Moderni/Markus Vallazza


Markus Vallazza is one of the few internationally known South Tyrolean artists, considered one of the most important graphic designers and engravers of the European art scene. 

Born and raised in Val Gardena, he soon abandoned his valley and his land to find his way as an artist in an autonomous way, giving up, like other important designers and painters, to attend the Academy. As a modern Ulysses began to cross Europe both geographically and intellectually: he confronts the greatest spirits of the West, according to existentialist thought is constantly searching for the place of contemporary man and at the same time is on the trail of himself. He always questions the humanistic conception of the world, from which he starts, and in his engravings he themes the conflicting relationship between artist and world. In his works on Oswald von Wolkenstein, Dante or Cervantes, despite his relationship with literature, he is not only interested in illustrations; rather, in the present he wants to revive the great figures of world literature to highlight the solitude of modern man in the cosmos. Vallazza eschews any fixed point because he is constantly searching both as a man and as an artist.

"With Dante Alighieri he overcame the dark forest, crossed Hell full of suffering and created his own Paradise, with Friedrich Nietzsche he investigated his world and his secret obsessions, with Charles Darwin he explored the miracle and the multiplicity of forms of evolution. Markus Vallazza. Designer, engraver, poet, citizen of the world. He has drawn and interpreted countless works of world literature, he has never limited himself to illustrating them. His entire work is similar to a diary. "I draw and write myself," notes Vallazza, "perhaps by doing so I want to show myself and others that I exist. "1 His themes revolve around life and death, love and sensuality. He is not an impartial and objective artist or one who tries to maintain a critical distance. "I try to draw as I am. I mean, I draw what I see, think, feel and dream."

Günther Oberhollenzer



Markus Vallazza was born on 8 August 1936 in Ortisei in Val Gardena (South Tyrol). In 1947, at the request of his parents, he attended the seminar in the Dorf Tyrol near Merano, which he left after two years. From 1954 to 1956 he worked as a woodcarver and interior designer for churches. 1956-1957 Student guest of the Istituto d'Arte Porta Romana in Florence with Prof. Renzo Grazzini. In Florence he met Oskar Kokoschka. 1960-61 First longer stay in Paris, followed by many others. I met Alberto Giacometti. After his return, he began teaching as an art teacher at the Kunstschule St. Ulrich, which ended in 1971 to work as a freelance artist. Since 1961 he has travelled to many European countries, including the USSR, the United States, Canada, Egypt, Israel and Morocco. In 1965 he visited Henry Moore in Perry Green near London. In 1966 he made his first engravings in Robert Schererer's workshop in Bressano/Alto Adige. In 1971, Viennese art historian and critic Kristian Sotriffer began an artistic examination of the poet and singer Oswald von Wolkenstein. 1970-75 Member of the Vienna Secession. Received the Theodor Körner award from the city of Vienna in 1972. In 1973 the first portfolio of recordings by Oswald von Wolkenstein was published. Since then, more than twenty other works have been published in the artist's portfolio. 1974 The work remains at Franco Cioppi's renowned "Graphic Art Workshop" in Rome. 1975 First meeting with the designer and author Otto Breicha, who in the nineties as director of the "Rupertinum" in Salzburg has curated several portfolios of works with engravings by Vallazza. 1976 Transfer to Salzburg. 1980-82 lives in Berlin, then alternately in Vienna, South Tyrol and Augsburg. In 1981 he met in Berlin the art historian, author and organizer of exhibitions Wieland Schmied. In 1985 he moved to a studio in Bolzano and in 1988 he co-founded the Norbert C. Kaser International Prize for Literature with Paul Flora and the Association of Bookworms of Lana. At the suggestion of the architect Hermann Trebo, Raiffeisen Landesbank Südtirol AG commissioned a wall painting in the new building of the bank of Bolzano, which ended in 1989 with motifs from the legends of the Dolomites. 1990: honorary title of "Knight of the Italian Republic" awarded. 1991-2010 alternately in Vienna and Bolzano. 1991 Guest professor at the International Summer Academy for Fine Arts Salzburg. From 1993 to 2000 he was commissioned by the collector Peter Infeld and the Viennese gallerist Ernst Hilger to work on the artistic realization of the "Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri. In 1998 he received the "Decoration of Honour of the Province of Tyrol". In 2003 he created the film portrait "Ich zeichne, quindi bin ich. Markus Vallazza - Un incontro" by Traudi Messini. 2007/08 Folio Verlag, Vienna/Bolzano, publishes the complete catalogue in two volumes of the engravings from 1966 to 2006. 2010 "Walther-von-der-Vogelweide" Award. Markus Vallazza lived and worked in Bolzano (2019).

