Antonio Ievolella

Antonio Ievolella was born in Benevento, southern Italy, in 1952. He studied first at the High School of Art in his home town and then at Naples Fine Arts Academy. In Naples be also frequented Lucio Amelio’s gallery where he met the exponents of the main international art trends of the time.

In 1976 he moved to Milan to teach at the Brera High School of Art. This was a time rich in experience and in which he made great friends, first among whom was his fellow-southerner Mimmo Paladino.

Two years later he transferred to the High School of Art in Padua, taking up permanent residence in the city and setting up his studio.

His first one-man exhibition was held at the Studio la Città gallery in Verona in 1987, and this led to a long-lasting association with Hélène de Franchis, invaluable since it gave his works international resonance.

In 1988 he took part in the exhibition entitled Undici artisti per Villa Domenica (Eleven Artists at Villa Domenica) organized by Virginia Baradel.

That same year Giovanni Carandente invited Ievolella to take part in the Forty-third Venice Biennal, where the sculptor presented Trittico (Triptych) in the section Scultori ai Giardini (Sculptors in the Gardens) organized by Andrea del Guercio, who later set up a solo exhibition for Ievolella at the Oddi Baglioni Gallery in Rome.

In 1989 he took part in Materialmente: scultori degli anni Ottanta (Materially Speaking: Sculptors of the 1980s) at the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Bologna.

The 1990s were a time of intense activity. The decade opened with the exhibition entitled Viaggi – Antonio Ievolella / Hidetoshi Nagaswa (Journeys – Antonio Ievolella / Hidetoshi Nagaswa) at the Studio la Città and ended with the creation of the impressive complex for the Rio di Ponte San Nicolò cemetery. In between, he held an anthological exhibition entitled Il Grande Carro in Padua, which consisted of seven huge sculptures installed in the main roads of the city. The name of the exhibition, which translates as The Great Wain, is a play on words, bringing together both the literal meaning of “carro” – a farm cart – and the figurative menaning: the “grande carro” is the constellation known as Ursa Major or the Plough, which consists of seven stars. On this occasion, an element of Terre di magia (Magic Lands) was donated to the Contemporary Art Park at the Eremitani Municipal Museum. That same year Edoardo Manzoni invited the sculptor to contribute to the exhibition entitled Su Logu de s’Iscultura (The Place of Sculpture) in Tortolì, Sardinia: the work Progetto di memoria (Project of Memory) shows the further development of Ievolella’s monumental proposals. This development flourished in the Fondazione Rossini Contemporary Art Park, with which the sculptor established an ongoing partnership, setting up an exhibition entitled Itinerari (Itineraries) in the park adjoining he royal palace in Monza in the year 2005.

The atmospheric I guardiani della dormiente (Guardians of the Sleeping One) is a grandiose antechamber to the realm of the dead and was inaugurated in 2004. However, the project dates from the mid-1990s and grew out of the dialogue between Ievolella and the architect Franco Biscossa, who had been commissioned to oversee the architectural work for the renovation of the cemetery at Rio di Ponte San Nicolò. In summer 2006 Ievolella held a solo exhibition entitled Materia Forma Luogo (Matter, Form, Place) promoted by the Culture Department of Naples City Council and organized by Tommaso Ferrillo, which took place at Castel dell’Ovo, the ideal setting for his sculptures.

The years 2008 and 2009 saw the creation of impressive fountains for a privately owned villa in Battaglia Terme and for the square in Voltabarozzo.

The huge, imposing work Ghirba, presented in summer 2014 at the Church of Santa Maria dell’Incoronata in Naples and shown in Padua in the anthological exhibition held the same year, was a major undertaking of design and creation which blossomed to become a grandiose plastic and symbolic installation.