Location: Plaza Conde de Castro with Paseo Sierra de Atapuerca, 09002, Burgos, Spain (Evolution Museum frontyard)
Exhibition dates: from October 30, 2019 until March 30, 2020
Organized by: Fundacion VIII Centenario Catedral de Burgos 2021
Footprints (Huellas)' is a sculptural installation by Cristobal Gabarron composed of 20 granite-based works with contemporary material elements. They allude to the timeless, lasting trace of the evolutionary process of Humanity, that is, to the legacy that Man leaves to the next generation.
It is there where the installation intimates with the nautical and discovering feat that Magallanes and Elcano led. A feat that changed the world and led it towards globalization. And there is another key name, that of the merchant Cristóbal de Haro from Burgos, who was the main financier of the First Circumnavigation, an official Spanish company.
At the end of the First World Tour, 18 men disembarked in the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, led by Juan Sebastián de Elcano. All of them, together with Fernando de Magallanes and Cristóbal de Haro, are honored through the twenty sculptures by Gabarron, displayed in a circumference around a wind rose like those that for centuries guided sailors on their transoceanic voyages.
Footprints' is, therefore, the trace left by the advances of Humanity and the legacy of a feat of Spain with a marked Burgos accent that, through numerous generations, comes to our days with the fullness of a universal message.
Since he was a child, his interest to share art and color with other children took him to create his first mural at one of the walls of the schoolyard, that he painted with colored chalks. In the late 50’s his parents took him to the National Museum of Polychrome Sculpture in Valladolid. Those big format emotive figures of the Spanish Renaissance, changed his entire idea of sculpture and he started molding clay at home, in much bigger scale that at school. By that time, due the difficulty to enter into a museum, -he was a child and needed to go with someone adult,- he started developing his idea of public art, to create a museum without walls, so people and children could find art in the streets, parks and plazas without the fact of crossing the gate of a Museum. This dream moved him to explore different materials and formats to create his art and to intervene at public spaces.
From a very young age, Gabarron has been equally concerned with the conservation of cultural and natural heritage, as well as the most primitive manifestations of the human being. His interest in anthropology has been a constant that has been reflected in a palpable way in his artistic work. Mainly, there are three universal works, declared Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO, which affect his thought and way of understanding art as socialized knowledge, his visit in the 70's to the Cave of Altamira, a trip to Stonehenge in the 80's and the visit to the sites of the Sierra de Atapuerca at the end of the 90's.
In his time of maturity, as a continuation of his vocation of sharing, teaching and his commitment to transmitting knowledge, Cristobal Gabarron devotes more and more time and energy to teaching creativity through art.
Since 1992, Gabarron has promoted and participated in the on-going creation of a foundation in each of these cities: Valladolid, New York, and Mula. The purpose of these is to give back to society what society has given him by means of artistic and cultural activities, thereby creating awareness through the arts, education, and culture (www.gabarron.org).
An internationally-recognized artist known for his production of public art, as much in paint as in sculpture or monumental montage. His installations in parks, streets, and squares have contributed to redefining the essence of cities and communities all over the world.
Born on April 25, 1945 in the town of Mula, (Murcia) Spain, Gabarron's first educational experience in art was in Valladolid. Following that period of study, he continued his career in France, Italy and the United States. Gabarron's work is focused on his interest in humanism, people who live in harmony with their natural surroundings, their peaceful coexistence, and the development of human values. During his career, which accounts for over 50 years of experience, Gabarron has collaborated with public and private organizations from around the world to create noteworthy works of art for special occasions, for example, the mural for the Barcelona Olympics (1992) and the set of murals for the Universal Exposition of Seville (1992), or the group of sculptures for Atlanta Star (1996). His collaboration with the United Nations has been a constant in his career ever since 1986, when he designed the commemorative stamp for the International Year of Peace based on his work, Our Hope for Peace. This work was followed by Dawn in the new Millennium, which commemorated the UN Millennium Summit (2000), the Millennium Chapel (2001) and most recently Enlightened Universe, which was inaugurated by the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, on October 24, 2015 in New York City's Central Park to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. Gabarron's collaboration with international organizations, such as the International Olympic Committee or the United Nations, have given rise to a very productive period that endures to this day through the Enlightened Universe exhibition in Rond-point Schuman, Brussells, which is meant to celebrate United Nations Day and the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Cities around the world have embraced Gabarron's vision by exhibiting his monumental sculptures. Prominent museums and European, American, and Asian institutions have exhibited Gabarron's works in iconic streets and squares. Additionally, several cities have publicly and permanently incorporated his large outdoor sculptures as part of their cultural heritage. His work has been the subject of analysis in retrospectives, such as those held by the Chelsea Art Museum, IVAM (Valencia Institute of Modern Art), the Gdansk Museum of Modern Art in Poland, or the National Museum of Art of China in Shanghai. In all, critics and historians with the authority of Donald Kuspit, curator and professor at New York University (NYU), or Kosme de Barañano, curator and professor at Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche, have carried out careful analysis and studies of Gabarron's professional career, which are included in the abundant literature published during the last several years.
In 2016, the city and museums of Cannes dedicated a major retrospective of his sculpture with over 200 works made of various materials representing several periods, as well as the debut of the public and private sculpture called Mille formes à la conquête de l'espace (One thousand forms out to gain space). In 2017, the city of Amsterdam, through the ARTZUID Foundation, showed a selection of 28 monumental works placed in emblematic enclaves throughout the city, like the Museum Plein (Museum Square), between the Stedelijk and Van Gogh museums up to the Gershwin Plain. In late 2018, the Palais des Nations Unies in Geneva held the exhibition The Color of Human Rights, the world premiere of the 30 paintings created by Gabarron in tribute to the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which in 2019 travelled to the Kanal Centre Pompidou in Brussels.