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PRESS RELEASE 01.06.2012

Alfredo Gioventù (Italy)


The avid interest of Alfredo Gioventù, a ceramist and sculptor from the Ligurian coastal town of Sestri Levante, in the nature and culture of the area around his home and a deeper study of connections between nature and art, have led him to creating works in which he tries to express the mystery and majesty of nature by means of human intellect. He does this in a simple and honest way, without gravitating towards romantic exaggerations. The inspiration comes from the splendid rocks and sea stones of the coast of Liguria, which as genius loci (the spirit of the place) introduce that corner of the country to the world, enabling the transformation of environmental resources into a pattern of culture.

The exhibition has been designed as a complex installation visualising the times and rhythms of nature through the various forms and signs of stones. It seems as if the central sculpture, the 2.5-metre-high "Daphne", is conducting a musical score made up of stones, which bear the impressions left on their long journey by time and events. Signs are created and then again erased by the forces of nature and time. The artist wishes to demonstrate the relativity of the concept of durability and highlight a complex vision of perceiving the concept of time. Forms with a more applied nature, such as bases, vases and interesting multifunctional hollow forms have also grown out of the stone themes.
Ceramic stone compositions are elaborated with graphic white and flowing rhythms of lines in a gray fine-grained mass, which works hand in hand with the poets' verses. Occasionally the artist adds objects found from nature in his works, pieces that have been worn by time, winds and seawater.
The pulsing melody of times and rhythms – panteofonia – provides nature with the almighty ability to make its materiality chime in harmony with all-encompassing spirituality – this idea is represented by the most recent work, the mural "Panteofonia" (2012), as well as the entire exhibition as a whole.

Alfredo Gioventù (1952) is a ceramic artist, sculptor and installation artist all in one, who also has a degree in contemporary literary history from Genoa University. He began his creative work in the late 1970s. From 1980 to 1999 he worked as an instructor of ceramic technology and art history in various art schools. In the last few decades, he has studied the technological possibilities offered by high-fire reduction ceramics. Experimenting with technologies in grès high-fire reduction and porcelain has resulted in the creation of a new ceramic material, allowing the shapes of Ligurian coastal stones to be imitated in a high quality and esthetic level. Gioventù has studied the semiotics of stone patterns in his book "Lithograms" (2009). In 2008 a children's book entitled "Chestnut Tree", a fairy tale written by poet Mario Lodi and illustrated by Gioventù was published as part of the Genoa Modern Art Museum's art education program.
Ceramic sculptures, murals and fountains, commissioned by various institutions, have been created and erected in public spaces. He participates actively in different exhibition projects and has won awards at numerous prestigious exhibitions. For instance in March of 2012, Gioventù's work "Dune" won the innovative works category at an international exhibition competition entitled "Lodifaceramica". In 1998 he founded the ceramics workshop Opificio Ceramico Alfredo Gioventù along with Daniela Mangini and an art gallery in Sestri Levante a few years later, through which the artists couple brings to life their various multifaceted art projects. For instance the extensive ArTura (which explores relationships between art and nature), encompassing exhibitions and seminars, as well as didactic projects for school children and even kindergarten kids.

Alongside the exhibition, Alfredo Gioventù is holding a two-day workshop for students of ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts and a lecture on the history of contemporary Italian ceramics on May 30 (18:00, room 245).
The exhibition will remain open until July 22, 2012.

Sponsors include the Italian Embassy in Tallinn, The Estonian Academy of Arts, Wienerberger AS Aseri brickworks, Regione Liguria and Comune di Sestri Levante.

Anne Tiivel

+372 627 4604


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