Oteiza and the construction of the Landscape: interventions through architecture during the 50’s
The architectural projects related to the natural landscape in which Jorge Oteiza worked with several architects during the 50’s are being analysed. The starting point is the study of landscape that Oteiza developed in the book Interpretación estética de la estatuaria megalítica Americana [Aesthetic Interpretation of the American Megalithic Statuary] (1952), where he established a connection with the Monument to the Unknown Political Prisoner. Then, Oteiza’s intervention in the Basilica of Aránzazu and the project of a chapel in the Camino de Santiago are studied on the basis of material held in his personal archives, and by doing this, Oteiza’s reflections on the location of these architectural projects are compared and also linked with the reading of Bruno Zevi’s book Architecture as Space. How to look at Architecture. His work with the architect Luis Vallet in the hill of Aguiña (Navarra) is the key to understand Oteiza’s sculptural and architectural evolution. It established a new relationship with the landscape where the project is located, and as a result, his spatial ideas evolved, having an effect in his following sculptures, writings and architectural projects. Oteiza made use of own experiences and architectonic issues to redefine the relation with the natural landscape he works with. Moreover, relations are made with land art projects, such as Richard Serra works, understanding some of these as precedents.