Zauli, Carlo

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Faenza (IT)
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Carlo Zauli is born in Faenza (IT) in 1926. between 1947 and 1949 he is visiting Instituto Statale d'Arte per la Ceramica, Faenza. He opens his own studio in 1950. In 1958 he creates a majolica frieze for the Kingspalace in Bagdad. Between 1958 and 1978 he is teacher at the Instituto Statale d'Arte per la Ceramica in Faenza. Since 1973 he also made statues in bronze and marble. Since 1975 he opens a workshop in Milano. Between 1980 and 1984 he is the president of the Instituto Statale Industrie Artistiche in Faenza. Zauli passed away in 2002.

Zauli has won the grand-prix of the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza, has come to be recognized internationally for his creative practices that followed thereafter. As the standard-bearer of the Italian ceramic art world, he has produced highly dynamic scupltures made of ceramics through an exhaustive pursuit of the possibilities of earth as a medium. His talents have also shined in such fields as fine and elaborate architectural façades and tile design, and his non-ceramic designs and lithographs have also received high acclaim.

Visit the Carlo Zauli Museum in Faenza:

Pictures: portrait Carlo Zauli (source: Carlo Zauli Museum, Faenza); Carlo Zauli 1953 (source Wikipédia); object 'Horizontal Vibration', 1971 (National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto).

Work of the artist: 

About a vase (from 1950 to 1967) 

The vase, the archetype of every ceramist, is central to the research of the initial period of Carlo Zauli who, after leaving the Faenza Institute of Art, immediately dedicated himself to contemporary production, and within only a few years began to innovate its techniques, shapes and decorative choices.

Natural vibrations (from 1967 to 1993)

At the end of the 1960s, Carlo Zauli deepens his most accomplished research, starting with primary forms shaped by the vitalistic and material vibrations that become the centre of his artistic progression. The geometric solidity seems to become naturalistic and permeated with an intense sensuality thanks to an endogenous movement that is revealed by gentle waves and sinuous surfaces. The perpetually fragile balance between these formal opposites becomes the key to the extremely strong interest in Zauli’s work by distant cultures, especially the Japanese, in whose philosophical dialogue between the yin and the yang, by his own admission, the artist perfectly recognises himself. This dynamism, continuously reshaped over the following years, sometimes comes to cut through these forms, allowing a glimpse into the rough interior of the material which springs out.

Geometric research (from 1966 to 1987)

It is through research in the field of ceramics in industrial design and the creation of increasingly regular and perfect vases that Carlo Zauli deepens his distinctly geometric sculptural research. From the high reliefs of 1966 to the sculptures of the late 1980s, geometry continuously becomes the main theme linking the artist to his own material sensitivity.

The Distorted (1976 to 1987)

Even after reaching full sculptural maturity, Zauli does not abandon the first object of observation – the vase – breaking it, tearing it, turning it upside down, and including it in the same metamorphosis of his primary geometric shapes. Thus came to be, in 1976, the Distorted Vases, torn or bent by a violent gesture, and in 1987 the Distorted Sensualities, vases that close up to become modules for a final, dramatic sculptural evolution of the artist.

The clods (from 1972 to 1987)

It is especially when Zauli deals with the theme of the clods (of clay) that he explicitly conveys the intimate symbiosis of his work with the earth. Earth, thus, is considered both a sensitive material and the starting point for all ceramic and non-ceramic works, as well as an actual geographical root. Works such as le Arate (the ploughs) or le Zolle (the clods), are created with an assembly of real clods of clay taken from the mixer and directly applied to geometric supports. Through their irregular morphology, they express the primordial strength and rough consistency of the material (text Museo Zauli Faenza).




Thormann, Olaf, Gefäss / Skulptur, Deutsche und internationale Keramik seit 1946, 2014