1941 - 1950
He began preparing for a degree in Architecture while in San Sebastian.
Although he earned a solid reputation as Goalkeeper for the Real Sociedad football team, due to a knee injury, he was forced to quit the sport altogether.
He sat his exams in Santiago de Compostela and enrolled at the Universidad de Madrid, staying at the Colegio Mayor Ximénez de Cisneros.
He ceased studying architecture and began drawing for the Fine Arts Circle in Madrid. He entered the Sculpture workshop of José Martínez Repullés, a friend of his father’s. The latter always encouraged Eduardo and his brothers’ artistic vocation.
Although he created his first pieces in clay, he soon realised he had no desire to work with this particular material.
In October he moved to Paris, where he was given a room at the Colegio de España and met José Guerrero and Eusebio Sempere.
Impressed by Archaic Greek Sculpture at the Louvre, he created his first plaster sculptures.
He began his life-long friendship with Pablo Palazuelo, who would be of great inspiration during this formational period.
Bernard Dorival, Keeper at the Musée d´Art Moderne (whose Director, Jean Cassou, was greatly linked to the Basque painters of the time) selected Chillida’s sculpture, Forma [Form], to be featured at the Salon de Mai in Paris.
On 28 July, he married Pilar Belzunce at the Ayete Parish, in San Sebastian.
They moved together to the Italian sculptor Genarelli’s house in Villaines-sous-Bois, close to Paris, where both Pablo Palazuelo and the sculptor Pablo Durrio happened to work too.
Two of his sculptures, Torso and Metamorfosis were selected by Louis Clayeux to be exhibited at Les main éblouies at the Galerie Maeght.
Torso, made of stone, is to date part of the Fondation Maeght’s permanent collection in Saint-Paul de Vence.