Ed­uardo Villa:

Sunday Times - - Front Page -

ED­UARDO Villa, who has died in Jo­han­nes­burg at the age of 95, came to South Africa as a pris­oner of war and stayed to be­come the coun­try’s most pro­lific and fa­mous sculp­tor.

He com­pleted over 1 000 works, mostly in metal and bronze, and mostly on com­mis­sion. Around 70 of his sculp­tures adorn pub­lic open spaces in Gaut­eng.

His first com­mis­sion was for the fac­ulty of den­tistry at the Univer­sity of the Wit­wa­ter­srand in 1950, and it still oc­cu­pies its orig­i­nal po­si­tion at the fac­ulty en­trance.

An­other early work was a 6.6m war­rior fig­ure com­mis­sioned by the state iron and steel cor­po­ra­tion, Is­cor, and erected at Voortrekker­hoogte in 1961 to com­mem­o­rate South Africa be­com­ing a repub­lic.

Other fa­mous works in­clude The Knot, out­side the Cape Town Civic Cen­tre, and The Con­fronta­tion, in front of the Rand Mer­chant Bank head of­fice in Sand­ton.

He won nu­mer­ous awards and rep­re­sented South Africa five times at the Venice bi­en­nale, four times at the Sao Paulo bi­en­nale in Brazil and once at the bi­en­nale in Chile.

Villa was born on May 31 1915 in Berg­amo, Italy. He spent a lot of time as a child watch­ing his un­cle, a stone­ma­son, at work.

Later, he stud­ied sculp­ture at the An­drea Fantoni School of Art in Berg­amo.

Con­scripted into the Ital­ian army at the out­break of World

CHEER­FUL: Ed­uardo Villa was amused by at­tempts to cat­e­gorise his art

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