Meeting Italian ceramic artists: Aldo Ajo’

Aldo Ajo’ was born in 1901 in Gubbio, where he spent all his life. The full and wonderful life of a great artist.

Very well known in his native region, Ajo’s talents were internationally acknowledged only after his death, in 1982, when his ceramic art was paid the tribute it truly deserved.

Presently there are no doubts about his right to be included among the most important Italian ceramic artists from the 20th century, thanks to the excellent contribution of many enlightened art critics and curators, such as Luciano Marziano, Piero Luigi Menichetti, Secondo Sannipoli, Giovanni Rampini, Gian Carlo Bojani, Fabrizio Cece, Ettore Sannipoli. Although we never indulge in long lists of names, mostly unknown to our International readers, we decided to make an exception as our way of saying thank you to those who devoted their energies to bring such a genius to our attention.

Although Aldo Ajo’s works are now held in many important Museums in Italy, the largest collection of his pottery is still owned by the artist’s family and displayed in his house in Gubbio where it can be viewed by appointment (details below).

A group of 21 works has been recently donated by the artist’s widow to Gubbio Municipality: panels, plastic works and vases that chronicle the evolution of Ajo’s artistic style from the Thirties. Most of the pieces are now held in Palazzo dei Consoli, a gorgeous setting for the city’s most renowned modern artist.

The catalog of the exhibition is curated by Prof. Ettore Sannipoli, an experienced art critic and passionate connoisseur of the artist, who also completed the first in-depth study on Ajo’s works, together with Gian Carlo Bojani. The book, titled “Aldo Ajo’, 1901-1982. Ceramics”  also contains a thorough catalog of the artists works and relevant critical essays.

About the artist
Aldo Ajo’ (1901-1982) early passion for painting and pottery making was encouraged by Ilario Ciaurro, a well established artist who worked in Gubbio in the early Twenties.

Later in the Twenties he moved to Gualdo Tadino to work as Art Director of the Fabbrica Rubboli, where he experimented with lusterware. His works, recently on display in the Rubboli exhibition, stood out from the mainstream production and were probably “too unconventional” in that context. Today, they are regarded as precocious examples of the artist’s personal and original style.

Back to Gubbio, he set up his own studio, exploring different art languages: iron casting, graphics, painting, pottery making. At the beginning of the Thirties he started focusing his talents and energies almost exclusively on ceramics.
At the time he was mostly interested in decoration. Soon, however, he felt the need to mold his own pieces: simply sketched, yet deeply expressive works, especially panels, where he seemed to achieve the perfect symbiosis of ceramic art and painting.

As with any artist, Ajo’s style evolved over time, absorbing contemporary art languages and avant-garde suggestion. Still, its distinctiveness remained untouched, based as it was on formal purity, clear, almost diaphanous glazes and, very often, the application of the luster technique that he had learnt in Gualdo Tadino.

Aldo Ajo’ – Permanent exhibitions in Gubbio
House & studio
Via della Cattedrale, 20
Ph: +39 075 9273958

Museo Civico di Palazzo dei Consoli
Piazza Grande
Ph: +39 075 9274298

One thought on “Meeting Italian ceramic artists: Aldo Ajo’

  1. I need to know Aldo Ajo’s signature on his pottery/ceramic pieces. Did they change throughout his career, etc? I have a piece marked Ajo
    Made in Italy

    It is hand written in the glaze/paint. Thank you in advance if you can help me.

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