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Nella pagina a fronte: “Grande totem”, 1960. In questa pagina: “Grande brocca”, 1954.

the academic painting, which substituted an inappropriate classicistic vision. In fact from the very first outcomes, his painting takes up position in favour of a modern concept of “classic”, or rather of that living body which converses with time, shaking, precisely in the third decade of the Twentieth century, the whole Europe. It is a warp which, from the angular “Demoiselles d’Avignon” by Picasso, goes to the Dionysian space by Matisse, to the “drama” of the being proposed by expressionism, till the saturated shape of concretism which talks to architecture. Gambone cast his glance in all directions. On the benches of the ceramic workshops, where gesture writes down stereotypic signs on the big-bellied jugs or in the light hollow of plates, the artist discovers the painting which interprets the every day light, permeated of a dense radiance which, like myth, envelops the Southern coasts. It is the same light the artist finds in the stylized figures, in the rhythms which beat the tale of the images, written more than one-handed by that group of German artists - Stüdemann, Doelker, Kowaliska, Amos… - he will meet at Vietri between the end of the Twenties and the middle of the following decade. He goes to Vietri ceramic shops when he is not twenty years old yet: the small town becomes his true (after all sole) town . I have always thought of Gambone as of a wind that disquiets the “ceramic” roads, the shop windows with the piled up objects. Gambone - Tullio Lenza revealed to me during an interview - has remained like a ghost who moves about in our memory, in that of a community “which has not had time to understand its disquiet”, after all, belonging to an entire

generation. Gambone was not bad-tempered, reserved, as described by a historiography nourished byanecdotage: his experience never surrenders, even in the moments of greater discouragement, to the earthly “heaviness” of pain; on the contrary, it finds a remedy in the lightness of melancholy, which unravels shades, makes the look brighten, for delivering it to the emotion caused by colour. The year 1950, date of the family’s moving to Florence, marks for Salerno a precise break point of the century, stressed by two times completely different one from the other. Gambone - the courageous painter who silently converses with the languages of a Twentieth century turned to the modern world – leaves the site where he has been accredited solely as ceramic artist, because forced by needs, but also by the difficulty to open a breach in the wall of the town artistic culture of those years, still all soaked both in the “common people descriptive trend” of the late Nineteenth century Neapolitan painting and in the persistent aura of the beginning of the century, with assertions

of a “classicism” marked by accents typical of the reign of Umberto I of Savoy. I have set this exhibition against the historical-critical background, the first exhibition that recreates through a hundred works Guido Gambone’s complex creative experience, trying to answer, first, to an old commitment the Salerno community had with one of his prominent artists: a desire and a need expressed, already in 1973, by Filiberto Menna, then dropped in the silence of a critical historiography made gloomy by fatalism. To give shape to an “absence” meant to take out from the marshland of rhetoric and anecdote the artist Gambone, a key-figure of the Italian culture, to study deeply the most important events of his life, to verify carefully the chronology of his works, to read the precious documentation to which his daughter Maria Teresa has been working for years, to weave, in conclusion, the warp of a debate, alive in Italy between the two world wars and after 1945, trying to understand the movements of the red thread Guido Gambone is for us.

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Profile for Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte

Artigianato 53  

Italian Magazine about crafts and Arts

Artigianato 53  

Italian Magazine about crafts and Arts

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