The result is truly extraordinary: cups that appear to be made of malleable, light, ethereal materials, barely touched by the hands of the artist and perhaps only moved slightly by the breeze. The fine, delicate surfaces look like butterfly wings ready to fly. This figure could be described as artist/artisan, an extremely complicated figure that is difficult to categorise. Despite that fact that Toots uses glass and familiar shapes such as bowls, the works themselves cannot simply be described as craft. They are art, pure and simple.
ceptual art and landscape paintings in the limpid style of Fontanesi or that of the 18th century landscape artists of Veneto; portraits and still lives inspired by century old pictorial traditions, artists taking their cue from photography or cinema, fashion and advertising 'still lives' The show, which has now reached its third edition and is organised by its art director Alberto Vattiata, son of Gianni Vattiata, inventor of the Event, displayed works by more than two-hundred artists from Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Argentine, America.
Being a sculptor is not necessarily all that is required to create beautiful jewellery, however talented the sculptor may be. Mimmo di Cesare – although he later became a well-known sculptor – is one of the few “born” to this ancient art that always seems to be in fashion. This is clear when observing this wonderful exhibition in the “Galleria Novecento” – a series of precious works in gold crowning the reduced scale model of the “Isola 93” sculpture in alabaster and coloured marble. The works on display show the various stages of an intense activity that began in the nineteen sixties and continues today. Di Cesare and other noted contemporary artists in this field never forget the importance of wearability. This quality is present in every example; polished, moulded, clinging to the body of the wearer, yet imaginative, eclectic and unique.
Internet has confirmed its role as a highly effective promotion and sale channel for the artisans of Lombardia, who have been displaying their products for a year at a virtual fair, www.artisanexpo.it, which represents an on-line mall for the homefurniture, textile-clothes, arts and crafts sectors. The fair, which to this day has seen the participation of 70 companies, includes two versions: Business to Business and Business to Consumer, so that on the one hand it promotes transactions between companies and on the other it enables final customers to buy the products of their choice on line and pay with their credit cards.. Thanks to this solution, wholesalers, distributors, retailers as well as final consumers who are Made-in-Italy fans can contact an artisan shop on a 24 hour basis, from Italy and from anywhere the world over. Among the products on display at the site they will find: typical Brianza furniture, delicately wrought jewels, precious stones, highly refined sets of sheets and bed covers, original interior decorations. People browsing through the site will find other interesting features on craftsmanship-related themes, plus a wealth of information on fairs and meetings in this sector. To keep posted on new developments, the offerings and products of the month you can subscribe to artisanexpo's newsletter. The site of the artisans of Lombardia is already available in different languages (Italian, English and German) and soon it will also be translat-
ARTISTS IN TURIN (page 36)
A kaleidoscope of styles, shapes, experiments with contemporary art: this might be a key to the understanding of "Artist in Turin", a show reserved to Italian and foreign artists that was staged at the premises of Torino Esposizioni from 7 to 10 March. New approaches to painting and sculpture, new trends coexisting with traditional, evergreen artistic languages: post-op avant-garde creations, typical of a large proportion of American art, con-
ed into Spanish, extending the reach of commercial contacts to the Latin American markets. The project has been produced by Promos (a Special Agency of the Milan Chamber of Commerce for International Activities), thanks to the contribution of Region Lombardia and Unioncamere Lombardia and in collaboration with the main Artisans Associations.
VIETRI SUL MARE (page 42)
The theme focuses on recapturing the artisan-artist and his or her independence of design, and is targeted at those who understand and support the need for teamwork between designer/artist and artisan. In general, too many designers show a lack of tradition and background in both the history of ceramics and the sociology of individual taste and the subsequent “urge to buy”. I find it extremely enlightening and entertaining to surf through online auctions, only to find numerous items up for auction on eBay described, oxymoronically, as “fifties artefacts”.. At that time their designs were sneered at. Now they are revered. For some time now many Vietri ceramists have started to unscrupulously use iconographies of tradition. Take Enzo Caruso’s and the Fratelli Liguri’s test pieces for example, with their emphasis on the use of experimental and “toxic” techniques rather than the roughness of the forms. I could cite many other examples, positively noted in the exhibition sections Graeco-Roman wrestling in the 2001 edition of the Premio Viaggio using the ceramics of Vietri sul Mare, all more or less conditioned by the culture of television and film. This phenomenon is now occurring in new and more appropriate settings, in “theatrical” surroundings that are not exclusively the domain of professional designers.
EMPOLI GLASS (page 46)
Empoli has always been a hub for traffic and commerce. Used as a port on the River Arno in Roman times, Empoli soon
magazine about italian crafts