On February 8 (5pm), an exhibition of works donated by Giorgio Levi opens in the Project Room. These are 35 pieces, mostly tableware, airbrush decorated of Italian and European manufacture of the 1930s.
The first examples of the airbrush technique applied to ceramics date back to the modernist climate of the Weimar Republic and Bauhaus in Germany. Then the technique spread to Italy from the mid-20s, in full Deco style.
In the exhibition, a few examples of German ceramics are placed side by side with pieces by leading Italian manufacturers. Among all of them, Galvani of Pordenone stands out. In the 1930s, it realized an impressive production of low-cost pottery characterized by bright colors given by low temperatures and airbrush decorations that were easy to access and consume.
Galvani has been joined by other small and medium-sized manufacturers who have used the airbrush in a creative and innovative way: Ceramiche Rometti of Umbertide, Ceramiche Tosin – La Freccia of Vicenza, Barraud, Messeri & C. (B.M.C.) of Sesto Fiorentino, Carraresi and Lucchesi of Sesto Fiorentino, M.I.C.A. of Sesto Fiorentino, F.A.C.I. of Sesto Fiorentino. (B.M.C.) of Sesto Fiorentino, Carraresi and Lucchesi of Sesto Fiorentino, M.I.C.A. of Sesto Fiorentino, F.A.C.I. of Civita Castellana, Sbordoni of Civita Castellana-Rome.
Giorgio Levi collector and scholar of ceramics – in his essay entitled “Italian Art Dèco Ceramics” painted by airbrush” (2017) – describes the role played by the airbrush in the creation of a modern decorative language able to translate, even on objects of use, the results of formal futurist research. And he affirms how, thanks to its greater economy and rapidity compared to traditional manual painting, the airbrush also led to the simplification of Futurist and Deco decorations by manufacturers who limited themselves to interpreting the styles in an exclusively decorative key.
Giorgio Levi is from Trieste by birth and from Pisa by adoption. Professor of Computer Science at the University of Pisa until 2013, he is a collector and scholar of Italian ceramics of the twentieth century. He has published about ten volumes dedicated to Tuscan manufactures, Ezio Nesti and Bini & Carmignani of San Giovanni alla Vena, B.M.C. and Carraresi and Lucchesi of Sesto Fiorentino; the Austrian ceramist Leopold Anzengruber; the influence of the Viennese secession on Italian ceramics. He has curated an exhibition on Ezio Nesti, in Vicopisano, one on B.M.C. and Carraresi and Lucchesi in Campli and Sesto Fiorentino and one on the epigones of Rometti in Umbertide. He also curated an exhibition of contemporary ceramics, Bestiale, held in Naples, Salerno and Pisa. He is the founder of the scientific journal Ceramics and Decorative Arts of the Twentieth Century.
The exhibition will continue through May 3, 2020.