Abstract Sculptures of DC: Around the Void V

This sculpture reflects similar themes that the artist had explored previously.

Set on a raised platform at the corner of 19th and H Streets NW, Around the Void V has occupied its current location since 2003 after originally being placed in the interior of the World Bank building in 1970. Constructed of brushed stainless steel, the sculpture is made of fused cubic and rectangular blocks that surround an open space in the center. The forms appear more fluid where they’ve been soldered together, but retain their sharp edges where they do not connect. Sculpted by Eduardo Chillida, the sculpture reflects both the artist’s and commissioning company’s visions.

Born in San Sebastián, Spain, Chillida had turned from architecture to sculpture early in his career, with his works emphasizing space and voids that the surrounding metal created. In this sculpture, Chillida emphasized that this sculpture “symbolizes a place of birth or rebirth,” through the open space, as well as the mystery of the interior because it cannot be fully seen.

Commissioned by the World Bank for their DC headquarters, then-president of the Bank James D. Wolfensohn said that the sculpture shared the organization’s goal of “reducing poverty through economics.” The sculpture was re-dedicated in 2003 after its movement outside; while Chillida had passed in 2002, his sculpture was again highlighted for its design and symbolic purpose.

This site is a stop on the Abstract Sculptures of DC tour.



1818 H St NW, intersection of 19th and H St NW