The artists included in the exhibition have created a thought-line that explores the material’s potential for portrayal and expression as it runs through the gallery’s rooms.
There are certainly many different ways of interpreting this expressive vein: Arcangelo, Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi and Piero Pizzi Cannella all take up the challenge of a new medium on which to use their own signs, elements and forms, just as if they were painting on a canvas. All the figurative motifs and the most recognisable features of these artists’ pictorial universes appear, transferred onto vases, amphorae and two-dimensional ceramic surfaces.
In the work of other artists, the painting of clay gives way to shaping and sculpting, in pieces which, although each with its own poetics, introduce surprise, irony and a greater degree of expressive freedom. Aldo Mondino adopts a playful, allusive iconography for his ceramic works; Antonio Riello uses a destabilising, sarcastic language to transform weapons of war into highly decorated fashion accessories; Bertozzi & Casoni exploit the medium’s extreme versatility to bring a wide variety of contradictory hyper-realistic elements together in disorienting, paradoxical compositions where matter disguises its own substance; Luigi Carboni sees three-dimensionality as an experimental field, where images from the world of nature, silvery, iridescent pumpkins, create the effect of a genuine installation.
Other artists work in yet another direction, exploring the material by shaping it and experimenting with its mutations. Giuseppe Spagnulo has a physical, archaic relationship with fired clay, using it, together with space, as a specific sculptural element: he attacks and forces it, merging its parts to free form from static constraints; Marco Gastini uses clay in dialectic, simultaneous combinations with other, even dissonant materials, which dialogue to create intense energy field; Andrea Fogli creates evocative metaphorical forms in which unglazed, hand-shaped terracotta offers us sculptures that modify their structure depending on the viewpoint; Giacinto Cerone’s vibrant, irregular sculptures are the outcome of direct contact with matter which, bent into a shape which is all one with its colour, defines a space laden with tensions.
OTTO Gallery Arte Contemporanea, Via D’Azeglio 55
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