locandina "mentre eravamo distratti" Caterina Sbrana e Gabriele Mallegni
The work of Caterina and Gabriele, presented to us on display at the CVM VENIO in Larciano in the exhibition space derived from the restoration of an ancient convent, offers to us a kind of wonder and oxygenates our minds. In the show there are interesting works in ceramic and terracotta created with different variations of techniques and methods, some of them are made together by the two and other individually. A selection that presents some keystones of the complexity of their artistic work. Presented in the restored space of the gallery we can find the objects that surround our daily lives such as teapots, tureens, vases and other containers, re-proposed and re-read in their classic shapes, a perfect production both in the aestethic appearance and in the material with the presence of contrasting elements that modulate the interpretation and suggestion, as in the arrows that pierce the “San Sebastiano” vase or as the golden piercings applied to the white ceramic bust of the “Punkette”, a portrait of a young woman with punk stylistic features. Another example of white ceramic: the buildings that grow on teapots, brutalizing them, or the large, white vases from “A brilliant memory” with the application of the casts of bullet and bombs craters left by the fighting in Pisa during the Second World War, still present in the walls of some buildings. A strong and delicate message of peace in these difficult times. Other linguistic mechanisms are used in the “Abbeveratoi” works and in the “Lapidaria” series. In the first case an incursion into the relationship between the geometry of solids and organicity between nature and artifice, where the troughs as reproductions of the shapes of the beds of lost lakes, maquettes in the form of a parallelepiped of opaque brown terracotta, objects that can possibly be inserted into the environment as a mimesis revealing the nemesis regarding the fragile balance of nature. In the “Lapidaria” series, however, the objects are made using the shape of the casts of stones collected in the block streams of the Pisan mountains, rivers of stones left over from the ancient glaciations, making them objects of common use (teapots and other containers). In this work the shapes of organic elements of the natural split stones, are applied to the paraphernalia of the world of tea lounge conviviality such as: spouts, handles and knobs, also made from casts on existing objects, producing a contrast and a very alienating result and a magical vision, which induces reflections on the aesthetic structure of the language of nature and the historical shapes derived from the human activity. I could go on describing other mechanisms of the “linguistic approach” of the artistic research of Caterina and Gabriele and of Caterina + Gabriele (Studio17), which they practice with great technical and conceptual skill in their workshop in Pontasserchio, but it is more interesting to discover them by visiting the exhibition in person. Theirs is an elegant and engaging poetic developed with a very rare attitude in these days: humility, accompanied by the technical confidence that the everyday work in the artisan workshop gives, doing the things you have thought of, knowing how to manage and modulate the artistic process from the beginning to the end. In short, their approach to things in the language of art interests me a lot and I think as a “layman”, not as an academic, having frequented this language for many years, that I have in front of me some of the best contemporary artistic intentions in circulation, which I have had the privilege of to see them grow and develop and despite the fact that I have been observing their doing for several years, this always surprises me, arousing my curiosity, reflections and feelings. I say this with the conviction,that is popular among us “Gozzanian” designers who always try to reflect and dialogue with the objects that surround us asking them the meaning of things. Mauro Lovi