GARAIZABAL Juan, sculpture

Because an artist is not free to choose another sort of life. Creation takes on the form of an ontological obligation. What’s more, my work is intended for public spaces, which are few and far between. I can never lose sight of the fact that I’m being offered a luxury, because it is a luxury to be able to play with public spaces, materials, and the people who pass through them. You really have to know what you’re doing, and try to have as little negative impact as possible on the place you occupy. You have to be efficient, including from an economic standpoint; in other words, you must see to it that you absorb as little as possible compared with what you’re going to create. If you use gold to create something trivial, it will have no added value. If you take concrete powder and a few pieces of recycled wood and create something of beauty out of ugly materials, then you have added to its value. Working with minimal materials is my way of ensuring I deserve my profession of sculptor. Juan Garaizabal


Juan Garaizabal was born in Madrid in 1971. His first aesthetic awakening came when he was eight years old, in Paris with his mother. There he discovered among others the Latin Quarter, which he describes as a place of “supreme beauty”. This experience foreshadowed his youth in the City of Light where he lived from the age of 19, on a barge at Trocadero he rented with a friend, then near the Place de la Bastille.

In his adolescence, from the age of 12 to 17, Juan studied at the IB 67 drawing academy in Madrid, and hoped to enroll at the Beaux-Arts school in Paris. Life decided otherwise. The future conceptual artist embarked on a business career in Europe, acquiring a background in international management that would be useful to his later artistic career.

The predilection for travel stayed with him; portraying himself as living “in art through adventure above all” Garaizabal crisscrossed Africa between 1998 and 2007, completing in several stages a voyage in an all-terrain truck with close friends. In 2000 he discovered that public sculpture could be a discipline in its own right when he visited the Chillida-Leku park near Hernani (Province of Guipúzcoa, Spain) where visitors wander among the sculptures “as though in a forest” (Eduardo Chillida). This encounter was the catalyst for his sculptural work in landscape settings. Since then he has executed many public installations in the four corners of the world: Valence (2006), Bucharest (2007), Berlin (2012), Venice (2013), Palmyra (2015), Miami (2016), Washington (2017) and Shanghai (2020). His Memorias Urbanas are conceived to fill in the blanks of urban landscapes that have historical significance.

In parallel to these intertwined structures of illuminated steel he imagines small memorial artefacts and creates them out of materials such as wood, concrete or brick, a gesture that places respect for the environment at the centre of his practice. The artistic palette of Garazaibal includes techniques such as ironwork, carpentry, electrical circuitry, modelling and masonry.

Since 2008, he divides his time between his main studio in Berlin, and his workshops in Madrid and Miami. A citizen of the world, Garaizabal speaks Spanish, English, French, German and Chinese.

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Last major exhibitions

2021 Vases des Tuileries, Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco, Monaco
Memoria Urbana of the Lost Tuileries, Place du Louvre, Paris, France
Juan Garaizabal, Solo Show, Espace Art Absolument, Paris, France
Juan Garaizabal, Solo Show, Bogéna Galerie, Saint-Paul de Vence, France
Juan Garaizabal, Biennale de la sculpture internationale de Saint-Paul de Vence, Saint-Paul de Vence, France

2020 Art Paris with Bogena Gallery + Public Space, Paris, France
Arco, Madrid, Spain
Zona Maco, Mexico, Mexico
Palm Beach Modern and Contemporary Art with Bogena Gallery, Palm Beach, USA

2019 Art Miami with Bogena Gallery, Miami, USA
En la Memoria, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Madrid, Spain
Korean Cultural Center of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Arco, Madrid, Spain

2018 Arco, Espacio Especiales + Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Spain
Retrospective Solo Show, Ars Málaga Museum, Spain

2017 Art Miami, ArtscapeLab, Miami Art Week, USA
Picasso, La Estela Infinita, exposition collective, Galeria Municipal de Puebla, Spain
Nature as Architecture, exposition collective, Roberto Polo Gallery, Bruxelles, Belgium
Opulent Landscapes, exposition collective, Monaco
Solo Show, De Buck Gallery, New York, USA

