Pain, need, dignity and the quest for the redemption of mankind characterise the works of this “sculptor without borders”, whose artistic life has been guided not by fame and success, but by struggle and suffering.
Giorgio Igne was born in Milan in 1934; during the arduous years of World War II, his parents decided to let him move in with his grandmother, in the countryside near Sacile. The surrounding nature transformed this temporary shelter into a permanent home and became host to his great artistic productions.
He was recognised as a Master Stone Sculptor at Venice Art School and achieved a diploma in Sculpture at Brera Academy in Milan, where he studied with Masters Francesco Messina and Francesco Wildt.
In the Fifties, he started his career as a sculptor, while he also worked as a teacher in many schools. At the beginning of the Nineties he gave up teaching to start volunteering in war-torn Ex-Yugoslavia. Before definitively settling in Italy, he spent long periods of time in Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, Brazil, Bolivia and Chad, where he created significant monumental works, expressing his presence and commitment to social issues. His intense sculpting career has continued with great success in Italy.
The study of mankind is at the core of Giorgio Igne’s artistic exploration. In his first creations, the artist expressed himself through classical concepts and traditional materials like bronze, marble and gypsum. The Master then evolved a more immediate and direct style aimed at enhancing the shapes in an expressionistic nature with a troubled, pungent, and sometimes exaggerated realism. In this phase, the Master worked with concrete: hard, resistant, waterproof, and the same colour as the rocks and caves in the upper course of the river Livenza.
His works embrace human life, with its anguish, mistakes, pain and regret: the feelings expressed by women and mothers exhausted by weariness and the cries of their babies. Such themes lie behind works like “Crocifisso” (Crucifix), “Donna” (Woman), “Madre” (Mother), “Madre e figlio” (Mother and Son), “Condizione umana” (Human Condition), “Ruota della vita” (Wheel of life), “J’accuse”, “Attesa” (Waiting) and “Partecipazione” (Participation). Many of his masterpieces can be admired in the Sacile area and in the neighbouring cities, in churches or public buildings, or in outdoor areas where they add a certain prestige to urban settings. Other works are located in European or Central and Southern American cities.
Walking through Sacile, some of the works donated by the sculptor can be seen: “il pesce che gioca col bambino” (Fish playing with a Child) close to Ponte della Vittoria; a wheel with “Santa Giuseppina Bakhita” (Saint Josephine Bakhita) under the Town Hall Loggia, “Donna di Sarone” (Woman from the village of Sarone) and “Fauno” (Faun) inside Palazzo Ragazzoni. Just outside the city centre, chiesa di San Giovanni Battista is decorated with 16 bronze tiles representing the Stations of the Cross, while Sacile’s local Alpini clubhouse hosts “La Meio Fameja” (the Best Family): this 3.5-metre-tall monument depicts a young family (a soldier from the Alpini military corps, a pregnant woman and a dog).
“… When you listen to the stories told by this free-spirited traveller with exceptional hands, when you look at his face, it feels as though you are walking along an itinerary on a map.
His eyes are full of light, as though looking out over seas and rivers under the storms of Central America, looking upwards as they remember crossing the Alps, his cheeks wrinkle like they are being hit by the cold winters of Tierra del Fuego.
By leaving his sculptures there as a proof of his social commitment, by donating what he had not been asked for, people loved him so much that many towns made him an honorary citizen.…..”