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Press Release

Sperone Westwater is pleased to present an exhibition of ceramic sculptures by the Italian artists Bertozzi & Casoni, featuring their new series, The Five Seasons, a reconstruction of the paintings by the late Renaissance master Giuseppe Arcimboldo. In his late 16th century portraits, Arcimboldo represents each season - Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall – through a human face rendered out of plants, fruits and vegetables. Bertozzi & Casoni’s work is not simply a transliteration of painting into sculpture, but rather their own interpretation of Arcimboldo’s prompt. The face of Winter (Inverno) is wrought out of gnarled tree bark and barren branches, Spring (Primavera) out of delicate flowers and vibrant leaves, Summer (Estate) boasts glistening vegetation and for the face of Fall (Autunno), a cornucopia of the harvest’s bounties. Quinta Stagione, a sculpture of a fifth season of their creation, offers an allusion to Arcimboldo’s Four Seasons in One Head, perhaps “a self-portrait of the artist in the ‘winter’ of his life, [or] a summa of his career.” The ceramic extension cords, rusted cans and flexible PVC tubing that make up Quinta Stagione sit in juxtaposition to the artists’ abounding representations of the four conventional seasons.    

 

New handbag and tray sculptures will be installed on the second floor. The handbag has long served as one of the most ubiquitous symbols of luxury and status within the world of women’s fashion. Bertozzi & Casoni’s designer line of purses, many of which are titled after influential women in media and the contemporary art scene, sit open and abandoned to reveal their contents – guns, cigarettes, sunglasses and pill bottles. These handbags lie at the intersection of surrealism and hyperrealism – placing the absurd within the ordinary to call into question our notions of luxury, consumerism and femininity. While the trays – teeming with broken eggshells, silverware and newspapers – typify the technical prowess of Bertozzi & Casoni’s practice, they once again capture the artists’ fascination with the underside of consumption – with the idea that, though “the rubbish you find in the street is ugly, [when] you remove the smell, it becomes beautiful.”

 

Since the beginning of their career, Bertozzi & Casoni saw in pottery the opportunity to revitalize an artform. Their approach to ceramics is characterized by hyper-realistic recreations of real-life objects. In this mimetic ceramic form, their objects make permanent what we perceive to be the transient markers of our existence – a luxury handbag or a broken eggshell. Their work simultaneously creates illusions and shatters them – forcing you to realize that the objects they present before you are, despite their realism, made of ceramic, and in the wake of that realization, to question your perception of the object itself.

 

Giampaolo Bertozzi, born in Borgo Tossignano in 1957, and Stefano Dal Monte Casoni, born in Lugo di Romagna in 1961, met as students at the Gaetano Ballardini Ceramic Art Institute in Faenza, Italy. Their work was featured in the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2009 and 2011. Solo museum exhibitions include a survey at Castello Sforzesco and Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza (2008-09), a solo show at Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali, Polignano a Mare, Italy (2011-12); and “Bertozzi & Casoni: Timeless” at the Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag, The Netherlands (2013). Recent solo museum exhibitions include MAMbo, Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (2015-16); Palazzo Poggi, Bologna (2017); Museo MARCA, Catanzaro (2019); and Museo Morandi, Bologna (2019-20). In 2017, Museo Bertozzi & Casoni, a permanent exhibition space devoted to their work, opened at the Cavallerizza Ducale in Sassuolo, Italy. Bertozzi & Casoni currently live and work in Imola, Italy. This will be their third solo show at Sperone Westwater, New York, preceded by one in 2005 and in 2015.

 

For sales inquiries, please contact Maggie Waterhouse at maggie@speronewestwater.com.
For press inquiries, please contact Natasha Wolff at natasha@speronewestwater.com.