The artist's works can be found in numerous public and private collections in Austria and abroad (including Albertina, Essl Collection, Peter Infeld Collection, all in Vienna; Museum der Moderne, Rupertinum, Salzburg; Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck; Museion, Bolzano).



Solo shows (selection)

Since 1964
Gallery Goethe, Bolzano (I)

Since 1971
Gallery Welz, Salzburg

Wiener Secession

Gallery Würthle, Vienna
Gallery Bloch, Innsbruck

Gallery Maria Dinkler, Berlin

Albertina Vienna

1991, 1997, 2008
Gallery Paul Flora, Innsbruck

1992, 1999
Kulturhaus der Stadt Graz
Galerie Mayer, Innsbruck

1992, 1995
Landessammlungen Rupertinum, Salzburg

Galerie Hilger, Vienna
Burgenländische Landesgalerie in Esterhazy Castel, Eisenstadt

Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck

Katzenzungen Castel, Prissian

Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck

Katzenzungen Castel, Prissian

Centro Dantesco dei Frati Minori Conventuali, Ravenna

RLB-Kunstbrücke, Innsbruck

Infeld - Haus der Kultur, Halbthurn

MART - Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rovereto

Kulturzentrum Infeld, Dobrinj, Krk Island

Goethe Gallery, Bolzano

Museum of Prints and Drawings, Rankweil, Vorarlberg
Castelbell, Kastelbell/Tschars, South Tyrol

Merano Art in the House of the Savings Bank, Merano

Kunsthalle West Eurocenter Lana

Hofburg Bressanone

Group shows (selection):

III. International Drawing, Darmstadt
Masters of Drawing, Galleria Giulia, Rome 

X. Quadriennale, Rome

Kunst zu Kafka, Bonn

Mit Nadel und Säure - 500 Jahre Kunst der Radierung, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

10 artists from Tyrol, Galerie der Zeichner in der Stuck-Villa, Munich

1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1998
Large Art Exhibition, Haus der Kunst, Munich

1987, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1998
Contemporary German Art, Alena Adlung Gallery Ltd, Munich

New York

Mozart in Art 1900-1990, birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg and Palais Preysing/Monaco

Signs and Dreams, 10 artists from the cultural area "Alpe Adria", Villa Merkel, Esslingen am Neckar 

International Graphic Biennale, Ljubljana

Art Tirol, Innsbruck, New York, Pittsburgh, Washington

International Graphic Biennale, Krakow

1999: Drawing - Austrian Drawings of the Nineties, Gallery im Traklhaus, Salzburg

Heaven and Hell. Dante's Divine Comedy in Modern Art, Stadtmuseum Erlangen

The Art of Seduction. Da Schiele a Warhol, Tulln an der Donau

Veduta periferica e corpo collettivo, Museion - Museum of modern and contemporary art, Bolzano

European exhibition 2009. Power of the image. Visioni del Divino, Bleiburg
Arsenale; Graphics from the Museion collection, Museion Bolzano

I Wolkenstein, Castel Tirolo, South Tyrol

Dante's vision. From hell to light. The Divine Comedy in pictures, Dommuseum, Vienna

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