibarrola or the great Eduardo Chillida. In the case of Novella we are dealing with an artist who has workedwith different materials to make his sculptures, because if in this case he chose carbon steel, on other occasions he has opted for stone, bronze or corten steel. And there is not only variation in the materials with which it faces its production. The artistic discipline also varies, since he has worked mainly as a sculptor, but he also has his creations in painting and in the form of murals.

In all these formats he appears to us as an artist in favor of figurative abstraction, or as some others call it: the most abstract figuration. With these forms, what Novella intends is to invite the viewer to reflect, so that each of his works can have numerous interpretations. And a good example is this one, which in addition to having its commemorative character, was born with the intention that everyone would have a place here, as its author says.

His sculptures can be seen mainly in different locations in theBasque Countryand throughout the Cantabrian coast as well as in towns in the north ofSpain. But it is a name that has achieved international prestige, which is why his work has also been seen in Europe, the Middle East, in Japan, and even in the antipodes: New Zealand.

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