April 15 - May 3 2023

@ DRAT gallery
Ljubljanska Ulica 20, Izola - Slovenia

curated by 1+1 gallery

What forms can we use to narrate nature? Which colours can we do it with? And one more, almost absurd question: is there a relationship between name and sign?
Candido Pino Castagna Fior is a small research retrospective on the ceramic work of two Italian artists, Pino Castagna and Candido Fior, who were active in the second half of the 20th century in the Veneto region.
"This exploration began almost as a game," explains Andrea Scarabelli, founder of 1+1 gallery, "I had bought a few pieces by these artists, and although at first sight they were completely different, I felt a connection. The fact that their names could be combined almost to create a nursery rhyme, and that they both had a meaning linked to nature, seemed to me an encouraging sign, as if they were hiding seeds within themselves".
Both classically trained artists, graduates from the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, Castagna and Fior, in the years when ceramics worked in the service of mass production, decided to take lateral paths, in some ways parallel to each other even geographically (their two studios, between Lake Garda and Padua, were just 100 km apart), with more humble creations, close to nature, the earth and people, while gaining due recognition with exhibitions in major institutions, in Italy and abroad.
Pino Castagna, a versatile sculptor and designer who also worked with glass, bronze, cast iron, steel and cement, in his ceramic production he devoted himself above all to colour experimentation in decoration, abstract but with strong natural references, often in very intense tones. Having started out from initiatives that gave his artistic work a strong social connotation, conducting workshops with prisoners and psychiatric hospital patients in the 1950s, he went on to become one of the leading names in Italian sculpture and to create works of large dimensions, up to six metres in height, designed to be placed outdoors and to be 'animated' by the weather. Nevertheless, throughout the course of his career, Castagna continued to devote himself to the production of everyday ceramic objects, such as plates, vases and jugs, but also to small works such as the Vases open on one side and with folded edges, made in the 1990s and of which a few examples are displayed in this exhibition.