Prisoner of war immortalised in bronze: Edoardo Villa's contribution to South African bronze sculpture
By UP Arts Museum
Posted on 20 July 2012
Edoardo Villa was conscripted into the Italian army at the beginning of the Second World War and was captured in Egypt in 1940. He was brought to South Africa as a prisoner of war and interned at the Zonderwater Prisoner of War Camp near Cullinan.
After the War, Villa was one of many Italians who adopted South Africa as their new home. He enthralled the country with his abstract art and ingenious use of different materials, subsequently becoming one of South Africa’s most prolific sculptors. Villa’s work forms part of both urban and rural landscapes across South Africa. With his Italian presence and African heart, Villa left behind a unique and priceless legacy.
In 1963, Edoardo Villa joined lifelong friend Cecil Skotness, who created the Amadlozi-Group, to educate and nurture black artists towards greater artistic excellence and international exposure. Amongst the most acclaimed of this group were artists like Sidney Kumalo, Lucas Sithole, Dumile Feni and Ezrom Legae.
The Department of UP Arts at the University of Pretoria’s and the Edoardo Villa Trust will exhibit a legacy of Edoardo Villa's (1915-2011) cast sculptures from 31 July 2012.
This public exhibition will be open daily on the Hatfield Campus of the University of Pretoria between 1 August and 30 November 2012 in the Edoardo Villa Museum, Old Merensky Building. Opening times are between 10:00 and 16:00, Mondays to Fridays. A new book, titled Villa in Bronze depicting 378 cast sculptures of Edoardo Villa will be on sale.
Language Editor: UP Language Unit