Giacomo Alessi – 50 Ceramic Sculptures in London

Sept. 28 – Oct. 11, 2001
London, UK

Giacomo Alessi’s work celebrates the glorious past of Sicilian ceramics while going for its renewal.
A deep understanding of Caltagirone’s millennial tradition of pottery making combined with a profound love for the complex and fascinating art of creating a meaningful something out of wet clay is the secret of Alessi’s sculptures.

Along with his handcrafted production – famous throughout the world – Giacomo Alessi has also been making his own “private” works. He takes pride, rightful pride, in showing his collection to a few privileged friends. But art cannot be concealed or silenced… his visitors spread the news and Giacomo has rapidly won international recognition.

Manuela and I met Giacomo Alessi in Caltagirone in 2007. We were starting our fine Italian ceramics web store and Giacomo was probably the very first artist we invited to join our project. A hesitant “let’s try…” was enough for us to fly to Sicily and visit him in his workshop.

Giacomo is an impressively vital, intelligent, genial person and a very friendly one. He opened his workshop and his house to us. Watching him shape the clay is a memorable experience, not less so listening to his stories about the origins of traditional Sicilian ceramics.

The last afternoon we spent in Caltagirone is so vivid in our minds. After lunch he casually asked: “Would you girls like to visit my private collection?” Of course! We drove downtown, to a large flat that he uses as a private museum. Wow … Hundreds of pieces – unique ceramic sculptures and small installations – were displayed in every single room, crowding shelves, walls, ad hoc stands. Manuela and I were amazed by the quality of Alessi’s pieces and enormously delighted to have the artist himself guide us through his work.  It was one of those special moments in life that won’t be forgotten.

Bernard Chauchet, the owner of a contemporary art gallery in London, was also granted the rare privilege of a private tour in Alessi’s sanctuary, which inspired him to invite Alessi to exhibit his works in London. Displaying fifty ceramic sculptures, the exhibition opened a few days ago and it.

Featured in some of the most important exhibitions of ceramics at the national and international level, Giacomo Alessi was also invited to the 54th Venice Biennale this year. He was made a knight of the Italian Republic in 2007 and he is also a signatory of the “Manifesto for the Applied Arts of the New Century” and included in the book of Living Human Treasures of the UNESCO Register of Intangible Heritage for Sicily.

Bernard Chauchet Contemporary Art
55 Hollywood  Road
London – SW10 9HX

Click to view our collection of Giacomo Alessi’s ceramics
Click to purchase the book about Giacomo Alessi: Giacomo Alessi e le ceramiche. Una lunga tradizione per il futuro. Italian and English edition.
Click to purchase Giacomo Alessi’s book : Fiasche, lumere, cànteri e cannate. Ceramica d’uso a Caltagirone tra Cinque e Ottocento by Giacomo Alessi and Giuseppe L. Danzuso