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LIFE AS HE KNOWS IT

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For Not Vital, the search for a sense of home — symbolically and literally — has always informed his art.

Above: Vital’s studio in Sent.

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Outside the foundation he started in 2001 in Ardez, Switzerland, which helps preserve the cultural assets of the country’s Engadine region.

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At Vital’s foundation in Ardez, a sculpture from the Democratic Republic of Congo stands next to a doorway leading to the bathroom.

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A bathroom at the foundation in Ardez features two tubs made of Carrara marble, which Vital calls “a conversation piece.”

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Vital’s Sent studio features works like his 2003 marble “Sled,” his 2007 plaster and fiberglass “Lotus” and a silver Tuareg box portrait of “Chairman Mao,” made earlier this year.

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Downstairs at Tschlin, a traditional limestone stove heats a seating area with a Le Corbusier chair and lion carpet from Iran.

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His collection of Romansh literature at his foundation.

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The artist displays one of his own suits as art in Ardez.

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The artist peeks through the trapdoor that allows heat from a downstairs stove to reach the bedroom at his Tschlin house.

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A brightly painted bedroom in the Tschlin house “gives the impression that you are in the south of Europe,” according to Vital. The design of the rug was inspired by a painting by the Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani.

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In Ardez, a 17th-century Engadine table and chairs, and a tiger rug from Tibet on the wall.

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His “21 Tonnen Tissuom” salt sculpture in the barn on his property in Tschlin, Switzerland.

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Not Vital uses art like “Invisible Bridge,” pictured here in his park in Sent, to create a dreamscape for himself and others.

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The title of this large-scale installation, which came to live in Peking and is made of solid steal Lotus-flowers, reads “Let a hundred flowers bloom” while referring to a propaganda slogan of Mao Zedong. Zedong used it to promote free thinking and open discussion within the party in 1956. On the other hand the critique he caused himself, was silenced with a policy of intimidation and manipulation resulting in the killing of 520.000 people.

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Painter, sculptor, house builder, designer, explorer, philanthropist, bon vivant — the Swiss artist Not Vital sees the universe in his own singular and most elegant way.  Read the article

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/10/20/t-magazine/swiss-artist-not-vital.html

http://notvital.com/

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