Adolf Vallazza 100

Courtesy Archivio Adolf Vallazza. Photo credits: Gianni Berengo Gardin
Part of

Press preview and opening: 13.03.2024, 11:00
Curated by the Museion Passage Group in collaboration with the Archivio Adolf Vallazza

Museion, the Bolzano Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, pays tribute to the artist Adolf Vallazza, born in Ortisei, on the occasion of his 100th birthday. 

Adolf Vallazza, Vogel I, 1988, Sculpture made from waste wood, 232 x 100.5 x 130 cm Museion Collection, Foto: Antonio Maniscalco

The exhibition dedicated to him and displayed at Museion Passage has been organized in collaboration with the Archivio Adolf Vallazza. It brings together a selection of drawings, ranging from the 1960s to the present day, with ten large abstract wooden sculptures presented for the first time in the same museum space.

Adolf Vallazza, Entwurf zu Vogel, 1987, Mixed media on paper, 99 x 100 cm Museion Collection, Photo credits: Augustin Ochsenreiter

The exhibition, which consists mainly of the artist’s more abstract wooden sculptures - including totem poles, menhirs and bird sculptures, some from the Museion collection - is also an opportunity to acquaint the general public with Vallazza’s graphic work, from the 1960s up until today. The act of drawing has always and continues to accompany the artist’s work as a sculptor. The drawings and sketches, mounted on the wall and in a display case, are in different formats and techniques, but they all testify to the formal research and spatial and symbolic relationships of his productions.

For Adolf Vallazza, sculpture has a meaning that changes constantly. It can be an aesthetic composition, a throne, a mythical totem, or a prop in a dance performance. A sculpture is therefore a layered surface, inscribed with functions and connotations that go beyond a specific period or meaning. In this way it becomes timeless and lets time itself - and the viewer - interact with it.

Adolf Vallazza, Totem, 1987, Mixed media on paper, 44.2 x 61 cm Museion Collection, Photo credits: Gardaphoto s.r.l., Salò

Vallazza began his career as a painter, then shifted in the 1960s to sculpture using wood from old barns in Val Gardena to transform the ephemeral into the eternal and animate his imposing sculptures.

For the duration of the exhibition, in Museion’s Infolounge space, visitors will also be able to watch two documentaries dedicated to the artist. The first, made by Rai Südtirol, is in German while the second, made by Lucio Rosa, the great photographer and documentary filmmaker who recently passed away, is in Italian.

Collateral program


Dance performance in the exhibition spaces. An excerpt from Duel will be presented, a performance by Compagnia Abbondanza/Bertoni company in co-production with Bolzano Danza Tanz Bozen, which hosted its premiere in 2014. The performance sees two dancers on stage as Adam and Eve in interaction with one of Adolf Vallazza’s great totems.

Adolf Vallazza was born in Ortisei (Bz) in 1924. His father was an iron sculptor and his mother was the daughter of the painter Josef Moroder Lusenberg. In the 1960s, his first exhibitions were staged in Milan, Turin and Venice. Critics like Giorgio Mascherpa, Garibaldo Marussi, Giuseppe Marchiori, Paolo Viti and others frequented his studio and wrote about him, inviting him to various exhibitions. In the 1970s, he forged a friendship and working relationship with the photographer Gianni Berengo Gardin. In the 1990s, the then curator of the Peggy Guggenheim foundation, Fred Licht invited him to various sculpture exhibitions in Florence, Turin, Padua and Palermo. In 2010, the GAM (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art) curator Danilo Eccher invited him to Turin for a group show entitled “Keep your seat,” where he exhibited his mythical thrones. Exhibitions of his work have been shown in castles, historic buildings and churches, both in Italy and abroad. Since 2016, his totems, fantastic characters, menhirs and thrones have been on display in a new showroom in Ortisei, visited by admirers, critics and collectors from all over the world.

Adolf Vallazza 100


Curated by the Museion Passage Group in collaboration with the Achivio Adolf Vallazza

Part of
In collaboration with
Archivio Adolf Vallazza
Institutional Partners
Autonomous Province of Bolzano South Tyrol Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano - Stiftung Südtiroler Sparkasse Museion Private Founders City of Bozen - Bolzano

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