But anyone who expects a collection of harmless, readily comprehensible cuteness is likely to feel disconcerted by Lanzi’s idiosyncratic cosmos of awkward masklike dolls, archaic depictions of animals and abstractly schematized plants. This artist from Bologna explores these subjects in ceramics and in delicate pastel sketches. His creations may remind their viewer of seemingly familiar objects or call to mind events that the beholder has personally experienced. Observers might be reminded of toys from their childhood, children’s sketches or cult objects from indigenous cultures.
Although they are deliberately not endowed with a narrative quality, the stereotypical jointed dolls without physiognomic individuality – which Lanzi often entitles “Feticcio” (“Fetish”) – serve this artist as bearers of strongly expressive messages. The inconspicuous colored allusions in the painted surfaces of some figures hint at the vulnerability of all living creatures and allow these artworks, with all their ambiguity, to function as screens for individual projections.
Anyone who surrenders to the magic of Luca Lanzi’s enigmatic creations leaves behind the mechanized, explicable world of daily life and embarks on an adventure of associations and ambivalent feelings – not only exploring the traces of one’s own individual’s past, but also undertaking a cultural voyage of discovery.
The exhibit opens at 11:30 a.m. on May 27, 2018. The artist will be present. A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition.
Zentrum für moderne+historische Keramik