Currently not on view

Siege I

2003Engraved, carved, burned, and polychromed wood
Sculpture: 272 x 100 x 100 cm

Koldobika Jauregi was born in the province of Guipúzcoa, Spain, in 1959. In 1990, Eduardo Chillida awarded him the Zabalaga grant, which allowed him to fully explore the realm of sculpture; and from 1996 to 2001, he lived as an artist-in-residence at the Museum Insel Hombroich in Düsseldorf. Jauregi's ouvre cultivates an art parallel to nature, in two different ways: by embracing nature and collective consciousness in his large-scale public works and with a closer and personal approach to the intimate. This relationship between the small and the large, what fits in a hand and what cannot be encircled by the arms, what is reduced to the tiniest scale and what is overwhelming, is key to the artist's work. This syntax between the private and the public has been expressed in Jauregi's work from the beginning, from the moment at which he combined works on paper and engraving large sculptural forms.

Siege I (Asedio I), a pivotal piece in Jauregi's career, is a wooden sculpture combining abstract formalization and precise subject matter. It is comprised of two pieces, a freestanding sculpture and a triptych relief that serves as a gloomy backdrop to the sculpted form. The triptych depicts an abstract landscape in black against a blue background. The artist has called this work an exploration of the poetry of abstraction; it makes no concession to either color or figuration, and it is deliberately difficult to interpret. The sculpture stands approximately thirty feet away from the triptych. Crafted in oak wood, it portrays an erect figure, above which glitters a second element, covered in gold leaf.

Jauregi began work on Siege I at the height of tensions with Iraq before the invasion by American troops, the moment of asphyxia and anguish before the action began. Jauregi seeks the representation of abstract forms referencing elements from nature, and of a type of civic order schematized in an iconography of houses, bridges, and trees, which seeks to describe how man lives together with nature, while also serving as a prelude to the end of order, a description of the moment prior to human conflict, the siege.

Original title

Siege I




Engraved, carved, burned, and polychromed wood

More info

Relief (triptych): 310 x 559 x 2.5 cm


Sculpture: 272 x 100 x 100 cm

Credit line

Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa