This work belongs to the poetics of the forgotten wall decoration, the poetics of the wall itself.

Franco Guerzoni

Collection

The work of art can be placed at the service of decoration, allowing the construction of genuine, large-sized pictorial design schemes: the ceramic-covered walls are clad with the artist’s poetics, a coloured garment that will survive over time to become a memory.

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About the collection

Inspired by the idea that “a wall is like a book to be opened”, in the ARCHEOLOGIE collection Franco Guerzoni uses large ceramic surfaces as a medium for his pictorial language, made up of visual signs intended to stimulate “a journey into the interior, revealing the experiences, memories, signs and symbols the wall has absorbed over the centuries”. Disused locations, domestic architecture and industrial spaces, and archaic and ruined dwellings re-emerge from the painted surface with the dignity of intense, image-inspiring apparitions.

Running through eras and histories that lead back to ancient times, all the way to the archetypal cave, the most symbolic of all locations, the archaeology of the everyday is brought back to life through filmy coatings and painting-over effects that create new memories on the surface of the ceramic slabs. What Guerzoni’s new collection offers us is reverse archaeology, defined not in a retrospective, backward-looking narrative but rather in an ideal sketch of the future, rendered through a mixture of signs that contains and overlaps different historic ages.

The collection is expressed in a series of flat ceramic slabs with complex backgrounds, with dense pigmentations and accumulations, powdered colours and chalky materials, resembling the “stripping” method of fresco creation. In ARCHEOLOGIE, numerous images are overlapped like slides projected one on top of the other, generating an accelerated journey through time, in which the rubbing-away or crumbling of parts of the image are commonplace. In the tactile density thus created, the viewer can read an infinite number of stories, combined and stratified on a single substrate. Thanks to modern production technologies, these stories transform the walls covered with the ceramic slabs into works of art, reactivating the constructive dialogue between creative imagination and production expertise that has made the history of the CEDIT brand a shining example of the partnership between designers of genius and sophisticated technological processes, giving outcomes with outstanding aesthetic and formal impact.

The work of art can be placed at the service of decoration, allowing the construction of genuine, large-sized pictorial design schemes: the ceramic-covered walls are clad with the artist’s poetics, a coloured garment that will survive over time to become a memory.

Browse the catalogue – author’s book – and discover all the details about the collection

The risk

critical text

Franco Guerzoni’s work is grounded in a fundamental relationship with the space, architecture, time and memory contained within walls: their long, secret history. As his work specifically created for CEDIT clearly expresses, his creations achieve a perfect balance between the spacial dimension and intensely lyrical use of colour, which here becomes a soft, liquid form of matter, wandering across the surface of a dazzling lime-plaster white. White, metaphor for the clear light of day, as it was in the large, complex canvases exhibited in his personal exhibition at the 1990 Venice Biennale, is the background for forms of colour which renew the pleasure to be had from painting and the memory of an image glimpsed on the vast expanse of the surface. The work is itself like a wall, the only surviving wall of what was once a house, on which time has recorded its own, unavoidable passing, leaving traces of partially faded colour.

Silvia Evangelisti

Lecturer at the Alma Mater University of Bologna

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Franco Guerzoni

Franco Guerzoni (Modena, 1948), artist, has focused since the early Seventies on producing works that recount a personal exploration of the world of archaeology, concentrating in particular on the stratifications of culture and the ideal of the “antique” as loss and absence. He adopts precise systems for representing images, also using photography, while continually referencing the work of his contemporaries (including Vaccari, Parmiggiani and Ghirri).

Franco Guerzoni