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Cèramica 2024 June 21-23 in Montelupo Fiorentino (Florence, Italy)

Posted on06/18/2024 by

Three days of exhibitions, events, exhibition market, residencies, workshops in the ceramic district.

Now in its 31st year, the Cèramica 2024 event returns June 21, 22 and 23 to Montelupo Fiorentino with a packed program of exhibitions, site-specific installations, events, international residencies and exchanges, workshops and laboratories, open workshops, and performance activities.

This year's theme is also a pretext for reflecting on the theme of alchemy in a contemporary key, so much so that it will become the main theme of the 2024 edition of Cèramica: "Alchemy of Matter".

For three days Montelupo is transformed into a creative construction site, crossing the city's arteries to highlight the places of production, to bring people together in workshops that stimulate creativity and an intelligent and new use of urban spaces.

Below we highlight the most significant exhibitions and events located in all the nerve centers of the Montelupo system: the Museum of Ceramics, which houses museum itinerary, important exhibitions and collections; the Palazzo Podestarile with temporary exhibitions and warehouses; the Museum's Furnace home to didactics, workshops, artist residencies; the Workshops and artist studios that count about 40 production sites; the Bitossi Archive Museum, a well-known business museum; the Marco Bagnoli Atelier, home of his studio and collections; the Site Specific Urban Art Route with contemporary ceramic works and contemporary collections; the School of Ceramics with the Experimental Ceramic Center for specialized training; the Museum and archaeological sites; and finally the Artistic Research Pathways for international residency exchanges.

The exhibitions

Terre di Spezierie: Montelupo Ceramics for Santa Maria Nuova and the Historical Pharmacies of Tuscany - Curated by Lorenza Camin and Alessio Ferrari at the Museo della Ceramica.

The role of the Montelupo Fiorentino manufactory for the hospital, private and convent apothecaries' shops of Tuscany is restored through a major diffuse exhibition involving several exhibition centers: the Museum of Ceramics in Montelupo Fiorentino, the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, the Museo Galileo, the Museo di San Marco, the Officina di Santa Maria Novella, the Antica Spezieria Servitori in Figline Valdarno (Florence), the Aboca Museum in Sansepolcro (Arezzo) and the Spezieria di Santa Fina, Museo Civico di San Gimignano (Siena).

The exhibition presents ceramics that testify to the long relationship between Montelupo manufactures and the pharmacies of Tuscany. As early as the 15th century, Montelupo master potters supplied vessels for hospital, convent and private apothecaries, and fragments of these vessels, found in excavations of the kilns, demonstrate Montelupo's importance in this sector. In fact, the vessels, decorated like table faience, ensured good preservation of medicines and were easy to clean. The spread of these ceramics in museum and private collections, both in Italy and abroad, confirms the importance of the orders Montelupo received between the 15th and 17th centuries. The exhibition runs through January 6, 2025.

SPICE, Alchemy in Ceramics.
Curated by Benedetta Falteri at the Palazzo Podestarile.

Montelupo ceramicists reinterpret the historic role of local ceramics in Tuscan pharmacies addressed in the exhibition Terre di Spezierie: Montelupo's ceramics for Santa Maria Nuova and the historic pharmacies of Tuscany through sculptures, installations, workshops and performances.

Pottery is not only the perfect container for medicated ointments, perfumes and spices, but also of intangible and symbolic values such as care, beauty, harmony and well-being. Shapes and decorations, extremely careful, accompanying gestures and preserving substances and essences. A non-domestic use of ceramics, but always related to the everyday sphere of life, and which highlights content and container, style and beauty, functionality and resistance of materials, opening a reflection on the restitution, in the contemporary world, of the many concepts that can be applied to it, and which we wanted to summarize in the concept of alchemy. The works of Ivana Antonini, Giulia Alba Chiara Bono, Stefano Bartoloni, Patrizio Bartoloni, Giulia Cantarutti, Shilha Cintelli, Carlotta Fantozzi, Karin Putsch Grassi, Andrea Susanne Heinisch, Marzia Pallanti, Sergio Pilastri, Paola Staccioli, Beatriz Irene Scotti and Paola Ramondini, Eugenio Taccini, Serena Tani and Marco Ulivieri are on display.

Cantieri Montelupo, contemporary ceramic art and relationship.
Curated by Christian Caliandro, at the Via XX Settembre Gallery and on the Pesa River embankment wall.

