Markus Vallazza – The World Illustrator

An Exhibition on Occasion of his 80th Birthday

Opening reception: Friday, July 8, 2016, 6.00 p.m.
Exhibition period: July 9 – September 4, 2016
Curator: Günther Oberhollenzer


Markus Vallazza. Illustrator, etcher, poet, rebel, cosmopolitan. The South Tyrolean artist has drawn and passionately interpreted - never simply illustrated - innumerable works of world literature. He has overcome the tight restrictions of his home country with the help of Oswald von Wolkenstein, he has entered the dark forest, suffered hell and created his own heavens with the help of Dante Alighieri, and he has traced the lifeworld and secret obsessions of Friedrich Nietzsche. Don Quijote by Miguel de Cervantes has been and still is a faithful companion of the artist, knowing that even failure can be an asset; with the "Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance", he has fought against helicopters as well as political ignorance. Vallazza's drawings have retold texts by Horace and Arthur Rimbaud, the Dolomite sagas and poems by Friederike Mayröcker; the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart have found a graphic echo with a pointed pen, and companioned as well as revered artists – Alfred Kubin, H. C. Artmann, or Norbert C. Kaser – have been captured in vivid portraits. Vallazza's themes revolve around life and death, love and sensuality. In his drawings and etchings, Vallazza lets us take part in his exuberant and chaotic, horrible, and yet beautiful world, which he has committed to paper in a personal and emotional manner.


Markus Vallazza will turn eighty in 2016. Merano Arte is honoring this exceptional artist with the exhibition curated by Günther Oberhollenzer, underlining his great importance for the art in South Tyrol over the past fifty years. Yet, Vallazza is also admired and appreciated far beyond the borders of his home country. He is an undisputed master of his trade and can be referred to as one of Europe's most significant etchers and illustrators.


Can such an overwhelming oeuvre, consisting of many thousands of etchings, drawings, or gouaches, be comprehensively presented at an exhibition? - Hardly. Oberhollenzer grants us a selective insight, focusing on important stations in Vallazza's artistic life, but highlighting individual creative phases, as for instance the Oswald von Wolkenstein cycle or the Don Quijote works. Yet Vallazza is not presented as an illustrator and etcher, but also as a painter and man of letters.

The exhibition will include numerous well-known, and less known works, but also ones that have never been shown before or have even recently been discovered.


An art book, published by Folio Verlag Bolzano / Vienna, will accompany the exhibition. In addition to an essay by Günther Oberhollenzer, Ennio and Ivana Casciaro, Sabine Gruber, as well as Rudolf Schönwald will discuss the drawings, while Alma Vallazza and Christine Vescoli will cast a glance at Vallazza's literary works. Texts, poems, and photographs of the artists as well as statements of companions, artists, and writers will complete the portrait of this extraordinary man of art.


Press conference:                          Friday, July 8, 2016 at 11 a.m.

Opening reception:                         Friday, July 8, 2016, at 6 p. m.

Exhibition period:                         July 9 – September 4, 2016


Venue:                                                Merano Arte – In the Sparkasse building


Press contact:                                   Anna Defrancesco CLP Public Relations
                                                               phone +39 02 36755700


                                                               Ursula Schnitzer
                                                               phone +39 0473 21 26 43