Sept. 28 – Oct. 11, 2001
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. Continue reading
Apr. 20 – July 30, 2011
This exhibition is special in many ways. First. Tasca and Babel are internationally reputed artists, who are constantly adding new meanings to contemporary ceramic art.
Second. It’s hosted in a very cool place. The building that is now the Museum “Fornace Hoffmann” was a former brick plant, where huge kilns baked the clay that was dug in the nearby mines, changing it into building bricks and tiles. The plant closed in the Seventies and it has been recently converted into a modern and spacious exhibition center.
Last, but not at all least, the exhibition puts together two pottery making traditions, Caltagirone and Nove, both representing a landmark in the history of Italian ceramic art.
March 7 – 30, 2009
Castellamonte – Italy
“Terre e Territori” (Clays and Territories) promises to be an extremely interesting and rich exhibition, gathering more than 200 ceramic works signed by a man (and an artist, a designer, an architect, a great teacher, a journalist, a film director …) who stands out for his contribution to Italian Modern Art.
Since the 60’s he has been exploring the relationship between human beings and their environment and how it affects the evolution of the objects they use, the habits they develop, their perceptions of the space surrounding them, their communication.
Fascinated by visual media, be it new technology or traditional handcraftsmanship, La Pietra has used many of them to carry on his researches on everyday objects, to him useful functional tools, but also symbols of a specific decorative culture.
Pottery making has been part of his artistic evolution since the 80’s, when he started to work on the idea of a positive interaction between industrial design and the rich imagery of Italian ceramic craftsmanship. With very interesting results, indeed.
Caltagirone was founded as early as the 2nd century B.C. on a steep hill made of clay. The abundance and the good quality of the raw material encouraged the making of pottery and its trade.
First the Romans, then the Greeks, the Arabs, the Spanish and the Normans dominated the city, bringing in their traditional designs and techniques which merged into a unique ceramic production and one of the most distinctive Sicilian pottery traditions.
The Nativity figures were certainly part of the local production already during the Middle Age, as reported in many documents, although no actual example has ever been found due to the terrible earthquake that destroyed the city in 1693.
However, it can be argued that no proper artistic production took place before the 18th century. At this time the more talented potters started to make hand modeled freestanding figures that represented not only the key characters in the Nativity crib, but also the local characters in their daily tasks: the cheese maker, the hunter, the shepherd and so on.
The Real world became part of the Sacred world, carrying into the Nativity Scene the ever changing social scenario, the attitude of people, their everyday clothes and even their common gestures.