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 Igor Mitoraj  (1944 - )

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Lived/Active: France/Poland/Germany      Known for: large-scale abstract marble sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Following is a review of work by the artist by Marina Galici in Agrigento, Italy, July 5, 2011.  It was posted on Demotix: The Network for Freelance Photojournalists.

The titanic sculptures by Igor Mitoraj can be seen lying amongst the natural surroundings of the Valley of the Temples, in what the Polish sculptor considers to be his most important exhibition yet.

Igor Mitoraj (Oederan, March 26, 1944) is a Polish sculptor, son of a Polish mother and French father. After studying painting at the School of Art at the Art Academy in Krakow and Krakow under the leadership of Tadeusz Kantor, took part in several collective exhibitions, obtaining the first solo exhibition in 1967 at the Gallery Krzysztofory in Poland. In 1968 he moved to Paris to continue his art studies.

Shortly after he was fascinated by art and culture of Latin-American and decided to spend a year traveling and painting in Mexico. This experience came to sculpture.

He returned to Paris in 1974 and two years later he held another solo show at Gallery La Hune, in which sculptures were included. The success of the show convinced him to devote himself full time to sculpture.

After working with clay and bronze, after a trip to Carrara in 1979, he decided to switch to the working of marble. In 1983 he opened a studio in Pietrasanta. Currently he divides his time between France and Italy.

Mitoraj style is deeply rooted in the classical tradition, with a particular emphasis on busts male. Mitoraj has, however, also a post-modern turn, paraded through the exaggeration of the damage suffered by classical sculpture, obtained through the implementation of limbs and heads cut off.

Greater knowledge of the classical world archaic Mitoraj so inspired by mythological characters in his works are easily recognizable: Eros, Venus, Icarus, the Centaur ... which translates into sculptures that are like pieces, none of his works presents a pristine form. Images are fragmented, mutilated, crossed by gaps that stimulate the imagination to complete the missing parts.

On April 15, opens in the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento what he identifies as his most important exhibition, the longest time, eight months, and space, eighteen works for a mile of the park.

Online Source:
www.demotix.com/news/793533/igor-mitoraj-sculptures-valley-temples#media-792978

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Igor Mitoraj (born 1944) is a Polish artist born in Oederan, Germany.  He studied painting at the Kraków School of Art and at the Kraków Academy of Art under Tadeusz Kantor. After graduating, he had several joint exhibitions, and held his first solo exhibition in 1967 at the Krzysztofory Gallery in Poland. In 1968, he moved to Paris to continue his studies at the National School of Art.

Shortly afterwards, he became fascinated by Latin American art and culture, spending a year painting and travelling around Mexico. The experience led him to take up sculpture.
He returned to Paris in 1974 and two years later he held another major solo exhibition at the Gallery La Hune, including some sculptural work. The success of the show persuaded him that he was first and foremost a sculptor.

Having previously worked with terracotta and bronze, a trip to Carrara, Italy, in 1979 turned him to using marble as his primary medium and in 1983 he set up a studio in Pietrasanta. In 2006, he created the new bronze doors and a statue of John the Baptist for the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Rome.

In 2003 he returned to Poland.  Mitoraj's sculptural style is rooted in the classical tradition with its focus on the well-modelled torso. However, Mitoraj introduces a post-modern twist with ostentatiously truncated limbs, emphasizing the damage sustained by most genuine classical sculptures.

Source:
"Igor Mitoraj", Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Mitoraj

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