Gianluigi Giudici

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Gianluigi Giudici

Gianluigi Giudici was born on 13 July 1927 in Casanova Lanza, a village near Como, close to the Swiss border.

His education in art began at the Castellini School of Art in Como and continued at the studio of the sculptor Pietro Tavani.
In 1947 he went to, and ended up running, a copper embossing workshop in Campione, creating high quality works in Canton Ticino.
In 1948 he opened a repoussé, chasing and sculpture workshop in Valmorea and dedicated his time for a decade or so mainly to the renewal of church plate and furnishings. His creations can be seen in the Vatican, in the Basilica of the Annunciation at Nazareth, in the Basilica of the Apparition at Lourdes and in many churches in Italy and in Switzerland. In 1958 he created his first important works for the modern church of Bulgarograsso in the Como area. After his debut at the Fourth International Exhibition of Religious Art of Novara in 1959, other works were well received at two other religious art exhibitions, namely the Biennale dell’Angelicum in Milano and that of the Antoniano in Bologna. Standing out as among the most significant of his production are the works for the church of Vogorno (1960), the great embossed altarpiece and the bronze of St Pius X for the Azione Cattolica chapel in Lugano (1961) and the sculptural decoration for the Cappella della Buona Stampa, also in Lugano (1962). From the year 1966, and then onwards for 25 years he worked on the completion of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Vienna for which he created a Madonna and Child (1966), a Resurrection relief (1981), a monumental Via Crucis (1966-1971) and the great bronze The Fish (1992) positioned above the entry portal. In 1967 Giudici’s Eve received special mention at the International Bronzes Competition of Padua, being a study for the monument to Pius XI for the Milan Cathedral, while in 1968 he fashioned his first organic sculpture, The Interview, for the competition for the Palace of Justice of Como. There were numerous interventions by the sculptor in the churches in the Dioceses of Como and Lugano, among the most significant of which include the bronze Via Crucis for the church of Capolago (1973), the cement and bronze font for the parish church of Gaggino Faloppio (1971) and the first great bronze altar for the church of Pianello Lario (1972). His services were then called for in the restoration of the apses of several churches for which he realised altars and pulpits: notably in Argegno (1974), in Vacallo (1975),in Bormio (1979) and in Moltrasio (1989). Following his invitation to the Second Bienniale of Dantesque Sculpture in Ravenna (1975), the bronze statuette of The Furies became a feature of the Dante Museum. In 1976 he created the commemorative medal of the bishop Mons. Aurelio Bacciarini, for the 50th anniversary of Il Giornale del Popolo. From the second half of the seventies he was invited to make many abstract-organic sculptures for private and public parks and gardens and for public spaces (at Zollikon, Chiasso, Massagno, Mozzate and Olgiate Comasco). For the church of San Cassiano Valchiavenna he created a large Via Crucis and later a bronze group The Baptism of Jesus (1981-1983). The city authorities of Vacallo commissioned a bronze of the Risen Christ (1982). For Il Giornale del Popolo he modelled the bust of Mons. Alfredo Leber (1984), a large stele depicting the Deposition was placed in the cemetery of Maroggia (1988) and a bronze called The Guarded city was commissioned by the city authorities of Mozzate and placed in the town centre there in 1993. Between 1995 and 1998 the artist committed his time to work on the church of Sondalo for which he made a statue of St. Francis and, for the apse, the altar, the ambo and a tabernacle in bronze, which works embodying an interesting integration of figurative and abstract elements. In 1999 the Accumulation was placed at the town hall of Olgiate Comasco. At the beginning of the new century two one-man exhibitions were held; the first in 2000 with a series of sculptures in the centre of Bormio and the second, in 2001, in San Pietro in Atrio in Como, showing works that covered the whole of his artistic development.

Gianluigi Giudici died in Valmorea on 16 February 2012.

In the year 2000 Skira published a book by Luigi Cavadini on his works, which included essays by Paolo Biscottini and Flaminio Gualdoni.

Since August 2014 a selected anthology of his works has been at the Civic Museum of Bormio.

"I believe that my sculpture, which has been developing over a long period of time, illustrates the unfolding of an assumption underlying sculpture itself. There is in it an apparent breaking away from realism, and the attachment to the objectively real that is centred on the human being, towards sculptural forms freed from any such attachment, while they remain rooted in an organic matrix, of which they are component parts. These latter forms, despite all their appearance of randomness, rely on the strictest sculptural commitment".

- Gianluigi Giudici