- rantz Number 5 - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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– rantz Number 5

Lasa, Jose Ángel

Legorreta, Gipuzkoa, 19/08/1948

Painted wood

200 x 800 x 120 cm


Early 21st century


Acquired in 2005

His relation with sculptor Remigio Mendiburu and his treatment of wood were key factors in Lasa¿s own development, although his approach to nature has always been more rationalist or conceptual. Other influences, like Arte Povera, and in particular Italian artist Giuseppe Penone (1947), led him to a sculpture which, from a Henry Moorestyle figuration, which Lasa soon abandoned, has maintained the dialectic between modified natural elements that retain their original appearance and other, completely transformed geometrical entities.

This basic opposition has manifested itself in different ways as his work has developed, with an imaginative variety of techniques, almost always involving wood from a range of trees as his basic material. To begin with he worked with boxwood branches that he organized into boxes, or with hazel nut branches polished and bent under heat and joined by two heavy halfpails; or by employing boat- or box-shaped structures to subject them to changes in their symmetry or to torques from the walls as the panels were dried. Or with metal meshing containing quarry stones; or with parts made from concrete broken before completely set, the metal meshing peeping out from the inside of the concrete. And others made from waste materials from failed milling processes.

In his later work Lasa has used naturally dried orange wood, with which he obtains torques of the panels that let him sniff out the contradiction in the geometric forms. His work -rantz Number 5 belongs to his most recent series, with the variation of using the wall as support, involving sets of branches subjected to a complex process of refinement and transformation: peeled, dried, polished and finally primed and coloured with car bodywork liquids and paints; in other words, an entire industrial treatment of the forms of nature, which still retain, almost at the limit, their morphology. [Javier Viar]

Selected bibliography

  • Adquisiciones 02/07 [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2007. pp. 112-113, n° cat. 47.
  • Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. p. 176.
  • Bosteko : euskal artistak = artistas vascos : 1998-2008 [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia = Diputación Foral de Bizkaia, 2008. p. 93.
  • Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. p. 176.
  • Viar, Javier. Historia del arte vasco : de la Guerra Civil a nuestros días, 1936-2016. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2017. p. 743, il.
  • Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. p. 176, n° cat. 97.