The outcome of the Civil War led to the official encouragement of a pseudo-imperial style in the visual arts, including sculpture, where religious and academicist works predominated. Nevertheless, artists such as Angel Ferrant and Antoni Tàpies made some attempt to renew the avant-garde spirit of the pre-war years. Ferrant's ludic conception of sculpture, and his freedom in the choice of materials assimilated him to Joan Miró.
   The 1950s saw the emergence of various artistic groups, which adopted a new idiom in opposition to the contemporary socio-political and cultural climate. Informalismo (Informalism) cultivated irra-tionalism as a violent and despairing protest against the prevailing norms. Two of its major exponents were Martín Chirino and Eduardo Chillida. The starkness of Chillida's iron and wooden forms, with their absence of figurative attributes, has revolutionized Spanish sculpture. Informalismo had many detractors, such as the eclectic group called Arte Normativo Español (Spanish Normative Art), whose leading figure was the sculptor and theorist Jorge de Oteiza, outstanding for his creative energy and original compositions. Oteiza evolved from figuration to abstraction, focusing on the problem of space. His main work is the statuary ensemble for the shrine of the Virgen de Aránzazu, which was considered too avant-garde for a religious site and was never exhibited in that location. The influence of Chillida and Oteiza continued into the 1960s, when sculptors in general were producing more statuary and monuments. Significant figures in this period are Marcel Martí and Andreu Alfaro. Alfaro's work expanded the conception of Spanish statuary by developing a form-structure based on the exploitation of planes, complex shapes and volumes, as in his Homenaje a Picasso (Homage to Picasso). The boom in sculpture since the 1970s has brought fundamental changes in the way sculptors view their activities, leading to freer, more unconventional approaches, inspired by movements such as conceptualism and minimalism, land art and body art. In general, sculptors, rather than creating statuary, increasingly use the facilities provided by large installations, incorporating their works into them. Some artists such as Miquel Navarro, Pepe Espaliú, Pello Irazu and Eva Lootz, even produce statues which look like the installations themselves. In the 1990s, Spanish sculpture boasted a rich variety of mature artists working with great clarity and precision in their particular idiom, including Adolfo Schlosser, Susana Solano, Angeles Marco, Miquel Navarro and Eva Lootz, renowned for her use of unusual materials such as paraffin wax or mercury. The maturing of a slightly younger generation born in the 1950s, such as Fernando Sinaga, Pepe Espaliú, Txomin Badiloa and Cristina Iglesias, has enriched this artistic domain to an unprecedented extent.
   Further reading
   - Bozal, V. (1994) Historia del Arte en España II. Desde Goya hasta Nuestros Días, Madrid: Ediciones Istmo (an account of the evolution of sculpture in relation to artistic and cultural movements from Goya's times to the present).
   — (1995) Arte del Siglo XX en España. Pintura y Escultura 1939-1990, Madrid: Espasa Calpe, S.A. (a complete view of the main trends in Spanish sculpture and painting since the Civil War).
   - Dent Coad, E. (1995) "Painting and Sculpture: The Rejection of High Art", in H.Graham and J. Labanyi (eds) Spanish Cultural Studies: An Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press (pp. 299–304 give a concise account of the state of sculpture from the end of the Civil War to the 1970s).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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