Installations

Installations Thumbnails
five bust sculptures installed in gallery on white pedestals
a bust of fruits and vegetables sits on a white pedestal in a big gallery room
a white shelf holds seven sculptures resembling designer handbags and food trays
five bust sculptures installed in gallery on white pedestals
a bust of fruits and vegetables sits on a white pedestal in a big gallery room
a white shelf holds seven sculptures resembling designer handbags and food trays

Selected Works1

Selected Works1 Thumbnails

Bertozzi & Casoni

Inverno, 2019

polychrome ceramic

28 1/2 x 22 x 20 1/2 inches (72,4 x 55,9 x 52,1 cm)

SW 21083

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Bertozzi & Casoni

Primavera, 2021

polychrome ceramic

25 1/2 x 26 x 14 1/2 inches (64,8 x 66 x 36,8 cm)

SW 21081

Inquire

Bertozzi & Casoni

Estate, 2019

polychrome ceramic

29 x 24 x 13 1/2 inches (73,7 x 61 x 34,3 cm)

SW 21082

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Bertozzi & Casoni

Autunno, 2019

polychrome ceramic

29 9/16 x 18 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches (75,1 x 47 x 54,6 cm)

SW 21080

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Bertozzi & Casoni

Quinta Stagione, 2020

polychrome ceramic

31 x 26 x 17 1/2 inches (78,7 x 66 x 44,5 cm)

SW 21084

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Bertozzi & Casoni

Luisa, 2021

polychrome ceramic

10 1/8 x 10 1/4 x 9 inches (25,7 x 26 x 22,9 cm)

SW 21089

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Bertozzi & Casoni

Rosa pallido, 2021

polychrome ceramic

8 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches (21,6 x 21,6 x 21,6 cm)

SW 21085

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Bertozzi & Casoni

Pensiero, 2021

polychrome ceramic

10 1/4 x 12 x 11 inches (26 x 30,5 x 27,9 cm)

SW 21086

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Bertozzi & Casoni

Amalia, 2021

polychrome ceramic

9 x 10 x 8 inches (22,9 x 25,4 x 20,3 cm)

SW 21087

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Bertozzi & Casoni

Avanzi, 2020

polychrome ceramic

6 x 14 3/4 x 11 inches (15,2 x 37,5 x 27,9 cm)

SW 21092

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Bertozzi & Casoni

Giuseppe 1526, 2021

polychrome ceramic

4 1/2 x 17 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches (11,5 x 44 x 24 cm)

SW 21091

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Bertozzi & Casoni

Sperpero, 2021

polychrome ceramic

7 x 23 x 14 inches (17,8 x 58,4 x 35,6 cm)

SW 21090

Inquire

Bertozzi & Casoni

Inverno, 2019

polychrome ceramic

28 1/2 x 22 x 20 1/2 inches (72,4 x 55,9 x 52,1 cm)

SW 21083

Bertozzi & Casoni

Primavera, 2021

polychrome ceramic

25 1/2 x 26 x 14 1/2 inches (64,8 x 66 x 36,8 cm)

SW 21081

Bertozzi & Casoni

Estate, 2019

polychrome ceramic

29 x 24 x 13 1/2 inches (73,7 x 61 x 34,3 cm)

SW 21082

Bertozzi & Casoni

Autunno, 2019

polychrome ceramic

29 9/16 x 18 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches (75,1 x 47 x 54,6 cm)

SW 21080

Bertozzi & Casoni

Quinta Stagione, 2020

polychrome ceramic

31 x 26 x 17 1/2 inches (78,7 x 66 x 44,5 cm)

SW 21084

Bertozzi & Casoni

Luisa, 2021

polychrome ceramic

10 1/8 x 10 1/4 x 9 inches (25,7 x 26 x 22,9 cm)

SW 21089

Bertozzi & Casoni

Rosa pallido, 2021

polychrome ceramic

8 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches (21,6 x 21,6 x 21,6 cm)

SW 21085

Bertozzi & Casoni

Pensiero, 2021

polychrome ceramic

10 1/4 x 12 x 11 inches (26 x 30,5 x 27,9 cm)

SW 21086

Bertozzi & Casoni

Amalia, 2021

polychrome ceramic

9 x 10 x 8 inches (22,9 x 25,4 x 20,3 cm)

SW 21087

Bertozzi & Casoni

Avanzi, 2020

polychrome ceramic

6 x 14 3/4 x 11 inches (15,2 x 37,5 x 27,9 cm)

SW 21092

Bertozzi & Casoni

Giuseppe 1526, 2021

polychrome ceramic

4 1/2 x 17 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches (11,5 x 44 x 24 cm)

SW 21091

Bertozzi & Casoni

Sperpero, 2021

polychrome ceramic

7 x 23 x 14 inches (17,8 x 58,4 x 35,6 cm)

SW 21090