One of the truly prominent and contradictory artists of the of the XX century, not only in the Spanish artistic medium; everything or nearly everything has been said about his production as his contribution to the contemporary sculpture. Objecting to such manifestations may be difficult even for his rivals - who he had and will have for many reasons - and who, finally, had to admit that Oteiza is a universal artist.
He started his career at the end of the twenties, with primitive works and voluntarily rough which did not escape the shade of a Brancusi or an Epstein. Between 1935 and 1947 he takes up a great trip abroad, works in several countries of South America in the coordinates which kept vivid memories about Henry Moore in his experimentations with space and, upon his return to Spain, he becomes the talk at all innovation-trend exhibitions and in public projects (Basilica de Aranzazu, 1950-1969) evidently featuring international projection: in fact, he was one of the winners in the IV Biennale exhibition of Sao Paulo, 1957. During that time he turned into geometry and many of his best works referred to such forms as cylinder, sphere (Tribute to Malevitch, 1957) and especially to cube, in his series of metaphysical boxes and crystals.
The intellectual task he undertook then was ingenious and maybe the immediate consequence was to relegate gradually the domain of practice and to get involved in his other basic aspect, an imaginative theorization that poured out into hundreds of articles, books and essays, starting from the earliest, like Cartas a los artistas de America (Letters to the artists in America), about the new art in the post-war period (1944), to the serious essays as Propósito experimental (Experimental Purpose) (1956-7), Quosque tandem!… Ensayo de interpretación del alma vasca ( Essay of interpretation of the Basque soul (1963) or Ejercicios espirituales en un túnel (Spiritual exercises in a túnel) (1985). A man of character and contrast, opposite to the grandiloquent, and sometimes cryptic, tone of his thought, he never ceases to stir us with the infinite beauty of his works of the most unpretentious form, like his chalk pictures, to which he devoted a significant part of his last artistic epoch.