In 1991, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Andorran Social Security Fund (CASS) organized an outdoor sculpture symposium that led to the installation of a series of highly artistic sculptures by world-known artists in rural and urban spaces. The motto for the symposium was “Monument of Man, monument of nature”. Seven world-known sculptors were invited for the symposium, but an eighth one, Japanese artist Imai, decided to join them.
We recommend this route to all contemporary art lovers, along with the sculptures of the Iron route and other sculptural elements scattered throughout the country, especially in the central valley of Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany.
Elements of the itinerary
Tempesta en una tassa de te, de Dennis Oppenheim (Washington, 1928 – Nova York, 2011)
Robot en suspensió, de Paul Van Hoeydonck (Anvers, 1925)
Fisicromia per a Andorra, de Carlos Cruz-Díez (Caracas, 1923)
Pep, Iu, Ton, Meritxell, Romà, Anna, Pau, Carles, Eugènia... i els altres, d’Erik Dietman (Jönköping, 1937 – París, 2002)
Estructures autogeneradores, de Jorge Dubon (Chiapas, 1934 – París, 2004)
Lloc pagà, de Michael Warren (Comtat de Wexford, 1950)
Arcalís 91, de Mauro Staccioli (Volterra, 1937 – Milà, 2018)
‘Estructures autogeneradores’, by Jorge Dubon (Chiapas, 1934-París, 2004)
With a minimal intervention, the artist tries to create three structures that develop organically, sprouting from themselves and becoming a symbol of the human against the immensity of the mountains. According to Dubon: “This sculpture is the crystallization of a way of thinking, of an attitude towards life.”
DD location: 42.5691 N, 1.5877 E
Height: 1.945 metres
Carretera de Montaup (CS-240) – Coll d’Ordino – Canillo
‘Lloc pagà’, de Michael Warren (Comtat de Wexford, 1950)
The sculptor wants us to ask ourselves, if only for a while, what we are doing in this place; he wants us to ask ourselves a series of questions (which will often remain unanswered) as we admire our surroundings, the creation of nature, the creation of mankind. According to Warren, “this naked composition is combined to simulate an architecture motivated by unknown/forgotten forces. A pagan place.”
DD location: 42.5339 N, 1.6060 E
Height: 1.808 metres
Carretera dels Cortals d’Encamp (CS-220) – Encamp
‘Arcalís 91’, by Mauro Staccioli (Volterra, 1937-Milà, 2018)
Staccioli represents the opposition between natural law (not the law of nature) and human law, almost always artificial, between minimal shapes and the complication of nature, between a cold and objective world and the subjectivity our personality is built upon. Life is born from those oppositions. Art is born from those oppositions. “Landscape becomes matter and matter becomes landscape”, Staccioli said.
DD location: 42.6325 N, 1.4958 E
Height: 2.155 metres
Carretera d’Arcalís (CS-380) – Ordino
‘Homenatge a Andorra’, by Toshimitsu Imaï (Kioto, 1928-2002)
Imai presented us with a garden, (...) he placed a series of granite stones hardened by the flow of time and darkened by history, (...) the various golden stains are the only pictorial interventions. (...) According to Imai, placing a stone next to another represents the transition from the material world to the spiritual world: “Placing a stone next to another in a significant communion has never been a tendency to impersonality for me, but rather the unavoidable transition from the material world to the spiritual world.”
DD location: 42.5567 N, 1.5345 E
Height: 1.311 metres
Camí del Portal del Riu – Ordino
‘Tempesta en una tassa de te’, by Dennis Oppenheim (Washington, 1928-Nova York, 2011)
This sculpture represents not only a cup and a saucer, but also all of the questions that we ask ourselves next to the sculpture, thereby creating a series of questions and answers that will lead us to get to know his work. “At such a large scale, Tempesta en una tassa de te subverts the logic of the original saying: a great problem in a small context become a small problem in a great context”, as the author himself put it.
DD location: 42.5521 N, 1.4542 E
Height: 2.105 metres
Carretera General 4 (CG-4) – Coll de la Botella – La Massana
‘Robot en suspensió’, de Paul Van Hoeydonck (Anvers, 1925)
This bronze robot is the combination of a man and a machine. These imitations of a human body are often rigid, symmetrical, heavy and completely motionless, devoid of any articulations on the arms and legs. Van Hoeydonck explained that “even though these used objects are already archaeological, they suggest the future”.
DD location: 42.5060 N, 1.5232 E
Height: 1.010 metres
Carrer Prada Casadet, Prada Casadet building – Andorra la Vella
‘Fisicromia per a Andorra’, by Carlos Cruz-Díez (Caracas, 1923)
The modulation of vertical sheets (yellow and black), inversely placed and strategically designed, hides a range of four vertical coloured stripes, thin and wise (in blue, green, white and red) that deceive the observer’s eyes as his position changes. This work constantly plays with contrast and demands a willing participant, ready to explore this work of simulated movement. “As it causes colour to behave differently, this sculpture establishes a different dialectic between the piece and its beholder”, the author said.
DD location: 42.4363 N, 1.4735 E
Height: 856 metres
Carretera General 1 (CG-1) – Sant Julià de Lòria
‘Pep, Iu, Ton, Meritxell, Romà, Anna, Pau, Carles, Eugènia... i els altres’, by Erik Dietman (Jönköping, 1937-París, 2002)
This piece is transformed as the hours, days and seasons go by. If you stop looking at them one by one and try to see them as an ensemble, you will discover how one of them is hiding, winking at you, as if to remind you that the game is not over. The trees, the stones and the water, they all understand the game and take part in it, even though they get distracted from time to time. Dietman revealed his intentions: “I wanted the beholder, provided he is watchful and patient, to discover a detail in passing, then another one and then yet another one... As for those who walk by too fast, that is their problem.”
DD location: 42.5039 N, 1.5522 E
Height: 1.243 metres
Carretera de la Comella i de la Plana (CS-101) – Escaldes-Engordany
Homenatge a Andorra, de Toshimitsu Imaï (Kioto, 1928 – 2002)
Access to most of the sculptures is easy, although a private vehicle is required.