Edoardo Villa (Italian/South African, 1915 – 2011)
Untitled (pendant), mid to late 20th century
Case bronze with brass tone patina
Initialed in mold to the verso
Edoardo Villa was a sculptor working primarily in bronze and steel and known for his melding of the modern abstract movements from Europe with the older African concepts of abstraction. He received formal training in sculpture in Milan, but was conscripted into the Italian army at the start of World War II. While serving in Egypt, he was injured and captured by the British army, and was sent to a POW camp in South Africa. After the war was over, he chose to remain in South Africa as he felt there was greater opportunity for growth as an artist in Africa rather than the Continent. Villa taught at the Polly Art Centre and was a member of a group of artists known as the Amadlozi (Bantu for “spirit of the ancestors”). The group drew on African traditions for their work and included Guiseppe Cattaneo, Cecily Sash, Sydney Kumalo, and Cecil Skotnes. His work has been exhibited around the world and can be found in monumental public installations, private collections, and notable institutions including the Edoardo Villa Museum at the University of Pretoria.
- minor discoloration and patina loss to the verso.