Not Vital

Born in 1948 in Sent, Switzerland, Not Vital lives and works between his hometown, Beijing and Rio de Janeiro. He grew up among the mountains and forests in the Engadin valley near the border of Switzerland, Austria and Italy, but has spent much of his time travelling and living in places including China, Niger, Italy, Indonesia and the USA. He studied visual arts at the Université Expérimentale de Vincennes, Paris from 1968–71 and moved to New York in 1974, where he began his artistic career. In 2003, Vital established a foundation in Ardez, a small historic village in the Engadin, with the aim of preserving the cultural assets of the valley and creating a local sculpture park.

Not Vital produces paintings, drawings, graphics and photo work, but the big part of his works are sculptures, installations and interventions, preferably made of natural materials.
Vital's art is inspired by his nomadic lifestyle and experiences of travelling the globe, reflecting on habitations, nature and animals, and on the relationships between sculpture and architecture. Exploring the boundaries between abstract and figurative forms, his work is marked by a particularly intimate relationship with materials, including plaster, steel, marble, ceramic and organic matter. He often collaborates with skilled craftsmen around the world, ranging from Beijing steel-chasers and Murano glass-blowers, to Tuareg silversmiths and Bhutan papermakers. The physicality of his approach, combined with an innate understanding of his chosen materials' essential properties, results in visually challenging works that are often destabilizing in their striking scale and presence.