Txomin Badiola
Spain, 1957
Txomin Badiola studied at the School of Fine Arts in Bilbao, where he came in contact with some of the leading figures in the renewal of Basque sculpture, such as Ángel Bados, Juan Luis Moraza, and María Luisa Fernández. Later, between 1983 and 1989, he taught at the same institution. In 1986 he won the First Prize for Sculpture in the Basque Country, and the following year he received the Icarus Prize, awarded by the newspaper Diario 16 to the outstanding young artist of the year. Badiola is the author of a catalogue raisonné of Jorge Oteiza’s work, and in 1988 he curated the exhibition Oteiza, held at the venues of Fundación ”la Caixa”. In 2003, together with Margit Rowell, he also curated cite>Oteiza: Myth and Modernism, which was presented at the Museo Guggenheim in Bilbao and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. More than a disciple of the ‘giant of Orio’, Badiola is a practitioner of some of his crucial ethical attitudes. Badiola regards Jean-Luc Godard as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. In fact, he has adopted the filmmaker’s personal credo, which is a good fit for his own work: ‘I don’t want to communicate something; I want to communicate with someone.’ The artist has spent time living in London (between 1988 and 1989), where he received the Superior Prize of the 6th Henry Moore Grand Prize Exhibition; in Japan, and in New York (from 1990 until April 1999). These new settings led to significant changes in his work, which remains true to the postmodern deconstruction of idealism without compromising on his commitment to an approach that combines ethics with modernism. A series of exhibitions held over the first decade of the twenty-first century have highlighted an extraordinary broadening of his sculptural work towards installation, the assimilation of different types of image, and the construction of novel visual formulations for conveying stories, culminating in the exhibition Malas formas, held at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao (2002). In 2010 Badiola, Jon Mikel Euba, Sergio Prego and fifteen volunteers carried out a project entitled Primer Proforma 2010. Badiola Euba Prego. 30 Ejercicios. 40 días. 8 horas al día at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC). The vast majority of the many works by this artist held in the ”la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art are from the first decade of his output. They include Coup des dés and El rey–La reina (1986), works that were added to the collection early on, which boosted the artist’s immediate future by helping him break into the international scene; Twins IV (Plus One) (1990), which had an extraordinary impact when it was exhibited; and Bastardo en Bañiland (1990-1992). As for Three Eero’s Nightmares (1990–1991), SOS 3. E3 Servidumbre de la vida y el carácter de las sombras (1997–1998), and Sueños de otros, these pieces point ahead to the even more radical works that were to follow. The only photograph, WTSHTF 2 (2004) includes a painting by Salvador Dalí. A brilliant essayist who is able to offer valuable insights into his own work, Badiola has written many of the introductory texts for his exhibitions.
Mariano Navarro