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Filip Piccolruaz

The artist from Val Gardena has been working as a sculptor for 25 years now, he is experimenting with numerous styles and materials.

Filip Piccolruaz - sculptor, artist, lecturer

Piccolruaz lives for his artistic freedom and his family looks back on a long tradition of wood carving in Val Gardena/ Gröden

The name “Piccolruaz” represents a family of wood carvers and sculptors in Val Gardena.
In the Ladin Val Gardena Valley, where the craft of woodcarving has roots extending back to the 17th century, carving was of great importance for the survival of many mountain farming families.

The artist Filip can point to numerous wood carvers amongst both his paternal and maternal ancestors:
“My great-grandfather Piccolruaz Alois Ignaz senior (1868-19) was already carving (especially Christ figures) even if sculpture wasn’t his bread and butter income. In 1922 my grandfather, Luis Piccolruaz junior (1897-1982), decided to open a workshop and to make sculpture his sole livelihood. Like most of the other carvers from Val Gardena at that time, he worked mainly for resellers (so-called distributors). In 1940, his son Luis Piccolruaz (1930-2016) was able to follow in his footsteps and continued to expand the business over the following years. Lots of trainees and apprentices found employment in the workshop. This gave many young sculptors in Val Gardena the opportunity to perfect their artistic skills.

My father Gebhard Piccolruaz (born 1948) was initially an apprentice to his older brother Luis Piccolruaz, but when he was in his mid-twenties he founded his own business. In doing this he took the risk of separating from the distributors. This meant that he could create his own artworks and also market them himself. In the 1970s demand was extremely high; an almost unbelievable quantity of wooden sculptures from Val Gardena were sold across all European countries as well as to America. The subsequent years of economic downturn posed new challenges for the sculptors of Val Gardena. My father managed to continue operating a successful business, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. Once I had completed my compulsory schooling, I was able to join him as an apprentice. We shared the workshop in Ortisei for many years. That collaboration with my father was always done in a stimulating environment of mutual respect. When he retired in 2006, I was able to take over the family’s artistic business. Since then I have been running it singlehandedly. I am delighted that this workshop, which has provided so many important churches with statues and other items, continues to survive today.

My mother’s family also contains many renowned sculptors: Leopold Moroder (1850- 1906) great-grandfather Vinzenz Moroder senior (1889 - 1980), grandfather Vinzenz Moroder junior (1922-2015). They were particularly involved in building altars. Even today many of their pieces can be found in Sicily and in northern Italy (Verona).“

Curriculum vitae of the artist Filip Piccolruaz from Val Gardena

  • born on 2nd April 1977 in Bolzano/ Bozen
  • 1991–1995 attended the College of Sculpture in Ortisei/ St. Ulrich
  • 1998 apprenticeship examination
  • since 1991 working as a sculptor and artist in his own studio in Ortisei, together with his father Helmuth Gebhard
  • since 2001 teaching at the College of Arts and Crafts in Ortisei (Val Gardena)
  • 2012 teaching at the art school “Cademia” in Ortisei (Val Gardena)
  • since 2012 teaching modelling, casting and sculpture to students at the Academy of Fine Arts Venice (Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia)
  • 2014 Master Craftsman’s Examination
  • 2017 lecturer at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice (subjects: sculpture and casting)

In parallel:

  • attended many courses (especially on casting and modelling techniques)
  • director of several courses (life modelling, portraits, carving)
  • practical experience handling marble, wood, ceramics, plaster and Perspex
  • voluntary work in numerous associations (e.g. several years as chairman and singer in the Ortisei church choir, singer with the Gherdëina ensemble and the Ortisei youth choir)


Filip Piccolruaz – the artist from Val Gardena is available on request as a speaker for modelling and carving courses

The Gardena valley in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO world heritage site, had been making a name for itself with its wood carving long before tourists discovered it. The carving tradition continues to be maintained in Val Gardena today and the artists’ skill is held in high esteem far beyond the boundaries of the South Tyrolean region.
The sculptor Piccolruaz, who lives in Ortisei/ St. Ulrich, keeps up this tradition with great expertise and passion, gladly passing on the knowledge he has acquired. He can already reflect on many years of experience as a lecturer on numerous art courses and is available for booking as a course director at art schools, academies, carving schools or other associations. On the carving courses, an idea is born from a design and then from the wood there emerges a figure, a relief or a sculpture. On his modelling courses (life and portrait modelling) Piccolruaz is passionate about sharing his knowledge of basic modelling principles, the proportions, expressions and movements of the human figure.

Request for Lecturer
Modern

Born in a family of wood sculptors, Filip is now taking new paths. This allows him to give free rein to his creativity…

Profan

Filip is particularly dedicated to design of portraits (children, personalities), animals, reliefs and the representation of nudes.
Through such works of art…

Sacral

The unique scent of fresh stone pine accompanies Filip since his childhood. In the father's workshop, this bright room with the large windows, he made his first attempts…

Made with own hand. With expert knowledge created.

From sketch to
finished sculpture.