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E N G L I S H INNOVATION IN TRADITION (11) The “Conferenza Lombarda sull’Artigianato” has just come to a close, where “Valorising tradition, spurring innovation” was one of the chief topics. At a time such as this in which there’s talk of crises at all levels, even the handicraft industry is affected by this unfavourable economic situation. The economic and cultural importance of Italian handicrafts is well-known; thus, from politicians to trade-union leaders, everyone “raises their voice” to declare that this important industry should not be neglected. The Conferenza Lombarda dell’Artigianato attempts to relaunch the sector by inviting one and all to innovate! But where can the “special” sector of art handicrafts find the tools and energy to develop itself in this direction? Where are the new projects that could make the weary and repetitive proposals linked to tradition evolve? Where are the new structures to promote cultural and promotional growth such as museums, institutions, the Biennial Exhibition of Applied Arts? How are the schools (i.e. Art Insti-tutes and Academies) that once privileged this sector transforming themselves? These are the many directions all the forces committed to this sector can follow, even through EU funding allocated for developing and promoting research programs. Communicating Vases (12) The stimulating exhibition arranged by Roberto Bianconi and Andrea Pagnes and organised by Numerouno Design Centre in the Marco Polo Glass Gallery in Venice presented works interpreting marble and glass by 20 artists: Richard Meier, Luca Trazzi, Aldo Cibic, David Palterer, Riccardo Dalisi, Luca Scacchetti, Angelo Mi-cheli, Virginio Ferrari, Giandomenico Sandri, Kazuhiko Tomita, Henrique Pessoa, Claudia Hamers, Ugo La Pietra, An-drea Morucchio, KiKa, Andrea Pagnes, Augusto Ghibelli, Anna Muskardin, Atodesign/Bl@m and Gianmaria Colognese. Marble and glass: two noble materials from the Veneto area which have kept several master craftsmen busy for the occasion. The subject has been developed by several designers through a pair of vases with which they have tried to honour the two materials in different ways, or integrate one into the other. It is interesting to note the different approach of the various artists and we must note that these proposals enriched an extremely stimulating exhibition capable of relaunching the relationship between the culture of design and the culture of doing. Designer Tesseras (16) In this time of transition, this tale of the restoration of Villa Rosnati seems to belong to another epoch. Four years of research in the archives to put together again the evolution, life and the original plans of the owners and tenants who lived in Villa Ronati over the years to be confident before starting off the restoration and rebuilding project of a structure that has more than 10 centuries of history behind it. The restoration was carried out using techniques that are almost forgotten nowadays: using natural lime, handwrought iron, pinewood locks shaped like the originals, in part restored and made to

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work once more, and the same for the mosaic floors. The mosaic floors in the large reception hall, mostly remade at the beginning of the 1800s with a typical neoclassical geometric shape, were completed and continued using the same marble, inserting designs by Alik Cavaliere and Gil-lo Dorfles. Alik Cavaliere has been inspired by some of the fresco decorations representing compositions of fruit and wreaths of flowers. With his typical irony has come up with two mosaics, the first a basket of fruit called “still life”, the second a “vase of flowers”, with his poetic and aesthetic essence, that great clarity, precision and lightness which put him alongside the great poets of the past from Virgil to Leopardi in terms of sensitivity. Dorfles, together with Soldati, Monnet and Munari, the founder in 1948 of the Concrete Art Movement (MAC), desi-gned and followed the making of two mosaics. As in his paintings, the poetry in these works by Dorfles is increased by the expressive deformations accentuating the physiognomy where irony touches on humour, or rather, satire. And so with these mosaics, Appiano Gentile slowly sees its great wealth of works of art grow. Lucky Charms (19) The cultural association “Ad Arte, Primo Osservatorio sull’Artigianato Artistico Italiano” (To Art, the First Observatory on Italian Artistic Craftwork) organised the exhibition “Gli Scaramantici. Oggetti che allontanano il malocchio” (Lucky Charms. Objects that Ward Off the Evil Eye), which took place in the Galleria Fatto ad Arte in Monza from 4/10 to 2/11/2002. The exhibition brought together works by the artists and craftsmen in the “Ad Arte” association. The theme was interpreted by each artist in the freest of ways: on show amongst the lucky charms were both ironic works fruit of careful studies into the symbols linked to lucky charms, as well as works that embody the icons of popular superstition (horse shoes, red horns, owls, cockerels, chilli peppers). With this exhibition “Ad Arte” is promoting the value of multiplicity expressed through the variety of stimuli, the materials used (ceramic, wood, textile, glass) and the working techniques experimented in the languages of artists and craftsmen from all over Italy. THE MIRO’ PROJECT (22) During the large exhibition “Mediterraneo Miró” held in the convent of Santa Sofia, that Salerno dedicated to the Spanish artist, some of Salerno’s ceramicists freely reinterpreted his art by reading his painting, sculpture and carvings as well as his ceramic works. Small pieces of design handicrafts, on show and on sale in the exhibition store, opened a dialogue between present and past, between Campania’s coast and the Spanish coast, amidst artists’ impressions and, against the backdrop of a Mediter-ranean populated by lively archetypes, luminous and “wild” signs, establish an ever-changing relationship with Miró’s art. It is the individual sensitivity of each ceramicist that captures aspects filtered by his/her own suggestions, that rereads, amidst a thousand colours, the countless forms, the countless combinations produced by Miró’s imagination, only that