2016 Arco, Madrid, Spain
Art Miami, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Miami, USA

2015 Conde Duque Museum, Madrid, Spain
Art Miami, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, USA
EXPO Chicago, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Chicago, USA

2014 Exhibition, Museo Conde Duque, Madrid, Spain
Art Miami, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, USA
Arco, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Madrid, Spain
EXPO Chicago, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Chicago, USA
Pinta London, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Londres, UK

2013 Pulse Contemporary Art Fair, Miami, USA
Memoria del Giardino, 55e Biennale de Venise, Collateral Event, Italia
EXPO Chicago, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Chicago, USA
Arco, Solo Objects, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Madrid, Spain

2012 JUST MAD MIA 2012, Contemporary Art Fair, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Miami, USA
Pinta NY, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, New York, USA
EXPO Chicago, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar Gallery, Chicago, USA
Photoespana, Galerie Álvaro Alcázar, Spain

2011 DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Solo Show, Prague, Czech Republic
Bethlehemskirche Project, Galerie Weekend, Artist’s studio, Berlin, Germany

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Public installations

2020 Fragment of The Temple, Toled, Spain
Ever Time Gate, Shanghai, China

2019 La Memoria del Tiempo, Arco, Madrid, Spain
Planet Sculptures, Berlin / Madrid, Germany / Spain
San Martin Gate, Hay Festival, Segovia, Spain

2017 Lighthouse Stairway and Lighthouse Door, Washington, USA

2016 Habana’s Balcony sculpture, Miami, USA
First Model Bethlehemskircher, Godaedo, South Korea

2013 Memoria del Giardino, Venice, Italia

2012 Memoria Urbana, Berlin, Germany

2011 Archives Stairway, Connecticut, USA

2007 Uranus Area, Bucharest, Romania

2006 Bosque de Flores, Valence, Spain

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Principal art collections

- MOCA, Los Angeles, USA
- CIFO Collection, Miami, USA and Havana, Cuba
- MANA Contemporary, New York and Chicago, USA
- Brillembourg Sculpture Park, Maryland, USA
- Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar
- Godaedo Sculpture Park, Godaedo, South Korea
- DOX Centre, Prague, Czech Republic
- IVAM, Valence, Spain
- Jacqueline Drake Collection, Palm Beach, USA
- Tanya Capriles Collection, Miami, USA
- Blake Byrne Collection, Los Angeles, USA
- Pia Capriles Collection, Madrid, Spain
- Marta Fisher Fernandez Collection, Miami, USA
- Tiqui Atencio Demirdjian Collection, London, Monaco, New York
- Guillermo Caballero Luján Collection, Valence, Spain

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The art of metamorphosis, by Bogéna Gidrol

Art is a reflection of our time, of our societies, of the evolution of thought, of politics, of the economy... The artist has allowed humanity to dream, to experience pleasure, to revolt, to transcend itself. He is a transmitter of our humanity, of the passions, the angers, the fears that upset us and make us move forward, a witness of our condition, representing the misfortunes and the joys that make the story of our lives. I recognized myself in the works of Juan Garaizabal, in his work on architecture in general during our history, being myself an architect, but also in his transitional approach that links the past, the present and the future. I strongly support his work in bringing back to life buildings that have disappeared, full of history, while using current techniques to preserve resources and minimize their impact on the environment. Juan Garaizabal’s exhibition at the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation was organized in this spirit. Indeed, since April 22, 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a campaign has begun symbolically with a message of hope from H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco about the world beyond. We all have a role to play for the future of the Earth and its inhabitants, as the fragility of our old system no longer allows a balance between Man and Nature. Juan Garaizabal has always been a humanist, committed to the planet and he is naturally anchored in this new generation of artists who are turning towards a necessary transition. His works There is no Planet B and Memoria del Vidrio, sculptures related to the recycling of plastic and glass, are examples. He is currently working on an ambitious, larger-scale project that aims to merge the preservation of marine spaces with a creative approach. Each of our actions leaves a trace on our Earth, a collective awareness will lead us to a rebirth, a cleaner and more beautiful world. Art, like a prism, lets us glimpse this world in metamorphosis...

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