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Silent Music II (Música Collada II), 1983
Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Frank Ribelin, 1986
Chillida made Silent Music II in homage to composer J. S. Bach, “to express the power of Bach’s lungs, the might of his music and its ability to spread throughout time and space.” Like much of his work, this sculpture explores the relationships between an object and its environment, mass and void, the persistent and the ephemeral. Here, he forged a composition of opposing curves and rectangular peaks from the intersection of massive steel plates. For Chillida, the empty space within the sculptural form was as important as the form itself. As the paradoxical title Silent Music suggests, this juxtaposition of solid and void is a poetic expression of the co-existence of opposites. It also refers to the Spiritual Canticle of St. John of the Cross, a metaphorical verse of inaudible music which symbolized for Chillida the spiritual silence of the soul and the immateriality of space.