T E X T which is intrinsic in his/her own art, is coherent with his/her own production, has an affinity with his/her own expressive means. Thus, in the works of Daniela Cannella, Sofia De Mas, Laura Laureti, Mariella Siano, Marco Vecchio, once it’s the turn of colour, once shape, on-ce sign, that ironically describes Miró’s tra-gic-comical world, that personalises those monstrous and bizarre beings, the violent colours, the nightmarish and dreamlike atmospheres, the boundary between “fantasy” and reality. Within the show the initiative offers the possibility of establishing a creative dialogue with the painting that relives in ceramics, with art that arbitrarily reinterprets art, but also presents itself as a showcase of Salernitan handicrafts, based on its strong identity, displaying some of the works of Andrea Caso, Luciana Spinil-lo and Paola Miranda, craftsmen that work with the desire to overcome the iconographic tradition under the pressing drive towards modernity and innovation. The Carlo Zauli Museum (26) The museum dedicated to Carlo Zauli, protagonist on the artistic scene in the second half of the twentieth century, was inaugurated in Faenza at the end of May. Zauli was the man who made ceramic an extremely expressive material: one of the few Italian ceramicists who really was a sculptor, as Gillo Dorfles declares. The museum hosts 120 of his works, a selection of the most representative of the artist’s intense and fruitful forty-year career. Many of the works on display were purposefully collected and taken off the market by Zauli himself. His laboratory, “La Bottega”, in Via della Croce, is the place that hosts the museum; the exhibition unravels through roughly fifteen different areas and covers the stages in Zauli’s artistic production, from the vases of the early 1950s to his final works, the sculptures of the last decade. The whole display is accompanied by explanations: from tableaux with descriptions to the beautiful black and white images that illustrate different moments in his work and to the videos and images of his monumental works projected on the walls of the moulding room. The journey amongst Carlo Zauli’s works does not finish with the permanent exhibition that has just been opened, but it continues into the many works present in the town and also in different places around the world; what needs underlining is how the space is set out to follow the sequence of the various working stages, how it respects the original rooms and maintains that certain air of “workmanship” which is needed for how the project is to develop. There-fore, the opening of the museum is merely a first step. Matteo Zauli, how did this museum come about? “The project originated with my father who wanted to start up a cultural centre based on his lengthy and varied experience. Carlo Zauli himself came up with the idea for the museum towards the middle of the 1980s. While he carried on working in his laboratory, bit by bit he created a first exhibition. It was set out in the large room on the first floor which is now dedicated to the works from the 1980s; for this operation he bought some pieces from the antiques

Profile for Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte

Artigianato 48  

magazine about italian crafts

Artigianato 48  

magazine about italian crafts

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