At the beginning of the 1990s, Chillida developed a series of works in which he fragmented base sections, or dreamed up ensembles that filled entire squares. He has been known for his combinations of wood and iron since the "Yunque de sueños" (dream anvils) series dating from the 1950s. He employed a round base to emphasize the all-round aspect of a sculpture in "Lugar de encuentros" of 1974, the monumental concrete sculpture located in Toledo, and also in the 1994 work "Bauen, Wohnen, Denken" (Building, Living, Thinking), which he dedicated to Martin Heidegger. In his recent works, the relationship between plinth and sculpture is assigned a new importance and stems from insights into a more expansive notion of space. The sculptural elements on the base plates call to mind architectural fragments or houses. In the second version of En el limite, which he created in 1995, he emphasizes this allusion more strongly. In other works, he experiments with various stele forms which he places on a base plate and combines to form colossal monuments and landmarks (e.g. "Idea para un monumento", 1994). Alternatively, he has taken massive blocks of granite and cut deep shafts into them (e.g. Granito Blanco, 1993), creating round and right-angled shapes, forms echoed in his Stommeln work.
The wooden base of En el limite (On the Border) is finished in a solid, massive, geometrically precise manner. By contrast, the edges of the steel plate are restless, vibrating, and not accurately cut, but rolled. Nor does the plate have any right-angles, but is broken and fragmented in the front section the visitor faces on entering. In this zone, where the material merges with empty space, three heterogeneous volumes are condensed – they extend towards the outside zone before interlocking with the edges. The middle element suggests the ongoing flow of movement towards the edge of the base. The entire sculptural activity is focused on this zone in which something unusual happens.
That something happens is tangible, evident. But what exactly happens? And which border is meant?