Egon Digon

- born 1964 in Bressanone studies at the institut of art, Ortisei

- 1987 graduates as a sculptor

- 1994 – 2017 exhibitor at UNIKA

- 1999 - 2004 president of the association of artists UNIKA

- exhibit at different national and international fairs and exhibitions (Milano, Berlino, Zurigo, Amburgo, Amsterdam, Bodensee)

- 2018 exhibitor at the monumental sculptor event Bad Ragaz Svizzerland

Distortions of geometrical forms (Distorted Square)

Egon Digon was born and raised in the woodcarving tradition of Val Gardena. After several years of manual work, he developed the need of realizing his personal ideas. With big curiosity and enthusiasm, he began looking for his own expressive capacities. Initially, Egon’s artworks were based on naturalistic representations. Then he developed a personal path towards an original and authentic abstraction. Nevertheless, the artist remained faithful to the wood, a material that he elaborates in a masterly manner with the gouges. The artist describes the process of working as follows: “In my work you have to stroke the form until it appears however it wants.”

The artwork is always born out of a chunk of solid wood. As the handling of wood is very labor-intensive, it demands concentration, love and sufferance. Several emotions emerge in this long period of evolution. The artist himself doesn’t know where these emotions will bring him. In his artworks, we can read the tensions and fatigues, which the artist has to achieve his own satisfaction. In the creative period, there is a permanent dialogue between the artist and the artwork. In this dialogue the deepest emotions emerge, which in consequence give a spirit to the artwork.

Over the last years, the artist has elaborated the wood in a way it resembles as soft as foam rubber. He breaks the solidity of the rigid material and transforms it into a fluid mass like a plastic in movement. The observer is displaced in a situation of deception. A blowing up action, which is capable of breaking the schema, causes the deformation. Essentially, Egon starts from geometries, which he distorts in different positions, intervening on the straight and regular lines. It is a treatment that has symbolical meanings to signalize our time. We are increasingly canalized into systems from which the artist desires to escape. Due to this critical social discourse, his artworks are very current.

Generally, in history of art we see movements or artists who are influenced by the social situation surrounding them. Instinctive reactions of expression are born. Observing the geometrical tendencies of the past, which had precise reasons, I would like to cite the De Stijl period in Netherland and especially the Minimal art of the 60ies. As reactions to the anxieties of the first period of the 20th century, the De Stijl invited to recreate an order and a system in the chaotic society. The period of Minimal art is similar to the De Stijl period. This movement was born in consequence of the big consumption, which has disassembled the way of life. The works of Minimal art transfer purity and order, characteristics by whom the artists wanted to reflect the virtues and lifestyle of consumption.

Egon too is influenced by the current social situation. He accurately examines the contemporary world, which is administered by political, economic and social mechanisms. Through the conscience of our generation, he is able to distinguish systematic methods from concepts of life. His sculptures are an invitation for rebellion of the established forces.

In a yellow artwork named "Reduction" we see typical schemes which indicate the situation of our times, in which the human being feels bound to a system which deprives him from liberty that could enable him to do anything. Every cube, which composes the artwork wants to stay in its place and opposed to its status. However, there is hope because the mass that pushes from behind the irons has been able to rescue a square element, while the others seem to be on the point of escaping from this block.
Thus the artwork conveys a positive message. There is hope and the possibility of escaping these bonds, which don’t leave us space and would like to force us to follow a certain system of life. The artist shows it through the editions of geometric forms and volumes that are consequently distorted from their original physiognomy. The deflection of the lines represents an interruption of order. The intervention on a regular and repetitive system can be interpreted as an evasion. Behind these artworks, there is a thought of liberty, that the artist wants to show us through a distorting action, which is able to brake the schema. The observer can note compressions and pushes of incontrollable forces.

Very big is the sense of liberty, which the artist represents through a completely irrational concept.The artists have always felt a deeper desire to escape, in order to realize their ideas in complete liberty. The British author William Hazlitt also emphasized: “Rules and models destroy genius and art.”

The full and empty forms of Egon’s artworks aren’t born by chance, but are the result on an analytic respect for a balanced dynamicity. In this case, the serial disposition is disassembled by a force, which is caused by an iron element. The observer can discover incontrollable forces and pushes. If we interpret this pressure in everyday life, we can see ambiguous situations in it, such as an obstacle to overcome and to mature or a bond which supports and helps. Beyond this liberation, there are many possible open exits.

In Egon’s artworks, a logical disposition of forms is present, which is at the same time geometrical and natural. The sculpture is knotted and free at the same time. However, there is a big respect for purity and simplicity of geometrical forms.The American artist Robert Morris once said: “Simplicity of forms doesn’t mean simplicity of experience.” Even though Egon’s artworks transfer a big desire of escaping the schemas, there still is an evidence of rules in a universal system, which is essential for life on earth.

Kostner Valentine

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