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Aron Demetz Biography

Aron Demetz is an Italian sculptor who specialises 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.

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Early Years

Demetz lives and works in the region where he was born, in Bolzano, Northern Italy, amongst the Dolomites of South Tyrol—using a local 500-year-old carving methodology where, through subtraction, the sculptor tries to reveal figures 'inhabiting' the core of the tree itself.

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 and barrel painters (1988—1993), and then other techniques like casting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Nuremberg (1997—1998) with the figurative sculptor, Christian Höpfner.

In 2010 Demetz was appointed professor of sculpture for three years at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, an area famous for its marble quarries and carving.

Aron Demetz Artworks

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.

Despite the obvious mutilations and deformities, Demetz's standing figures, like bozzetto II (2018), untitled (2019), and busto (2020), and busts like Testa (2015) in their poses and facial expressions exude calmness and serenity, radiating an inner concentration. Though the smaller ones 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 also works in bronze, ceramics, glass, and plaster, carving small intimate figures exercising. Working life-size in wood, however, is his main passion.


Aron Demetz has participated in many solo and group exhibitions.

Solo exhibitions include Reacting Nature, Galleria Doris Ghetta, Milan (2021); Intermezzo, Galleria Doris Ghetta, Milan (2019); Rigenerazioni, Galleria Anna Marra, Rome (2018); Equinozio d'Autunno 2016, Barbara Paci Gallery, Lucca (2016).

Group exhibitions include The Missing Majority, Galleria Doris Ghetta, Milan (2021); Aron Demetz / Nikolai Makarov, Galerie Benjamin Eck, Munich (2021); Anillos Concéntricos, Terreno Baldío, Mexico City (2019); Un-Official Stories, Galleria Doris Ghetta, Milan (2017).


Demetz's work is held in the collections of Museum Daetz-Centrum, Lichtenstein; Trauttmansdorff, Merano; Museo Omero, Ancona; Museum Ladin San Martin De Tor; Palazzo Madama, Rome; Fondazione Michetti, Francavilla al Mare; Beelden aan Zee Museum, The Hague.


Aron Demetz's website can be found here, and his Instagram here.

John Hurrell | Ocula | 2022

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