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Raffael Benazzi

  • Nationality Swiss
  • Birthplace Rapperswil, Switzerland
  • Birth Date b. 1933
1. © photographer

Raffael Benazzi was born in Switzerland in 1933. While a teenager, he was educated in craft techniques but later continued to study sculpture. In the mid-1950s, Benazzi settled in Italy, where he continues to reside in the San Vincenzo region. Between 1954 and 1965, Benazzi maintained a close relationship with German abstract artist, Julius Bissier. It was during that same period that the artist’s work changed direction, moving from figurative, carved wood and stone sculptures, to abstract, welded iron reliefs. However, Benazzi most enjoyed the challenge of manipulating “living” material, whose texture resisted him and had been marked by life. For example, Benazzi directly carves alabaster and eucalyptus trunks into powerful, voluptuous forms that remain true to the character and natural kinetics of the original stone and wood respectively.
Benazzi has had many solo exhibitions which include the following: Galerie La Cittadelle, Ascona, Switzerland; Galerie Numaga, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; Galerie Lienhard, Zurich, Germany; among many more. His work has also been shown in New York City at Andre Emmerich Gallery. He was awarded the Jean Arp Prize for sculpture in 1966 and participated in the Venice Biennale in 1978. Benazzi has been the subject of two documentary films by Condor Film AG, Zurich, Germany (1968) and by CineGroupe for Swiss Television (1969-70).

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We have received many questions about whether the opening of state parks includes Grounds For Sculpture. Please note at this time we remain closed. 

As a nonprofit organization we are not part of the state parks system and we are not yet permitted to open. We are watching the situation closely. When we are permitted to open, we are determined to do so in way that is safe for our staff, volunteers and visitors.

We know the value of being out in nature and experiencing art is all the more important and restorative during these uncertain times. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to experience GFS later this season when we are permitted and able to reopen. We are tending the garden to ensure we are ready when the time comes.

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