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“Onde di sabbia”: “Lì c’era il vento che giocava con la sabbia creando intorno a lui piccolissime dune del deserto..”. Grès e legno levigato dal mare. “Sand waves”: “There the wind was playing with sand, creating tiny desert dunes around him ..”. Stoneware and wood smoothed by the sea.

Stones to portray the origin of life

Alfredo Gioventù’s ceramic stones illustrate the fairy tale “The chestnut tree”, written by Mario Lodi for Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Genoa. Nothing of the kind had ever been attempted before. Leo Lionni had not taken them seriously. He had furnished them with a pair of eyes and a moustache. He had then locked them inside a nice children’s book. Italo Zetti had long toyed with the idea, before engraving them on large xylographic tables and turning them into colourful mandalas to ponder upon. At times instead, he had played with them, using tempera colours and watercolours to transform them into funny looking little chaps, dolmens, tiny fish or bright kites. For his part, Bruno Munari had knowingly grouped

them into several different collectors’ cases like fossil insects in a booklet that is like an invitation to do the same. However, nobody before Alfredo Gioventù had ever thought to make them literally float on the water like leaves. In addition to the palpable and sophisticated quality of stoneware, whose extraordinary mimic potential Alfredo has managed to bring to the apex, his “Floating stones” look so “real” that they are almost misleading. But they are also a poetic memorandum, a collection of emotional and visual experiences and a tangible synthesis of the best and most beautiful natural features, representing most of all “that” particular natural landscape, which is Sestri Levante. The place is a source of inspiration and emotions whenever he stands by the seashore in the sun and with the wind blowing, surrounded by sand, flotsam and jetsam

cast up from the sea, empty shells and tile debris smoothed by the riptide. Mario Lodi’s old pupil certainly learnt from him that Nature is man’s best teacher. Like a sailor that empties the catch entangled in the net into large baskets, Alfredo tidily arranges on the shelves the things collected during his walks: those elements also become part of this unusual artist’s poetic style, simply as they are and unadulterated. Now the teacher and the pupil are meeting again. Genoa-based Settore Musei asked Mario Lodi to write a fairy tale inspired to the painting “The chestnut tree” by Antonio Discovolo. The painting is exhibited at Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Genoa Nervi. Throughout his teaching career, Mario Lodi used the observation of nature as an indispensable tool. This peculiar work was presented during the inauguration of the Galleria d’Arte Moderna on children’s day. The old teacher’s sensitivity, which still retains the amazement of a child before the marvels of the world, has resulted in a work that is the latest in a series of books (volume 2, collection “Sogno intorno all’Opera”, m&m Maschietto Publishing, Florence). The collection started back in 1956 with “Bandiera”, introducing a new and alternative pedagogic approach to teaching.

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Profile for Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte

Artigianato 58  

Italian Magazine about crafts

Artigianato 58  

Italian Magazine about crafts

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