Located at the top of Alzuza
, a small village located 8 kilometres east of Pamplona, the Oteiza Museum is home to the personal collection of Jorge Oteiza, one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century
The Museum contains a representative selection of his work consisting of 1,650 sculptures, 2,000 pieces from this experimental laboratory, and numerous sketches and collages.
The building, a large cube of reddish-coloured concrete, is the work of one of Oteiza's closest friends and collaborators, the Navarrese architect Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza
. It includes the house occupied by Jorge Oteiza for two decades, enabling visitors to get to know the peculiar way and the intimate atmosphere in which he worked.
Jorge Oteiza (Orio 1908-San Sebastián 2003) and his wife and staunch collaborator, Itziar Carreño, moved to Alzuza in 1975. Oteiza converted the house into a home, workplace, personal library and store for his collection of sculptures and pieces of his 'Chalk Laboratory'. It became the scene of meetings and intellectual debates involving major figures from society and the world of culture, people who considered Oteiza to be a particularly transcendental reference point.
The artist donated his personal collection to Navarre in 1992. This allowed the consolidation of the Foundation that bears his name and, as a result, the Oteiza Museum project, the great reddish concrete cube he commissioned to his friend, the architect Francisco Sáenz de Oiza. The museum was inaugurated on May 8th 2003, one month after the death of the artist in San Sebastián, and is one of the most extensive monographic collections of contemporary art.
The exhibition area of the house-workshop occupies three basic spaces, lived in and designed by the artist: The Laboratory, focused on the creative process, with the work as the final result; The House, a testimony to the artist's home, the place for privacy and reflection; and The Workshop, with room for teaching workshops. On the upper floor are the Library and the future Documentation Centre, which contains over 5,000 volumes from the artist's personal library.
Jorge Oteiza was one of the fundamental artists in the evolution of sculpture in the 20th century. His work is marked by aesthetic experimentation, by the 'disoccupation of forms' and the 'emptying of sculpture'. Among his best-known works are the Statues of the Basilica of Arantzazu (in Oñati, Guipúzcoa), the monument to Padre Donostia, and his entire collection of the Chalk Laboratory. Oteiza was a versatile artist, however, and he also worked in the genres of essay, poetry, architecture, films, anthropology and the socialisation of culture and art. He published works such as 'The end of contemporary art', 'Quousque tandem…!' or 'God exists in the northwest'.
He received major awards such as the sculpture prize of the IV Biennial of São Paulo (Brazil) in 1957, the Gold Medal of Fine Arts in 1985, the Príncipe de Asturias Prize for the Arts (1988), the Gold Medal of Navarre (1992), the Pevsner Prize (1996), the Medal of the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid or the Gold Medal of Gipuzkoa (1999).
How to get there and move around
- Autobús urbano línea 4 hasta Huarte y continuar andando.
- Autobús urbano línea 20 hasta Centro Comercial Itaroa y continuar andando.
- Autobús Conda-Alsa desde la Estación de Autobuses de Pamplona:
- Ida: de lunes a sábado, a las 9:00 y 13:30. De lunes a domingo, a las 15:45.
- Vuelta: de lunes a sábado, a las 14:10. De lunes a domingo, a las 16:25 y 20:25.
- Se recomienda comprobar los horarios en la web de la compañía (aquí) o en el 902 422 242.