London Art@Site Xavier Corbero The Broad Family

Xavier Corbero


The Broad Family

Appold Street
Xavier Corbero is an artist from the Catalan region of Spain, where there has been a long tradition for the production of fine sculpture. Corbero's roots are in Barcelona, a city that is internationally famous for it's public displays of art. Cobero's sculpture on Exchange Square evokes universal human feelings _ togetherness and separation, safety and vulnerability, innocence and experience. The sheer bulk of the basalt is impressive but a gentle humour is at work also in the ball, the dog and a pair of child's shoes almost hidden from view at the base of one of the pieces. The space between the figures is as important as their solid mass.
On the edges of the Broadgate office estate can be found four large slabs of basalt stone, looking not entirely unlike a family.
These are the Broad Family, a sculpture by the Spanish born artist, Xavier Corberó and are very much in his style of large monumental stone sculptures. While appearing initially to be random slabs of stone, rather abstract, closer inspection reveals a hidden detail underneath one - two tiny feet in delicately carved shoes.
The stones actually depict two parents, their daughter, and a dog playing with a ball. And once it’s said it becomes suddenly very obvious. As a work of art, it works really well as an abstract construction, but the hidden detail of the shoes elevates it, and gives you something worth pointing out to a companion when out for a walk.
Summer's on the way and it's starting to feel like a good time to get out and about with friends and family. Why not catch up with our very own Broad Family by Catalan artist Xavier Corberó, located just at the bottom of the steps leading down from Exchange Square to Appold Street. Presented mainly as a group of abstract forms, this arrangement of family members has an undeniable emotional appeal, evoking a range of human feelings shared by all. As the viewer approaches, the figurative elements of each stone become more apparent - parents placed together with a child, a dog with a ball. Look closer still, highly polished shoes can be seen peeking from under the child's garments. Interested not only in the solid mass of the stones themselves, but also the distance and space between them, Corberó has presented a piece which is impressively massive in scale and yet beautifully intimate in subject matter.
Born into a Catalan family with strong artistic and artisan traditions, Xavier Corberó undertook an apprenticeship with his father before commencing studies at the Massana School of Art. He remains firmly based in Barcelona where, during the 1980s, he was responsible for the instigation of the extensive public sculpture programme in the city. Working in a wide variety of materials, he emphasises the textural differences between raw and polished stone. Throughout his career, Corberó has undertaken several important commissions, including the design of the Olympic medals for the Barcelona Olympic Games.