Bertozzi e Casoni

15 Mar - 06 Apr 2007

© Galleria Cardi
"le bugie dell'arte"

From: 2007-03-15
To: 2007-04-06

On Thursday March 15th at 7 p.m. in the Cardi gallery, Corso di Porta Nuova, Milan, the Musei Civici Veneziani, the Venice city museums, will be collaborating with the Cardi gallery together with the artists Bartozzi and Casoni for a preview of Composizione in bianco. This work is one of the three monumental vanitas that will be presented in Le Bugie dell’Arte, Art’s Lies, a show that opening in June at the same time as the 52nd Venice Biennale and which will be installed in the rooms of the Ca’ Pesaro gallery of international modern art. Composizione in bianco will function as a authentic introduction to Le Bugie dell’Arte, the three large installations expressly prepared for the Venice show in Ca’ Pesaro. It will create a unicum based on the theme of the reiteration of art interests: these insist on the need for a new language but, in fact, become a self-referential monument in which only a violent affirmation of the artist’s ego is to be found. In Composizione in bianco an imposing white bear wanders over a fragment of a drifting iceberg dragging behind it a net which impedes its progress. Inside the net there are piled up humble objects and the remains of products manufactured by man and scattered around the polar environment. Among these, caught up in the ice, is a television, a clear allusion to video art, which the bear roars at. (Technique: polychrome ceramic and bronze; 1.5 x 6 x 3 metres.) Bertozzi & Casoni’s work consists of ceramics hand-made in a realistic and richly detailed style. The two artists met while studying at the Faenza ceramic school. Giampaolo Bertozzi (Borgo Tossignano, Bologna, 1957) and Stefano Casoni (Lugo di Romagna, Ravenna, 1961) soon decided to work together and this collaboration became concrete in 1980 when they formed a society with the collective name of Bertozzi & Casoni s.n.c.: this logo was to become a symbol of their particular style. The sculptures of the two artists are both ironic and obscure, and consist of untidy trays, broken eggs, half-full overturned coffee cups, cigarette butts and old dirty newspapers; they give rise to images that provoke an alienating effect where the objects, whether common or rare, and having little to do with each other, seem to testify to modern man’s inevitable collision with consumption. They work with the most varied materials, using the industrial methods of ceramic-making, and uniting tradition and experimentation in a continuous and “contradictory” attempt to push beyond boundaries, freeing themselves from conformism and the cultural stereotypes of ceramics and so-called applied arts by an ever more sophisticated and deeper knowledge of a language that also includes techniques and materials. The works are modelled and coloured using traditional processes to be found in the Renaissance of Della Robbia and later recuperated by the Arts and Crafts movement and by Art Nouveau; to these they have added such other techniques developed by industry, graphics, and Pop Art as decals and photo-ceramics which are used in the works to create hyper-realistic effects, subtle quotations, and conceptual tricks. Amongst other interests, that in waste and its maniacal and hyper-realistic reproduction in ceramics, becomes an inquiry into aesthetic transformation, just as their analytical study of every kind of junk has led them to the most sophisticated kind of waste of all: that of culture. This has become a kind of theft from icons that are by now digested and assimilated, those belonging to the history of art and design such as the Brillo Boxes, Manzoni’s Merda d’artista, or Saarinen’s tables. Bertozzi & Casoni‘s cultural interests become products that link up on a syntagmatic plane, that of past and present time, causing to coexist, on the same level and with the same formal attention, techniques, objects, themes and clichés in an unexpected and ironically natural syncretism where decorative exuberance and the solemn artifice of sculptures made from human remains, bones, and common waste, are transformed into desecrating memento mori and eclectic post-modern vanitas.
© Galleria Cardi

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