Helidon Xhixha spent his childhood in the studio of his father from whom he inherited a strong passion for fine arts, particularly sculpture. In 1998 he won a scholarship at the Kingston University of London and in February 1999 he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, Italy.
Xhixha is a sculptor who creates three-dimensional and often large-scale works that refract and reflect the environments in which the are placed, most famously through carefully engineered works of polished steel. Although he has extensively worked with glass, steel has remained his primary Muse and material for over 15 years.
His art has a very contemporary identity due to the diversity of his creative processes resulting from his artistic exigencies; an emphasis is placed upon the aesthetic tension derived from the relationship between the physical expressiveness of the materials used and the effects of light.
“Iceberg“, a powerful mass of steel emerging from the water, is Xhixha’s most famous work that addresses the issue of climate change; it was the first installation ever to obtain permission to float on the Grand Canal, during the Venice Biennale in 2015. The work also draws the attention of international media as The New York Times, The Guardian and the CNN. To mark the opening of the London Design Biennale in 2016, Xhixha was commissioned to design the layout of the central courtyard in Somerset House and he won the Public Medal Award for the best installation with “Bliss”, a series of concentric yet dramatically split blocks designed as a visual metaphor for the migration of peoples, inspired by Plato’s Ideal City.
The summer of 2017 Helidon Xhixha, invited in person by the Director of the Uffizi Galleries, Eike Schmidt, unveils a major new exhibition set within the stunning scenery of the Boboli Gardens in Florence. For this exhibition the artist has sought to explore the deeply complex themes of Chaos and Order, by taking inspiration from nature and sacred geometry. The exhibition can be understood as being split into two separate sections, where a clearly discernable difference between the worlds of chaos and order are apparent. In the Limonaia of the Boboli Garden’s the artist has looked to nature in order to discover Chaos. By taking inspiration from the crystal caves of Naica, Mexico, Xhixha has designed a complex response to the seemingly random selenite formations.
For the artist’s response to Order, monumental structures have been placed in prominent outdoor locations around the Boboli Gardens, inspired by sacred geometric principles, whose roots are again found in nature. Perhaps most striking of all are the large-scale sculptures placed in front of the Palazzo Pitti; Conoscenza and Infinito. Situated at either side of the palace entrance, these works display intricate levels of geometric regularity that instantly capture the viewer’s attention.
In 2019, two major open-air exhibitions, Riflessi di Luce, curated by Eike Schmidt, presenting twenty monumental sculptures throughout the city of Lugano, and Steel and Stone, held in the city of Forte dei Marmi, featuring a series of monumental sculptures by Helidon Xhixha made in stainless steel and marble.
In July 2019 Helidon Xhixha presents an environmental project called “The Twin Bottles: Message in a Bottle” in collaboration with photographer Giacomo Braglia. The monumental installation features two stainless steel bottles floating on the Venice Grand Canal in front of the Vendramin Calergi Palace creating awareness on plastic pollution in the oceans. The site-specific environmental installation is designed to remain in water and to tour the world due to its ability to adapt continuously to the environment in which it is hosted, generating a new work of art on each occasion while renewing its symbolic meaning.
On invitation by the National Institute of Contemporary Art, Helidon Xhixha installs nine monumental sculptures in the historic city center of Casale Monferrato in a solo Open-Air exhibition entitled “Casale Risplende”. The exhibition held from October 2020 to February 2021 is curated by Anselmo Villata.
In December 2020, “Luce, La rinascita di Venezia” curated by Klodian Dedja, witnesses six monumental installations placed at the Arsenale of Venice in occasion of an exhibition evoking rebirth and reawakening after the global pandemic.
Xhixha embraces the role of the monument not only as a solid, physical object but also as a reflection and abstraction of our external environment. His artistic trajectory has redefined the boundaries of contemporary sculpting and will continue to reshape our vision in the coming years.
Xhixha’s sculptures are part of important Museums and collections, Art Fairs and public buildings across the Globe. The artist has also contributed to the National 9/11 Memorial in New York and he was recently commissioned to design works for luxury residences.