b. 1972, Bolzano, Italy
Aron Demetz specializes in carving standing naked figures in wood, some of which are realistic with smooth skin and sensitive delicate expressions; others are surreal, where the form of the wooden heads has malfunctioned and exploded like some hideous injury, or lumps of coral.
On the surfaces of his sculptures, Aron Demetz uses processes of grating, shaving, lacerating, coating with globular resin or streaks of dark paint, or burning heavily charred textures or peeling growths—as if some ascetic ritual, vile disease, or cruel torture has taken place. The resulting carved, vertical 'Gothic' images have an unexpected emotional power. Their nakedness and 'destroyed' overt theatricality are what makes them very different from cathedral sculpture.
All figures have a mysterious facial expression in common, which sometimes makes them seem like real people. In this way, Demetz deals intensively with the topic of "injury, pain, healing" and shows all his craftsmanship.
Despite the obvious mutilations and deformities, Demetz's standing figures, in their poses and facial expressions exude calmness and serenity, radiating an inner concentration. His sculptures are often positioned on tree stumps, as if discovered in a forest, they are connected art historically with a sculpture type that is normally seen in niches within cathedral architecture. Technically, they are virtuoso works that alarm with their countering, delicate, finely manipulated destroying of form.
Demetz’s sculptures present mankind and nature as one, reflecting the fragility of both. The burned structures peel back the facade of the figurative forms and expose their susceptibility to hindering elements, both in the literal and metaphoric sense. The wood-turned-charcoal figures present an interpretive look at the outcome of physical and emotional onslaught.
Demetz also works in bronze, ceramics, glass, and plaster, carving small intimate figures exercising. Working life-size in wood, however, is his main passion.
Demetz comes from a family of sculptors. He learned carving at the art school at Selva Di Val Gardena and the local vocational school for wood sculptors.
In 1997/98 he supplemented this training by studying sculpture with Christian Höpfner at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg.
Since then, Demetz has had numerous international group and solo exhibitions in Europe, Asia and the USA.
In January 2010 he was appointed professor of sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara for three years. At the 53rd Venice Biennale, his wooden figure ensemble Untitled was exhibited in the Italian pavilion.
In 2014 was created, his contribution to the Remagen Sculpture Bank: the bronze statue of a woman on a seemingly floating, huge tree root. It stands in a niche on the embankment near kilometer 635 of the Rhine.
"Heimat" is a German feminine name that cannot be translated by a single word, although it corresponds to a universally widespread feeling.
It means the country of our birth, but also the childhood home. So when we're away from our native home, we get homesick,
"Manfredi memorial stone" (2015), Passeier promenade in Meran
In the spring of 2015, Aron Demetz, together with Stephan Balkenhol and Urs Lüthi, took part in the Merano art project PeoplePictures - Figure Umane, which aims to memorialize people who have some connection to the city of Merano. Alongside Balkenhol's Emma (for Emma Hellenstainer) and Lüthi's self-portrait as Franz Kafka while he was writing the novella The Metamorphosis, Demetz chose the Italian poet and painter Antonio Manfredi (1912–2001). Alluding to a passage from his love poem Annamaria, he placed a gilded segment of a sphere on the tip of a block of white marble from Carrara that seemed to have been left untreated.
Demetz's work is held in important international collections including
Museum Daetz-Centrum, Lichtenstein
Museo Omero, Ancona
Museum Ladin San Martin De Tor
Palazzo Madama, Rome
Francavilla al Mare
Beelden aan Zee Museum, The Hague
beech wood and acrylics
70 x 75 x 204h cm
Proposta KR 150
75l x 65w x 235h cm