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Private Collectors

Giorgio Vigna

First Peoples Art and Aluminium

In parallel with his artistic work, Giorgio Vigna has built up a collection of several thousand aluminium objects, which he started acquiring the 1980s with the purchase of ethnographic objects. He was particularly inspired by a "sound” produced using aluminium on the island of Timor in Indonesia. 


This collection is notable in how it confronts a material and the human beings who adapt it to their needs; aluminium is a ductile and transformable material, "capable of being reborn with new forms and for new uses". This collection honours the creativity of all human beings and testifies to the diversity of human cultures and practices. 


The Vigna collection brings together jewellery, masks, objects and sculptures of all kinds and sizes, from Africa to Asia. 


In 2000, in Lugano and other Swiss branches of the BSI bank organised the exhibition, “Tribal aluminium, the metal of metamorphosis” to showcase objects from the collection.


In 2012, for the "Aluminium in Art" exhibition at the Bernard and Caroline de Watteville Foundation in Martigny, Switzerland, Giorgio Vigna loaned - in addition to a few pieces from his first peoples art collection - a large number of objects from his collection of trench art from the two world wars.


A selection of remarkable pieces, new acquisitions, has been brought together in issue 62 of the Cahiers d'histoire de l'aluminium devoted to aluminium in Africa.

Giorgio Vigna is an Italian artist born in Verona in 1955, and lives and works in Milan. 

Abdelkader Zennaf

Everyday Aluminium

Abdelkhader Zenaff was born in 1948, and lives in Saint-Chamond in French Loire region. Deeply passionate about the preservation of cultural heritage, he began by collecting oral histories, which he has devoted himself for nearly forty years. He then began to take an interest in aluminium and more particularly in kitchen utensils. He began to acquire aluminium objects in 2005. His collection now includes nearly 4,500 kitchen utensils.