Two sculptors, a woman and a man, come face to face, amicably and in an atmospheric dialogue. By bringing together Sophie Eymond and Lois Anvidalfarei, the Alessandro Casciaro Gallery is presenting two outstanding and distinctive players on the South Tyrolean art scene. Although Eymond and Anvidalfarei come from different generations and cultural backgrounds, they are united by their love of the material as much as by their intimate engagement with the basic themes of our being. Sophie Eymond is one of the up-and-coming artists on the South Tyrolean art scene. This artist, who was awarded the Richard Agreiter Prize in 2023, devotes herself in an innovative way to a medium that until recently was strongly male-dominated, especially in South Tyrol. And Lois Anvidalfarei is one of South Tyrol’s most formative artistic personalities. His sculptural work has for many years been an important contribution to the contemporary art scene of the province and is also appreciated far beyond the region’s borders.
“The fragility of the human being worries me,” says Sophie Eymond. The artist unites traditional and contemporary approaches, innovatively combines different materials and searches for new ways of understanding sculpture. Above all, she manages to imbue her artistic works with immense tenderness and intimacy, with enigmatic poetry and magic that evoke a sense of wonder. Eymond often combines (embroidered) fabrics with plaster moulds or polyester. This creates three-dimensional forms, sculptural bodies, sometimes anthropomorphic, but always charged with meaning. “Fabric has this ability to express fragility in an extraordinary way!” the artist points out. “It is an absolutely paradoxical material: poor, banal, ordinary (which is not to say trivial), but it is also rich, delicate, subtle, substantial, pure, protective, personal and, what is even better: intimate!”
Eymond likes to use old bed linen, fabrics that tell a story that is only partially legible, and that have an emotional and personal value. This gives her sculptures, which often seem caught in moments of introspective concentration, an added sense of humanity and vulnerability. Her work is sensual rather than intellectual, the artist insists, although of course there is always a vision behind it. “I have to create it in order to express, to perceive and to understand through the material.
Lois Anvidalfarei examines our existence and our being with an unembellished gaze, but also with a great deal of love. He moulds massive sculptures in plaster and casts them in bronze. His larger-than-life human bodies are thrown into the world and then left at its mercy, standing or lying down, with limbs stretched out wide or in a crouching position, reduced to the essentials. The artist animates his material, he models it on the physical body, often on his own body. For him, his work is an inescapable confrontation with himself, his states of mind, his spiritual condition. “It always begins with me, with my thoughts, with my hands,” Anvidalfarei emphasises, in order to “reach a universal dimension through this process, which then affects not only me as an individual, but more people, the whole of humanity.”
Also on display alongside new sculptures are some of Anvidalfarei’s drawings. For the artist, the strokes and marks on the paper are in no way an anticipation of the sculpture that is being created, but rather an integral part of his journey, which he cannot and will not do without. Here, too, it is often the artist himself who gazes inquisitively at himself in the mirror, and then, scratching wildly, grapples with the figurative forms. The drawings tell of the pleasures and the burdens of the body, indulgent yet torn between doubt and despair, combative yet resigned, eager to show off yet intimate. “When I draw, I don’t think, I live. And what is experienced on paper has to be archived: It is nothing but the memory of the passion of that very moment.”