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Guido De Zan – An idea of lightness

Guido De Zan – An idea of lightness

On the occasion of [C] – Italian Studio Ceramics, the first auction dedicated to contemporary Italian ceramics, ESH Gallery presents five new works by Milanese master Guido De Zan. An artist who places the Japanese tradition, dear to the gallery’s aesthetic principles, at the centre of his sources of inspiration.

An idea of lightness…

This is how Guido De Zan, who has concentrated on producing stoneware and porcelain vases and sculptures for more than twenty-five years, summarises his poetics.

In fact, his works show a tendency towards rigour, formal purity but above all, even though they are made of ceramic, towards lightness, breaking the limits imposed by the material and sometimes making it take on an illusory paper-like effect. To this effect the artist combines his very personal graphic research, sometimes composed of thin lines that thicken to give the impression of the chiaroscuro typical of drawings or engravings on paper.

The feeling that his works are something other than ceramic is also given by the extreme fineness with which the artist works the walls of his works, which appear almost two-dimensional, and by the use of light-coloured earths such as porcelain and a mixture of stoneware mixed with porcelain left unglazed.

Biographical notes

Guido De Zan was born in Milan in 1947.

In 1974, after working eight years in the field of assisting mentally disabled children, he graduated in Sociology from the University of Trento.
In 1975 he began researching in the field of ceramics and in 1978 in Milan, next to the Colonne di San Lorenzo, he opened Coccio (shard), the workshop with ceramic kiln where he still works today. In the early years, his work focused on everyday objects in majolica.
Then, using the raku technique, he turned towards more symbolic objects such as cups for the tea ceremony, vases and decorative panels. In the last twenty-five years, using stoneware and porcelain, Guido De Zan has devoted himself almost exclusively to vases and sculptures.
Since the 1990s, he has combined ceramic production with graphic research, using various techniques and materials.
He lives and works in Milan.

Many of his pieces are part of public and private collections.

“What I try to do is convey to the viewer of my work a feeling of lightness”
Guido De Zan

“His works are an expression of constant research and continuous experimentation”
Ugo La Pietra

“Guido is one of the few ceramists who takes care to give not only a shape to his objects, but also a special skin, a texture handmade by himself”
Bruno Munari