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The International Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art, Premio Faenza

On Monday 28th February 2005, the Jury of the 54th “Premio Faenza” – the International Competition of Contemporary Art, assessed the entries.

Their opinion:

"The work Silence I and II has been considered worthy of the first prize equally for the ability to condense an expression of extreme simplicity into a material of great delicacy and thinness and for the new effect of depth expressed by the successful contrast between the outer surface and the inner void ".

Mibarrioeraasi…Asi…Asi…Esdecir…Quéseyosieraasi!…Peroyomeloacuerdoasi ('Night in my district', by Anibal Troilo) has been considered worthy of the first prize equally for the great formal and chromatic control of its several plastic elements that come from a light-hearted interpretation of the tradition and that reveal awareness and active participation in the most recent artistic happenings".

Winners of the 2005 'Premio Faenza'

Italian-Argentine Silvia Zotta and Japanese Tomoko Kawakami equally won the Premio Faenza 2005.

Mibarrioeraasi…Asi…Asi…Esdecir…Quéseyosieraasi!…Peroyomeloacuerdoasi ('Night in my district', by Anibal Troilo) | Silence I & II

Their works were been selected from 120 works of 96 artists from all around the world.

Lynda Draper (Australia) and Kenichi Harayama (Japan) received premier acquisition awards for 'Still Life' and 'Root Down'.

Still Life | Root Down


History of the Award

The International Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art has marked the cultural history of Faenza during 20th century, setting a worldwide ceramic benchmark especially starting from 1960s. Established in 1932 with a regional extent on the initiative of the Museum of Faenza and the sponsorship of E.N.A.P.I. (Ente Nazionale Artigianato e Piccole Industrie), the Competition did not appeared as an independent event, but on the contrary it was included in a set of initiatives of fair-promotional character, also very different each other, that Faenza had organised for some years under the name “Settimana Faentina” (Faenza week).

The Competition, from its very first editions, was not an extemporary event: it came from the tradition of ceramics in Faenza and had a basis in Gaetano Ballardini dictates. In fact, he successfully decided to write down in the statute of the newborn Museum (1908) “to hold international, periodical exhibitions of ceramics combining both the two artistic sides: the technique and the practical use” and in addition “to hold international competitions for ceramic production from the artistic and technical viewpoints”.

In 1938 the Competition became national; it was the first time that an event in this field was opened in Europe with a specific character, a periodical pace and without trade purposes.

The war-interlude interrupted the development of the Competition in 1942 but it immediately resumed in 1946, continuing regularly until now: yearly until 1987, biennial from 1989. In 1963 the Competition was extended to an international level.

This Event has always been, since the beginning, an important step in the improvement, in the renewal and in the promotion of ceramics not only as far as the artistic and decorative aspect is concerned but also regarding the functional and furnishing viewpoint. In addition, it boosted a complex research, both aesthetic and linked to experiences in the field of technology of clay, of glazes, of firings borrowed from the industry and involving the industry itself in the design of gift and fancy goods and of tiles.

Seen not only as a spur to traditional ceramics, but in particular as an experience, often difficult, in order to come up to this material, to mould it, to put it in aesthetic purposes, the Faenza Competition allowed an interesting comparison with contemporary art and, in particular in the last fifty years, witnessed an important involvement with sculpture.
In the turn of 20th century, except from some leading personalities such as Arturo Martini, the term of comparison of ceramics in Italy was the painting, whereas in the more recent decades and in particular from the Second World War the highest level term of comparison has been the sculpture, which prevailed over any other art. The history of Faenza Competition clearly mirrors this phenomenon and can be considered an important reference for a stimulating phenomenal survey.

In the Faenza Competition took part Italian artists – among them: Angelo Biancini, Guido Gambone, Leoncillo Leonardi, Pietro Melandri, Carlo Zauli – and foreigners – Eduard Chapallaz, Sueharu Fukami – who made not only the history of ceramics of 20th century, but also the one of sculpture and of painting, with primary aspects concerning the testing and the contamination among several, and not exclusively, ceramic materials. This last approach could be a source of unimaginable development towards new perspectives.

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