Lois Anvidalfarei’s sculptures are quite simply “there”.
You simply cannot avoid them, their physical presence, the archaic language of their style and the sheer might of their sculptural impact will somehow captivate you. It just seems as if they had been specifically created for this place, for the Capuchin Gardens in the centre of Bozen-Bolzano. Alessandro Casciaro Art Gallery is honouring this exceptional artist from South Tyrol with a large-scale exhibition in this public space and in the rooms of the gallery. With the mass of their bodies and their intensive physical presence they take over the surrounding space and invite you to interact with them: take for instance those human figures enclosed in a construction of scaffolding poles, hunched up in themselves, or with outstretched limbs, appearing to be wedged in or trapped, but also protected and sheltered, as if in a cocoon.
Anvidalfarei speaks of a veritable compulsion which forces him to create these bodies in heavy bronze. His inspiration and perception are shaped by his previous experiences fuelled, amongst other influences, by his mundane existence as a farmer. The artist looks with sober eyes, but at the same time with much love and empathy, at human beings and human existence. With titles such as “Becoming”, “The Prodigal Son”, or “Reconciliation Group”, his sculptures are an experience which has become material, but endowed with an emotional-existential, even religious quality. The artist makes the bronze come to life; the seemingly misshapen forms do not obey classical theories of proportion, but are modelled on a real body, often the artist’s own body. In his work the artist is inevitably confronting himself with his various moods, his state of mind, his emotions. They are mostly portly figures, male as well as female, who do not appear to reflect current ideals of beauty and representations of the Zeitgeist, and yet which are so much closer to reality than the models or society stars which constantly entice us with their smiles from the covers of glossy magazines, from internet forums or films. The bronze sculptures are not abstract, not conceptual, not even properly innovative, as far as the medium and its implementation, its themes, are concerned, and yet these works, in their authentic genuineness and their intensive liveliness, are topical and current. Anvidalfarei’s people live in our world whilst simultaneously remaining in their own peculiar world, they are not interested in us, the spectators, and yet we cannot stop ourselves from looking at them, from engaging with them.