Montella irpino, 1909 – Firenze, 1969 ITALY

Five-time winner of the Premio Faenza [Faenza Prize] (1947, 1948, 1949 ex aequo, 1959 and 1960), Guido Gambone has been, with a varied yet significantly expressed execution, a mandatory anchor point for the critics and the world of Italian ceramics, over a long period of time. His research studies left an evident influence in Faenza, during the transition between the emerging Maestros of the interwar period, and the new generations, more focused on scuplting, material and widely post-informal features. In Salerno and Vietri sul Mare, Gambone devoted himself mostly to painting, which he would later go back to, and to painting on ceramics, while working at the Avallone factory and the Industria Ceramica Salernitana, directed by Max Melamerson. In Vietri, where a colony of Central European artist had settled, he established professional relationships, especially with Richard Dölker and Irene Kowaliska. His works always show a vivid attention for the popular tradition, combined with 14th and 15th-century reminiscences (a clear recall of the “return to order” in the light version provided by Massimo Campigli) and artistic journeys in Ancient times: the Etruscan world, Minoan painting and the Fayum portraits. An archaic world inside which Gambone detects some rare synthesis of pure forms and an antidote to the pressures of modernity. During the second post-war period, he started the Faenzerella Manufactory in Vietri, together with Andrea D’Arienzo. Mixing glass powder with the sand of Tropea, Gambone experiments with thick glazes which enable him to leave the decorative and painting path and create innovative objects, very close to sculpture, which stand out for their extremely material and almost primordial features. The subsequent researches on stoneware, started around 1965, led to even more remarkable results. His archaic streak took him to ever purer and absolute, often abstract shapes.