The exhibition presents works from the third edition of Cantieri Montelupo, the artist residency program curated by Christian Caliandro, which this year involved artists Anna Capolupo, Maria Palmieri, Roxy in the Box, and Alessandro Scarabello, along with ceramists Ceramiche d'Arte Ammannati, Patrizio Bartoloni, Ivana Antonini (with the collaboration of Marco Ulivieri) and Stefano Bartoloni.

The Cantieri Montelupo exhibition represents the concluding moment of an artist residency course that began in June 2023 and recently concluded, which gave rise to the development of research paths between visual art and ceramics and the creation of two site-specific works created through the active involvement of ceramists from the area and the entire community of Montelupo Fiorentino. The project aims to promote dialogue between the museum, ceramic production and the community, using the language of contemporary art and with only one rule: artists with no previous experience with ceramics, and indeed who come from the languages seemingly most distant from it, are invited, so as to activate spontaneous mechanisms free from prior conditioning.

Installations and site-specific works

A ceramic flower is born! - Ugo La Pietra Piazza
Vittorio Veneto

The inauguration of the new work Nasce un fiore di ceramica! created by Montelupo ceramists based on a project by artist Ugo La Pietra, one of the most influential artists on the Italian and international scene, enriches the itinerary of site-specific works that already consists of 13 installations created by Ugo la Pietra, Lucio Perone, Gianni Asdrubali, Hidetoshi Nagasawa, Loris Cecchini, Bertozzi & Casoni, Fabrizio Plessi, Andrea Salvatori, Luce Raggi, Mario Trimarchi, Antonio Aricò, and Marco Bagnoli.

The new intervention is oriented on the characterization of the access walls and staircase of Vittorio Veneto Square. In formulating the design, Ugo La Pietra drew on the traditional motifs of Montelupo ceramics. The staircase will reproduce, in an increasing form, a flower blooming at each step, using the traditional polychromy of Montelupo ceramics with a motif that echoes the elaboration of the plant motifs contained in the museum's historical collections, but also the later elaborations of 20th-century productions. The side panels, on the other hand, constitute an artistic elaboration of the forms contained in the traditional repertoire of Montelupo ceramics (vases, containers, open forms).

Site-specific installations of the Cantiere Montelupo project installed along the embankment wall of the Pesa River - Embankment Wall Pesa River

During Cantieri Montelupo's recently concluded art residencies, Anna Capolupo and Alessandro Scarabello, two of the best Italian painters of their generation, tackled the creation of large porcelain stoneware panels that were installed on the Pesa embankment wall.

Rapacissime - Anna Capolupo

"A still life with harpy" measuring three meters by three in which Anna Capolupo, with the rich and dense painting that characterizes her original production, has reworked one of the most famous figures of the Montelupese ceramic tradition.

Opera Nigra - Alessandro Scarabello

Black and white triptych measuring three meters by seven, featuring an animal in metaphysical spaces painted by Alessandro Scarabello in his unmistakable gestural style.

Site-specific installations from the Cantiere Montelupo project installed along the embankment wall of the Pesa River
Ceramics exhibition market

Over the course of the three-day event there will be the usual ceramics exhibition market with exhibitors from all over Italy and abroad, which for this edition has registered a very important number of adhesions. A snapshot of the contemporary Italian and international craft and artistic scene that will also host ceramists from Montelupo Fiorentino's twin cities and from the cities in the AICC network, with the collaboration of the Montelupo Fiorentino Ceramics Road Association, CNA and the Union of Samminiatello Terracotta Kilns.

Workshops and demonstrations

The magic of terracotta
Liberty Square

The masters of the Union of Terracotta Furnaces, known for their skill in making large pitchers as well as small artifacts, will give demonstrations of potter's wheel molding and decoration.

The pottery workshop
Corso Garibaldi

Master potters from Montelupo, with guests arriving from Italian ceramic cities, will offer demonstrations of various working techniques in a space that recreates the atmosphere of the workshop. Work by the Montelupo Fiorentino Ceramic Road manufactures and artists, ranging from the repertoire of traditional ceramics, to design, raku techniques, and contemporary artistic sculpture, will also be set up among the work stations.

Children's Cèramica
Garden of the Palazzo Podestarile and historic center

Specific workshops and activities aimed at children and young people will be offered during the three days. Art workshops in manipulation, sculpture and decoration will be held on the afternoons of the event in the garden of the Podestarile Palace, as well as performances and widespread entertainment.

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