Ugo La Pietra - Una forza interiore (An inner strenght)
Artists Ugo La Pietra
From November 15th until December 22nd, Officine Saffi will host the first Milanese Solo Show dedicated to Ugo La Pietra's ceramics.
The exhibition has the titled "Una forza interiore (An inner strenght)" - curated by Flaminio Gualdoni - virility as sculptural energy, that generates shapes and volumes through a series of vessels, sculptures, votive figures and photographs.
The works on display, are the result of a long-standing collaboration between Ugo La Pietra and Giovanni Mengoni, blend the visionary qualities of an artist with the logical thinking of a designer and a craftsman's skill.
"Ugo La Pietra has once again become involved with deeply-rooted artisan knowledge and he has dismantled and reassembled, both in his head and in a Perugian furnace, the idea and the possibilities of bucchero ceramics." *
Bucchero will be the protagonist of all the works on display at Officine Saffi. This ancient material is capable of conveying the contemporary stance that is characteristic of La Pietra's approach. Bucchero is a particular type of black ceramic that was used by the Etruscan civilization from the 7th century BC to the first half of the 5th century BC. The name derives from the Spanish bucaro, a word referring to certain pots from South America, made with an odorous, colored clay, which were imitated in Portugal and became fashionable in Italy.
"Bucchero is ancient, just ancient. And it is rare and mysterious, because it is only practised by the indigenous inhabitants of the lands of Etruria, where examples of it have been found. It is limited because it is intimately anaesthetic, because its shape, tectonics, and spatial dimensions are all swallowed up in a glossy blackness that absorbs everything, starting with its potential for beauty. And it's boring, because the technique is specific and can't be changed, it is not subject to shocking avant-garde linguistic moods. " *
In his prolific and curious journey - curious due to its intellectual energy and critical tension -, Ugo La Pietra could not help but come across bucchero, and put it on show at Officine Saffi, international contemporary ceramic research centre. The result of this collaboration is a monochrome display with strong, almost primitive, expressive charge, where the artist, thanks to the help of the craftsman, goes back to auscultating the material in order to become its master, faber; can't be forgotten the profound critical reflection which Ugo La Pietra submits all his work to.
* extracted from the writings of Flaminio Gualdoni.
UGO LA PIETRA
Born in Bussi sul Tirino (Pescara) in 1938 and originally from Arpino (Frosinone), he now lives and works in Milan, where he graduated from the Politecnico university in Architecture in 1964.
He is an architect of shapes, an artist, a filmmaker, an editor, a musician, a cartoonist, and a teacher. Since 1960 he has described himself as a researcher in communication systems and the visual arts, simultaneously moving in the circles of art and design. A tireless experimenter, he has encountered various trends (from sign painting to conceptual art, and from Narrative Art to artistic cinema) and has used multiple media, conducting research that has come to fruition in his theory of the "Sistema disequilibrante (disequilibrating system)" - autonomous expression within Radical Design - and in important sociological topics such as "La casa telematica (the telematic house)" at MoMA in New York, 1972 - and the Fiera di Milano, 1983; "Rapporto tra Spazio reale e Spazio virtuale (relationship between real space and virtual space)" at the Triennale di Milano 1979, 1992; "La casa neoeclettica (the neo-eclectic House)" at Abitare il tempo, 1990; and "Cultura Balneare (seaside culture)" at Centro Culturale Cattolica 1985/95. He has communicated his work through many exhibitions in Italy and abroad, and in various exhibitions at the Triennale in Milan, Biennale in Venice, Musée d'art contemporain in Lyon, the FRAC Centre in Orléans, the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza, the Fondazione Centro Studi Ragghianti in Lucca, the Mudima Foundation in Milan, and the Gallarate Art Museum. He has always supported the humanistic, meaningful, and territorial component of design in a critical way, with his theoretical, educational, and editorial activities.