Convinced that reality is entirely Trinitarian, Lanza del Vasto needed to create in a three-dimensional space as well. He did it with indubitable talent.
In the 1930s, while his vocation to be a poet and an “expert in language” was strengthening, Lanza del Vasto began turning to precious substances. Gold and silver that he chiseled, stones he set, already bore the mark of his style. This activity helped him live: he worked to order and sold his art. It is quite a reminiscence of his aristocratic origins. But the majority of his produced objects is now inaccessible; we should be happy if we could trace some of them.
Later, the artist tried his hand at stone carving, modeling and pottery. So, in 1949 he began to meet Marcel Hastir’s workshop in Brussels; some memories are kept. But from that point on, he gave especially preference to ivory and wood, as we can see on the pictures below. In the 1950s, he began cutting and designing small and big works in these two materials, for the first time displayed in this “sculpture library”.
We find out very varied works, carved out of wood (sticks, boxes, crosses, persons, book covers) or of ivory (medallions, biblical scenes, utensils, …) and however united by the same sense of material and shape. Patterns from Greek mythology and medieval art are there. The great altarpiece of Christ’s vineyard, which can be considered as his masterpiece, testifies his contact with Indian art. But the originality of this beautiful ensemble is for certain and cannot be reduced to influences.
Finally, we would note that Lanza del Vasto, as a sculptor, “has set a precedent”, without seeking it. Several companions, drawing freely their inspiration from his way of proceeding, have produced remarkable and interesting works to be known. This website will soon offer pictures.
Feel free to click to enlarge and scroll through the pictures below.