Exhibiting for the first time in New York, sculptor Mario Dilitz masterfully combines traditional techniques with a contemporary viewpoint in this significant exhibition of recent artworks presented by Didier Aaron, Inc. New York in conjunction with Sladmore Contemporary of London. Dilitz has an uncanny ability to give expression to the human form through the medium of wood. Art historian Lisa Trockner writes, “Dilitzʼs people are static in their formal coherence and at the same time they express a need for orientation and a latent spirit of optimism.”
Through limewood, walnut, or oak, this still-young artist from the Tyrol region of Austria expresses the “presence” of each sculpture after thinking deeply about how to capture the inner life of his subjects. Dilitz, who actually prefers modelling to carving, and nearly always models a piece before going to the carving stage, always aims for precision in form, such as in coloring the tiny wood seams red or black (and which have become his trademark). His figures engage directly with the viewer and suggest many interpretations, though Dilitz himself does not offer any clues. Child or adult, naked or clothed, warrior or refugee, they create an encounter in which viewers are inspired to reconsider the nature of humanity, and their own feelings.
The artist states, “My work does polarize opinion. There is a contrast between the aesthetic beauty of my sculptures and the content of the issues raised, where I like to encourage a profound confrontation with the vagaries of human existence.”
Mario Dilitz was born 1973 in Innsbruck, Austria. A former professional skier, he still lives and works in the snowy mountains, an area which has a strong local tradition of wood-carving. After successful runs in the European and World Cup freestyle skiing championships, he returned to his childhood roots, specifically to wood. As a child, he had spent many hours playing and carving in his woodcarver father’s workshop before he discovered skiing. He turned to sculpture with the same focus and discipline that he had demonstrated as an athlete.
In 1998, he began a training course at a specialist school of wood sculpture in Val Gardena and attended the summer academy in Salzburg. He then worked in several workshops, until he established himself as a freelance sculptor in 2004. Projects included several commissions of figures and groups, many of them ecclesiastical (in the tradition of the local area). By 2010, he had his first solo exhibition in Munich and has since exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Spain.
DILITZ marks the sculptor’s first US and first New York exhibition. In the spirit of open-mindedness and curiosity that has defined Didier Aaron across decades, the sculptures of Mario Dilitz offer a unique perspective and opportunity for our house. We provide our clients with vast and unique resources, coupled with the expertise of our staff, contained in our three galleries in three countries. Our clients, both world-renowned museums and collectors, know that they will find art at Didier Aaron chosen not only for its superior quality, but also for its originality.
The exhibition will be presented by Didier Aaron, Inc. and Sladmore Contemporary at the gallery of Didier Aaron, Inc. in New York at 32 East 67th Street from 26 September to 12 October 2019.