The sculptor and engraver Eduardo Chillida was born in 1924. He studied architecture in Santiago and Madrid, and in his early sculpture used wrought iron and wood. His self-expression took on very austere, abstract forms, and he showed an interest in moulding the space which his sculptures created around them. Anvils of Deams (1956), Powerful Song (1959) and Around the Vacuum IV (1968) are some of the most distinctive works of his initial output. From 1970 onwards he began to use steel, along with other materials such as marble, granite and concrete, in works for urban spaces which he installed in various major cities around the world. Some examples in Spain include: Wind Combs (1977), three steel pieces standing on the San Sebastian seafront; Meeting Place II and The Beached Mermaid (1978), a concrete piece which hangs from a bridge on the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid. In Praise of Water (1987), in Barcelona, and Homage to Tolerance (1992), in Seville. In 1998 he displayed his final works at Valencia's IVAM, an exhibition focusing on his iron sculptures. 1998 also saw an anthological exhibition of his work at the Reina Sofía. Finally, in the same year, he created a ceramic mural for the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.
His metal sculpture Berlin, standing six metres high and weighing 90 tonnes, was installed in the year 2000 at the entrance to the German Chancellery in Berlin, becoming a symbol of German reunification.
Also in 2000, Zabalaga, his country home in Hernani, was opened to the public. The sculptor's residence has since become a museum for his work.