FROM THE PROMENADE TO THE FORTINO XHIXHA’S ARTWORKS
After steel, a dazzling encounter with marble
THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN ART, ARCHITECTURE
AND LANDSCAPE GOES ON IN THE CAPITAL
OF SUMMER TOURISM, A STONE’S THROW FROM THE QUARRIES
There exist two approaches to sculpture: to create forms that “represent”, and to create forms that “are”. The second attitude derives from the avant-gardes and their freedom of artistic expression, but is rooted in the mastery of great Renaissance sculptors. Surfaces are released and merge into masses of steel and marble fluently; they are modelled after living beings, with skin on the outside and muscles on the inside. They move and glide in space; they reflect light and bend, showing great plasticity. Helidon Xhixha’s sculpture follows this course: it is organic, alive, and made of curves, rather than perpendicular lines.
Helidon Xhixha was born in Durrës, Albania, in 1970. He spent his childhood in the atelier of his father, who was a painter and introduced him to sculpture. Xhixha studied in Tirana and then at the Kingston University in London; he graduated from the Brera Academy in 1999. His artistic research is a coherent one, and has been pursuing plasticity since its onset.
In the beginning there was steel, a malleable metal Xhixha modelled into expressive sculptures. An eloquence that emerges above all in his monumental works, from Renaissance of Towers (2001, Stresa) to Historical Reflections (2012, Presidential Palace in Tirana, 2012), from Thunder Light (2015, Miami) to the Iceberg he presented at the Venice Biennale in 2015: a steel tip emerging from the lagoon like ice at the poles.
METAL AND STONE ALTERNATE
IN A PATH OF MONUMENTAL WORKS
THAT WINDS BETWEEN THE SEAFRONT AND THE STREETS OF THE CITY CENTRE
Then, Helidon Xhixha met marble and had a flash of inspiration. In 2016, moved by the desire to converse with the great sculptors of the past, he held a solo show in Pietrasanta, featuring some of his experiments with different types of marble from the Henraux quarries. His encounter with marble was a life-changing event; it completed his education and redefined his poetics. From then on, steel and marble have been conversing and alternating constantly in his work. In 2017, the artist immersed himself in the Renaissance architecture and landscape of the Baboli gardens and of the Uffizi in Florence, and, in April 2019, he reached Lugano with the Reflections of Light exhibition, in which his monumental sculptures conversed with the city.
This dialogue between art, architecture and landscape continues in Forte dei Marmi, where an exhibition of his works will be running until September 15. “Steel and Stone, The Energy of Matter”, which is curated by Beatrice Audrito and organized by IMAGO Art Strategies, consists in a series of monumental sculptures that make up a path that winds between the seafront and the streets of the city centre. This is a tribute to the centuries-old sculpture tradition of Tuscany, although the plasticity of Xhixha’s works is devoid of references. His forms represent nothing – they are free to move and simply be themselves.
STEEL AND STONE.
THE ENERGY OF MATTER
FORTE DEI MARMI (LU)
IMAGO ART STRATEGIES