BERTOZZI e CASONI

Imola, 1980 ITALY

Bertozzi & Casoni is a company that was founded in 1980 in Imola by Giampaolo Bertozzi (Borgo Tossignano, Bologna, 1957) and Stefano Dal Monte Casoni (Lugo di Romagna, Ravenna, 1961).
Their earliest artistic education came from the State Institute of Ceramic Art in Faenza in an atmosphere dominated by a "cold" post-informalism then in vogue. They were more interested in the figurative sculptures of Angelo Biancini, with whom Bertozzi began working in the atelier situated in the school, as well as the decorative art of Gianna Boschi and the conceptual radicalism of Alfonso Leoni.
As soon as they finished their studies, Bertozzi and Casoni attended the Academy of Fine Art in Bologna, and sought to bring focus to a "new ceramic" in terms of its actors and its thinking.
Accomplishment in performing works and a certain detached irony characterised their creations from the very start, work in subtle polychromatic maiolica. The collaboration (1985-1990) with the Cooperativa Ceramica of Imola proved important, working as they did as researchers in its Ceramic Experimentation and Research Centre. In 1987 and 1988, they worked with "K International Ceramics Magazine" for whom they even created the cover images. In the Eighties, their practical virtuosity reached new heights with sculptural work, intersections with design and the accomplishment of the works of noted Italian and European artists: Arman and Alessandro Mendini, amongst others.
In 1990, they created fountains and large-scale sculptures for an urban installation in Tama, a new district of Tokyo. In 1993, they finished a large panel Say it with flowers placed on the outer wall of the Town Hospital of Imola. In the Nineties, a largely conceptual and radical aspect to their work began to emerge: here, ceramic takes on a greater and greater dimension to the point of bordering on linguistic and craftsmanlike hyperbole.
The corrosive irony of their work is always counterbalanced by an impeccable level of perfectionism in its execution. Between compositional surrealism and formal hyper-realism, Bertozzi e Casoni enquire into the waste products of contemporary society, without excluding cultural waste: going from things of the past to things related to more recent artistic tendencies. Icons such as the Brillo box analysed in the manner of Pop Art or else the cans of Artist’s Shit by Piero Manzoni find, in a refined ceramic version, enquiring into the nature of obsolescence and degradation, either the irremediable marks of time past or a way of being frozen in attitudes which, conversely, confer on them something of an immortal destiny.