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Ravenna

07

Jan
2015

8 Comments

In Uncategorized

By Nancie

A Modern Mosaic Menagerie: Aneme Mosaico’s Zoological Studies In Stone

On 07, Jan 2015 | 8 Comments | In Uncategorized | By Nancie

Aneme.Mosaico_Panthera Pardus_37,5x28,5 cm_2014

Aneme Mosaico “Panthera Pardus” (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

We want them all. The Leopard. The Hippo. The Bear. The Llama . . . We want the whole zoological catalogue in stone by Melissa Moliterno and Andrea Poma of Aneme Mosaico.

Mosaic Menagerie

Animals have always been the subject of mosaics.

Lod Mosaic, Israel. Central panel. Circa 300 ac

Lod Mosaic, Israel. Central panel. Circa 300 ac

But, Aneme Mosaico’s enchanting images were something completely new to us. Their fresh, unique approach to the subject matter immediately brought to mind the exquisite watercolor illustrations of the 1700s and 1800s.

Edward Lear "Kob Antelope" 1837  Photo via internet

Edward Lear “Kob Antelope” (1837) Watercolor Photo via internet

And indeed, according to the duo . . .

“Our works are based on the careful study of the materials and colors, on the the ability to synthesize ancient mosaic techniques with the zoological catalogues of the 19th century.”

"Dama-Dama" (2014) 1385 x 1165 cm.

“Dama-Dama” (2014)  37.5 x 28.5 cm

Moliterno (Cosenza, Italy 1988) and Poma (Parese, Italy, 1989) met while studying at the Ravenna Fine Arts Academy in Italy. They have both shown extensively, with Poma taking the prestigious Experimental Prize at GAEM 2013 for his innovative work Impressioni. We found this work to be a highlight of RavennaMosaico 2013. (Previous story on MAN here.)

Andrea Poma "Impressioni" 2013  90 x 130 cm  Glass.

Andrea Poma “Impressioni” 2013 90 x 130 cm Glass.

Andrea Pomoa "Impressioni" Detail  Photo: NTMP

Andrea Pomoa “Impressioni” Detail Photo: NTMP

Their collaboration in creating these glorious critters began in 2013. In 2014, they presented this body of work as Animalario in an exhibition in Ravenna. (You will want to click twice to see the large versions of these photos.)

Llama Glama (2014) 375 x 285 cm

Llama Glama (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

“Pictures and stones, cement and blank papers are mixed, becoming a single entity. Our materials are chosen according to the shape, to their veining and to their composition. They are no longer regular tesserae, but anatomical ones; stones that become cheeks, paws, and ears.”

"Ursus Arctos" (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

“Ursus Arctos” (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

"Hippopotamus Amphibius" (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

“Hippopotamus Amphibius” (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

"Canis Lupus" (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

“Canis Lupus” (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

Aneme.Mosaico_Canis Lupus_Particolare

"Loxodonta Africana" (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm.

“Loxodonta Africana” (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm.

CavalloFacebook

“Cavallo” (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

"Diceros Bicornis" (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

“Diceros Bicornis” (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

Yes, and just when you thought these works couldn’t get any more delightful, there is the panda.

"Ailurpoda Melanoleuca" (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

“Ailurpoda Melanoleuca” (2014) 37.5 x 28.5 cm

Aneme Mosaico is offering these beautiful mosaics for 250Euro. We are not sure how many are left after the holidays and there are other, smaller works of birds that are equally spectacular. Please contact the artists at aneme.mosaico@gmail.com with your questions. (We should probably make it clear that MAN has no financial arrangement with Aneme Mosaico at all.)

Enjoy – Nancie

26

Sep
2014

4 Comments

In Uncategorized

By Nancie

Creating a New Identity for Mosaic: The GAEM Prize 2013

On 26, Sep 2014 | 4 Comments | In Uncategorized | By Nancie

Even as Ravenna Italy is the eternal steward of mosaic’s Byzantine past, it is also the incubator for the art form’s dynamic future.

This is no more evident than in the Young Artists and Mosaic (GAEM) competition, a biennial contest hosted by the Art Museum of the City of Ravenna (MAR) in conjunction with the international mosaic festival, RavennaMosaico. Invited artists under the age of 40 are asked to create works that “should deal with the constitutive, formal & poetic language of mosaic.” (MAN article on 2011 GAEM here.)

This is where the very nature of mosaic is poked, prodded, and, if successful, expanded.  In 2013, this included the use of nails and felt, an audience-participatory build-your-own-ceramic hamburger and a luscious video of a man and woman painting tesserae on one another – imagine those Byzantine icons coming alive. Even in the crowded traffic-jam of Notte d’Oro last October, we were mesmerized by many of the works and quite honestly flumoxed by others.

Kim Jae Hee "Corea del Sud" (Uncomfortable House) 2010 40 x 40 cm Nails & felt  Photo courtesy MAR

Jae Hee Kim (South Korea) “Corea del Sud” (Uncomfortable House) 2010 40 x 40 cm . Nails & felt    Photo courtesy MAR

Photo courtesy MAR

Photo courtesy MAR

Silvia Naddeo NTMP

Silvia Naddeo “My Panino” 2013. Multimedia. Variable size       Photo: NTMP

Silvia Naddeo "My Panino" 2013 Detail  Photo: MAN

Silvia Naddeo “My Panino” 2013 Detail      Photo: NTMP

Takako Hirai (Japan) won the Traditional Technique Award for her absolutely stunning Vene which appeared to be the construction, destruction, and reassembly of an organic shape that seemed ready to depart from the wall at any second.

