Project Description

Mario Ceroli

Castelfrentano (Chieti), 1938



Born in Abruzzo, Mario Ceroli trained in Rome, at the Institute of Art. He attends Leoncillo’s ceramic courses, follows him as an assistant even outside school hours; he soon began to work also in the studios of Fazzini and Colla. At the end of the school period, in 1957, he interrupted his collaborations and continued to devote himself to ceramics in his studio in Via Gregoriana. He also stops attending courses at the Academy of Fine Arts, following only the evening classes held by Toti Scialoja. From 1958 he began to work with wood: Untitled is the first work made with this material, a log pierced by nails, which marks a clear cut with the research that the artist had made up to that moment. In that period he also used metal surfaces, intervening on them with lacerations and nails. Between ’64 and ’66 he exhibited at the La Tartaruga gallery in Rome the silhouettes of people, letters and objects, made using raw packaging wood, which would become a characteristic feature of his work (from those years works such as the Cassa Sistina and China, born from the reading of Dear China, written by his friend Goffredo Parise). He is present at the 1965 Quadrennial and will again participate in the 85, 92 and 1999 editions. In 1966 he participated in Aspects of Contemporary Italian Art, an exhibition that made stops in Rome, Dortmund, Bergen, Cologne, Oslo, Belfast and Edinburgh. In the same year he also participated in the Venice Biennale, where he will return later in the editions of ’68, ’76, ’82, ’84, ’88 and ’93. Since 1968 he has also been engaged in an intense activity as a set designer. In 2007 one of his major exhibitions celebrated the reopening of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, after long years of closure for renovation.