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The coincidental English meaning of the artist's Rhaeto-Romanic (Rumantsch) name, Not Vital, conceals a message: perhaps his work is not allowed to be what it wants to be. Not Vital was born in 1948 at Sent, a village in the Lower Engadine, in the Swiss canton of Grisons. He spent his childhood in that isolated, storm-racked mountain world, close to the Italian and Austrian borders. Vital's father was a timber merchant, who had hand-picked loggers working in the Engadine forests and carried on a brisk trade with the surrounding regions. But he told his three sons at an early age that they would not be able to carry on his business. In 1968 Not Vital moved to Paris to study art, in 1974, he went to New York to concentrate on his work as a sculptor. It was not until 1980 that he first worked in plaster, and his first bronze was cast in 1983. These two materials have predominated in his work ever since.
Vital is not showing us actual animals, implements or organs but fragmentary cultural constructs. It is clear that specific memories or friendships have provided the stimuli. Their making seems fuelled by a Surrealistic impulse to concentrate and condense, coupled with a soft-spoken native wit. Vital's art shifts and migrates in a dreamlike way between non-European artifacts and a contemporary form of totemism.
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Book Description Powerhouse Cultural Entertainment Inc, 1996. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1881616479