Gonzalo Chillida Web del pintor Gonzalo Chillida
Gonzalo Chillida, 1965 © W. S. Waintrob, New York

Gonzalo Chillida is born in San Sebastián on January 12, 1926. Interested early on in painting, he enrolls in the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid and frequents drawing classes at the Círculo de Bellas Artes. In 1951 he travels to Paris to study further, residing in the French capital until 1953. During these first years he paints Realism influenced by geometric forms and defined by Cubism and metaphysical painting.

It is during the 1950s and the early 1960s that he begins to refine a personal pictorial style that evolves toward abstraction, always departing from a real motif such as the sea or the beaches in front of his house in San Sebastian, the landscape of the Basque mountains, or the views of the Castilian meseta. Between these years and his death in 2008, his painting progresses toward blurred forms; toward more essential and free compositions achieved through applications of oil paint colors in subtle brushstrokes.

His work, shown nationally and internationally over the years in individual as well as group exhibitions, was recognized in 2001 by being awarded with the Fine Art Gold Medal.