In recent years, Alibau has dedicated part of his artistic output to sculptures for public spaces. The intensity of the work, and the space that surrounds it, remain fundamental elements in his creations.
The space surrounding a work has always been an essential component in Alibau's work. Playing with space and depth has always been one of his defining features. It should come as no surprise then that in recent years he has dedicated part of his creative energy to sculpture, particularly to public sculptures in weathering steel, a material that naturally rusts, but never disintegrates.
The most notable example of the artist's work in this field is the piece inaugurated on 6th May 2008 at the Catalan Studies Institute. The sculpture, entitled Evocation of the Catalan Lands in the Centenary of the CSI, was Salvador Alibau's presentation to the Catalan Academy commemorating its first hundred years. The piece was installed in the Mercè Rodoreda garden at the Institute's head office. Alibau devoted more than six months to designing the sculpture, which was chosen after he had made three scale models. During the act of inauguration, the artist emphasised the solidity and stability of the work, qualities which, together with continuity, also mark out the Catalan Academy.
Commentary by Àlex Mitrani, art critic and curator of the work:
For the CSI, Alibau has created a work of art that functions in form and poetics in a way that differentiates it from traditional commemorative sculpture. Empty space and movement are the generators of a form that is more an impulse than an object. Alibau reinterprets the four bands of the Catalan flag in a dynamic way, going beyond its heraldic model. The name of the Institute, instead of appearing on the base, as in classic plinths, appears at the highest point of the sculpture where it is written in negative relief, thus getting away from ancient solemnity and gaining in lightness; transmitting a notion that is positive and open to the future. The helicoidal structure of this work transforms what could have been a simple column into an organic element that evokes growth. Like a tree with branches spreading out protectively towards us, Alibau's sculpture evokes the subtle and secure force of nature. The cultural purpose of the Institute and the national relevance of its task are expressed here with subtlety and in similes that speak to us of modernity and continuity.