Artist: Josep Maria Subirachs

Title: «Complementary»

Year: 1973

Media: steel and bronze

Edition: unique piece

Size: 29 x 39 x 31 cm


Subirachs’ artistic language often presents us with dualities. Opposite but complementary concepts: day-night, sun-moon, man-woman, etc. These are concepts that, despite being opposites, cannot exist one without the other. If it were always day, the word night would not exist, but the word day would neither exist.

In this sculpture, Subirachs once again emphasizes the man-woman duality. Similarly, he once again resorts to visual deception. If we look through the opening on one side of the sculpture, we find half a man’s body that we can see entirely thanks to the reflection on the interior metallic surface that acts as a mirror.

In the opening on the other side, we find its opposite and complementary half-body of a woman that we see complete thanks to the reflection.

The masculine side is illuminated, while the feminine side appears dim. This is because masculinity is linked to the Greek god Apollo, who is associated with the sun and light. While his sister, Artemis, is associated with the moon and childbirth, that is, with woman. For this reason the male side has a built-in light.