RICCARDO GATTI

Faenza - ITALY, 1886 - 1972

Together with Pietro Melandri and Anselmo Bucci, Riccardo Gatti is an outstanding reference of the Faentine ceramic research studies during the interwar and post-war periods. With his lustre glazings he obtains the special effects which mark his entire production. The very young Gatti attended, together with his fellows who would later constitute the “cenacolo baccariniano” [Baccarini circle], the local Scuola di Arti e Mestieri [Arts & Crafts School] and worked at the Venturino brothers and Virgilio Minardi’s maiolica factory. In 1908, he was classified second in the sculpture prize at the International Expo in Faenza. Between 1909 and 1911 he attended the Florence Academy of Fine Arts. After working in various local factories, in 1928 he started his own Manufactory and seized the occasion offered by Giuseppe Fabbri, to realize ceramic works based on the designs of Futurist artists; the works were exhibited that same year in October, at the “Mostra Futurista” [“Futurist Exhibition”] in Faenza and then in Rome, Mantua and eventually in Barcelona in 1929. Thanks to Gatti, Faenza made a significant contribution to the movement of the second phase of Futurism, in the path of the more productive town of Albisola, under the influence of Tullio Mazzotti. Beyond realizing works designed by Giacomo Balla, Mario Guido Dal Monte, Gerardo Dottori, and others, Gatti was a Futurist ceramicist himself, focusing on innovative decorations, yet still laid on traditional forms. After the short Futurist period, starting 1930 Gatti carried out research on metallic lustre glazes, achieved through reduction firing in the kiln. Vases, bowls, small and big sculptures are some of the creations of Gatti’s workshop, in addition to the cooperations with ENAPI and several artists and architects. He was singled out at the International Expo in Paris in 1937, at the International Berlin Expo in 1938, at the Concorso Nazionale della Ceramica di Faenza [International Ceramic Competition in Faenza] in 1957 and won the Premio Palladio [Palladio Award] in Vicenza in 1959. The Gatti workshop, still active as of today, is the oldest Faentine ceramic workshop, and stands out for its recent cooperations with the most successful Italian and international artists.