Adolf Vallazza is an artist whose work defies categorisation. While seizing a wealth of inspiration from surrealist, cubist, and constructionist artists, Vallazza’s sculptures escape association with these schools and remain wholly his own. Retaining the ancient sensibility of his ancestors and their ability to coax flesh out of wood, his sculptures are explicitly grounded in our epoch.
The medium of wood speaks to the rhythms of life. Unlike bronze or stone, residing in the core of its very being are the traces of birth, death, resurrection, and decay. The skill of Vallazza lies in the balance of these inherent qualities of the wood that remains intact while blending them with the artist’s individual style; something that is eloquent and rare, as opposed to other artists simply exploiting wood for its aesthetic qualities. Vallazza eases the vocabulary of his imagination with gentle grace onto the wood he molds, resulting in a hallucinatory narrative that intermingles natural reality somewhere between dreaming and truth.
Vallazza is able to breathe life into the epidermis of the medium, defying time and transcending a teleological endpoint. Indeed, the wood lives on. For example, when transforming an abandoned farmhouse into a new entity, the original materiality is interpreted in another way. His totemic thrones have amalgamated from interlocking planks of rudimentary material and become sublime chairs of numen or rulers of divine descent. The sculptures move away from the terrestrial, conveying a hint of mystery not yet fully relinquished.
In the words of Fred Licht: ‘These sculptures are organisms that live in perfect harmony with the ambiance of fantasy much in the way starfish or sea anemones live within submerged caverns or birds live in the air.’