Faenza - ITALY, 1926 - 2002

Starting form the latter part of the 1950s, Carlo Zauli was a crucial anchor point for domestic and international ceramics. His researches on stoneware and his “cold” informal sculpting conception, immediately found a long-lasting appreciation by the public. Zauli began his studies at the Art Institute in Faenza, however, because of World War Two, he completed them only in 1948. In 1950 he took over the studio previously owned by Mario Morelli and started the Nuova Ca’ Pirota Manufactory with Uberto Zannoni. The first trials show an interest for the neo-primitive taste, with echoes of the Mediterranean, Minoan and especially Cycladic ceramic sculpture. In 1948, Vaso asimmetrico [Asymmetric vase], earned him his first Premio Faenza [Faenza Prize], and more were to follow in 1958 and in 1962. Between 1956 and 1957 he started focusing on stoneware, but still used maiolica, as in the big ornamental frieze for the Baghdad Royal Palace (1958) and the big reliefs in Teheran and for the State of Kuwait in 1960 and 1961. Thanks to stoneware, Zauli definitely freed ceramics from being a minor art and raised it to the level of sculpture, even in works of big dimensions, and also into the world of design. In 1958 he was assigned the post of Practical Technology at the Art Institute in Faenza and in 1960 he appeared among the founders of the Faentine tile factory ‘La Faenza’. He staged solo exhibitions in the most important Italian galleries and was repeatedly invited to display his works in Japan, where the elegance and technical achievements of his pieces are held in high regard. From the beginning of the 1960s, he used more and more frequently a white-coloured monochrome - with grey, pink and rusty nuances - known as “Zauli white”. In the series of the Ruote [Wheels], Sfere [Spheres], Cubo alato [Winged cube], Colonne [Columns], Zolle [Clods] and Arate [Ploughed fields], Zauli brings his own ideal of form to the highest peak: almost classical, non- emotional, well-calculated, ordered and peaceful, in spite of the ruptures and lacerations of contemporary times.