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Barca Volante

Barca Volante

Francisco Gazitua
b.1944

Barca Volante
  • Stainless steel
  • 2004
  • 20 m x 18 m x 18 m
  • 11 Mariner Terrace, Toronto

About the artwork

Barca Volante (boat flying) is a 20-metre tall, black steel sculpture in a perfect setting. It towers over the building it is in front of but it still has a look of lightness as it is full of open spaces. There are two sets of curved supports, which rise above the boat at the mid-point of the sculpture, that look like sails. The boat is angled upwards as if it is riding a wave or taking off for a flight across the sky.

About the artist

Francisco Gazitúa was born in Santiago de Chile in 1944. He studied philosophy at the Catholic University of Chile and Sculpture at both the University of Chile, and St. Martin’s School of Arts in London.

He completed his training in Chile, as a sculptor-assistant, with Lily Garafulic sculptors, Marta Colvin and Samuel Román, as well as in England with Tim Scott, Philip King and Anthony Caro. 

Later he was professor for sculpture for six years at St Martins School of Arts London (1979 -1985), and recognized ed as one of the founders of three schools of sculpture: Kornaria, Istria in Croatia, the department Sculpture at the Universidad Finis earthy in Santiago, Chile and the Workshop School in Santiago, Chile. In Chile, he organized sed around fifteen international sculpture symposiums to engage with the public at large.

He wrote numerous publications about the history and theory of sculpture. His theoretical and practical discussions focus on the role of materiality in the sculptural language.

The main objective of his sculptural practice is the production of large-scale works for public spaces. Working with materials such as steel, wood and stone, he has built a large workshop located at the foot of the Andes in central Chile where along with his assistants, he builds and assembles the work. His last monumental public sculpture is set in Toronto, Puente de luz (Bridge of light) a 100 meter long steel structure, now a major landmark for the city. 

His work was exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in major galleries and museums in Chile, Canada, England, Germany, USA, Mexico, and many other countries.

Fun facts

  • This sculpture is located a short distance north of the lake in Toronto and there is a nautical feel to its setting as it flies over a beautiful stone-bottom and rectangular lake of its own. The surface of the crystal clear water in this lake/fountain can go from absolute calm to rippled in seconds, depending on the winds.

Engagement questions

  • What words help to describe this artwork?