FUGACITTA’. Umberto Dattola – Guido De Zan – Kouzo Takeuchi
28 March – 5 May 2023
Opening: 28 March, 6 to 9 p.m.
29 March to 6 April: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
From 11 April to 5 May: by appointment unless otherwise scheduled
The exhibition will remain open to the public with several evening and weekend openings during Milan Art Week and Fuorisalone week.
For more info contact us: email@example.com
ESH Gallery is pleased to present Fugacittà, an exhibition dedicated to the works of artists Umberto Dattola, Guido De Zan and Kouzo Takeuchi.
For the first time in the history of human civilisation, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Cities allow the exchange of ideas, generate innovation and development, but at the same time they are the source of numerous social problems and reveal deep contrasts that coexist in a fragile balance.
These issues force us to reflect. Do we like where we live? Do we appreciate our surroundings? Are there too many of us? What do we breathe? Is it sustainable? But above all, do we live well in the city? The answers are partly entrusted to the works of the three artists, some of them created for the exhibition, with which they tell their personal vision of the city.
The title of the exhibition reveals the common thread linking the three artists. On the one hand escape, understood as a form of escapism between dream and literature in Dattola’s gold-leaf cabinets/sculpture or iconic-imaginary in De Zan’s ceramic groups; on the other hand, fugacity expressed by Takeuchi’s Modern Remains, which reveal the inexorably ephemeral condition of man’s work.
Umberto Dattola, born in Brescia, lives and works in the hills of Franciacorta, dividing his time between teaching and working in the field of artistic design. His work, as defined by Diego Zanella, ‘is an event of alchemical craftsmanship’. His objects seem to come from a different dimension, a world in which the animistic bond that unites them to our lives gives them a life of their own. The result is complex, craft is combined with literature, design becomes a dreamlike project and craftsmanship an esoteric practice. The – partly suspended – works exhibited at ESH Gallery are inspired by Calvino’s great classic, The Invisible Cities.
In this book is contained the idea that guides much of my work: there is a place in the soul where a model of space, even an aesthetic one, is jealously preserved, an ideal yardstick, the Invisible City, the inner city that we keep inside, where the ideal models with which we compare the places and elements we encounter on the path of our existence are elaborated and constructed. (U.D.)
Guido De Zan, born in 1947, began his research in the field of ceramics in 1975 and a few years later, in the shadow of the San Lorenzo Basilica remains (Le Colonne) in Milan, he opened Coccio, a workshop where he still works today.
As the art and design historian Anty Pansera writes in Creature of the City, De Zan has an obsession with certain city buildings, to which he has dedicated careful curiosity in order to reproduce/re-propose them in sculptures in stoneware and white porcelain, fired, biscuit, ‘landscapes’ of unusual beauty that are embodied by suggesting a particular reading of the city based on the perception of volumes. Towers, first of all, for their “characteristics of power and strength but also of ideal elevation towards the infinite”, pyramids, ziggurats, cathedrals and then the ‘Velasca’ and skyscrapers.
His works, with their clear and thin surfaces, express lightness, rigour and formal purity. To this almost paper-like effect De Zan combines his graphic research of fine lines that thicken to give the impression of chiaroscuro typical of drawings or engravings on paper.
Kouzo Takeuchi, from the prefecture of Hyogo in Japan, is interested in the themes of construction and destruction, giving life to Modern Remains, a series of works inspired by the accidental breakage of a ceramic and characterised by complex geometric patterns composed of square porcelain tubes. Once the firing and glazing is complete, Takeuchi strategically notches the sculptures with a hammer. The effect of this process evokes both ancient ruins and contemporary architecture, prompting the viewer to consider that what exists now will one day be in ruins.