Takako Hirai "Vene" 2013  150 x 150 cm. Marble, mortar. Photo: NTMP

Takako Hirai “Vene” 2013 150 x 150 cm. Marble, mortar. Photo: NTMP

Takako_Hirai_Vene_2013_detail_PhotoNTMP

Takako Hirai “Vene” 2013 detail Photo: NTMP

Andrea Poma (Italy) took the Experimental Prize for his brilliant Impressioni – a work which turned the mosaic component of “interstice” on its ear.  Poma used an etched piece of glass to project the shadow of spaces between tesserae onto a wall – as opposed to those shadowy spaces being created by the indentations in a wall covered in mosaic.

Andrea Poma "Impressioni" 2013  90 x 130 cm  Glass.

Andrea Poma “Impressioni” 2013 90 x 130 cm Glass.  Photo courtesy MAR

Andrea Pomoa "Impressioni" Detail  Photo: NTMP

Andrea Poma “Impressioni” Detail             Photo: NTMP

These are not your nonna’s mosaics – to be sure.  They are surprisingly cerebral, engaging and beautiful. But . . . are these musings on an ancient, time-consuming, historically pedantic art form relevant today? Or, as Exhibit Curator Linda Kniffitz puts it:

“Does mosaic still possess an autonomous, expressive power outside of the confines of Ravenna’s strong identity as a custodian of this ancient and highly symbolic art?”

What follows are the thoughtful and illuminating Exhibition catalogue essays by Curator Kniffitz, who is also the Director of the Center for International Documentation of Mosaic at MAR, and her co-curator for the 2013 GAEM, Daniele Torcellini, art critic and professor at the Academy of Fine Art Ravenna and Genoa. They offer knowledgeable, passionate responses to the questions above and in the process touch on art history, criticism, current art world trends, and the nature of art vs craft — all within the context of the glorious possibilities that mosaic has to offer. This is heady stuff for mosaic makers and nerds alike. Take your time and enjoy! – Nancie

Finding an Identity for Mosaic – Linda Kniffitz

When we initiated the GAEM competition in 2011, our intent was to stimulate a discourse on contemporary art in relation to mosaic and in doing so, to create a moment of comparison between makers from different schools and countries. In 2013, we received another set of very positive contributions in terms of both the richness of the visions proposed and the international provenance of the young artists.

But why indeed should we dedicate a competition to a technique that appears to be so complex and slow compared to the current trends in the visual arts that no longer envisages linearity and narration, but instead reward circularity, contamination and the use of different means of expression?

Does mosaic still possess an autonomous expressive power outside of the confines of Ravenna’s strong identity as a custodian of this ancient and highly symbolic art?

Raffaella Ceccarossi "Emerging" 2013 37 x 140 x 12 cm  Smalti and marble.

Raffaella Ceccarossi “Emerging” 2013 37 x 140 x 12 cm Smalti and marble.   Photo courtesy MAR

In its beginnings, mosaic was associated with the strong political purposes and economic investments (carefully chosen imagery, precious materials, highly specialized artisans, ) that forged it into a supremely stately instrument.  In the last decades of the 19th century, it was rediscovered for its inherently symbolic character in an anti-Impressionist and anti-Naturalist function.  The young art critic George Aurier, in championing the acceptance of Symbolism, spurred the revival of medieval visual art forms like mosaic and mural decoration.

In the 30s, the Futurist painter Gino Severini (whose name is now synonymous with modern mosaic) extolled the virtues of mosaic not for its value as a surface covering, but for its extraordinary capacity to express a synthesis – to condense an entire meaning into a single stylized, highly representative sign.

Luca Barberini "Portraits Collection" 2013  Variable size.  Smalti and marble.

Luca Barberini “Portraits Collection” 2013 Variable size. Smalti and marble.  Photo NTMP

The Exposition of Contemporary Mosaics of 1959 in Ravenna organized by mosaic author and historian Giuseppi Bovini signaled the beginning of a multi-decade long discussion of mosaic and its place as an art form.  In the 1990s, mosaic’s “right to be” within the contemporary artistic landscape was championed by Italian art critic, painter and philosopher Gillo Dorfles who initially defined it as a “super modern medium of expression.” In the end, however, he unfortunately came to look at mosaic solely within the context of artistic “design-object”, a phrase which smacks of refined craft.

Luca Barberini "Portraits Collection" 2013  Variable size. Smalti and marble.

Luca Barberini “Portraits Collection” 2013 Variable size. Smalti and marble.  Photo courtesy MAR

During the last decade, more voices have joined the debate about mosaic’s place from Bruno Bandini to Daniele Astrolog Abadal and to younger critics, in particular those from the Romagna region.

Luca Barberini "Portraits Colection" 2013 Various sizes. Smalti & marble. Photo courtesy MAR

Luca Barberini “Portraits Colection” 2013 Various sizes. Smalti & marble.   Photo courtesy MAR

In the twenty-first century, the time has come to circumvent all of these deliberations and endow mosaic with an identity – a term out of fashion, perhaps, but still useful.  Mosaic needs an identity that must be directed and defined – squeezed for all its worth in order to extract its meaning and possible new directions.  Mosaic possesses visual characteristics which capture attention because they are not accessible with a single glance; in order to really appreciate a mosaic, it is necessary to not only explore the perceived image created in the medium, but the relational properties of the individual pieces that compose the image.

In looking for an identity for mosaic, it is also necessary to clear the field of the production of many famous contemporary artists who may utilize certain elements of mosaic like fragmentation