Bruno Ceccobelli | Original prints, lithographs, etchings and illustrated books
"I do not want to be a fashionable artist, but belong to all times and that's why I believe in a prescient art, not historical or literary or sociological, nor stylistic; I believe in a symbolic art, that gives a message and is of pacification with the world."
Bruno Ceccobelli (Montecastello di Vibio, 2 September 1952) is an Italian artist.
Shortly after birth, the family moved to Todi, where it grew; after school, he went to Rome to undertake artistic studies. In the capital he attended the Academy of Fine Arts, where he was a pupil of Toti Scialoja, from whom he learned the theory and practice of abstractionism.
According to Gramiccia, his art, which in some respects recalls the Italian Alberto Burri and that shares certain characters of Arte Povera, is part of the more general "return to painting" that distinguishes his generation of artists (think, in this sense, to the Transavanguardia movement). However, according to what the same Ceccobelli wrote, through the study of theosophy, alchemy and oriental philosophies, Ceccobelli came to a real spiritual and sacral symbolism In this regard, he wrote: "I do not want to be a fashionable artist, but belong to all times and that's why I believe in a prescient art, not historical or literary or sociological, nor stylistic; I believe in a symbolic art, that gives a message and is of pacification with the world ".
In the early eighties, along with other fellow students, he settled in the former Cerere, a large abandoned industrial area located in the San Lorenzo district. Piero Pizzi Cannella, Marco Tirelli, Giuseppe Gallo, Gianni Dessì, Nunzio Di Stefano and Domenico Bianchi are also part of the group, later known as Nuova Scuola Romana or San Lorenzo Group or Officina San Lorenzo. As Achille Bonito Oliva writes, these artists are "all bearers of individual poetics and all tributaries in a common aesthetic mentality and moral vision of art".
In 1975 he exhibited for the first time in a collective exhibition in the Town Hall of Albach, Austria and, two years later, held his first solo exhibition at the Spazio Alternativo Gallery in Rome, where he exhibited conceptual works, and participated in two collective exhibitions at La Stanza, an independent space self-managed by artists.
In the following years he received numerous international invitations, exhibiting in 1979 at the Festival of Italian Culture in Belgrade and, later, at some group shows in France, Germany and Croatia. In particular, from Yvon Lambert to Paris he exhibited Morpheus, "a work articulated in different elements cohesive by a symbolic link".
In 1980 he was invited to the Biennial des Jeunes in Paris, then to the Ugo Ferranti gallery in Rome and to Ivon Lambert in Paris (1981). Finally, in 1983 he held a solo exhibition at the Salvatore Ala gallery in New York.
In 1984 the critic Achille Bonito Oliva takes care of the Ateliers exhibition, in which the artists of Pastificio Cerere open their studies to the public. It is the affirmation of the San Lorenzo Group on the international art scene. In the same year, Ceccobelli was invited to the Venice Biennale, with works exhibited in the Open '84 section. In 1986 he received a second invitation to the Venice Biennale, with a room in the Art and Alchemy section curated by Arturo Schwarz.
The Eighties closed with many international exhibitions: in 1985 he was in New York, by Gian Enzo Sperone Westwater; in 1988 he held a triple exhibition in New York at Jack Shainmann, in Rome at the Centro di Cultura Ausoni and in Madrid, at the Galleria Mar Estrada. On the occasion of this exhibition, Italo Mussa edited the first catalog raisonné: The figures, the houses, the wells, or the life of the Shadows in the Sacred Fences (De Luca Editori d'Arte, Rome 1988); in 1989 he was in Paris (Yvon Lambert), London (Mayor Rowan) and Barcelona (Thomas Carstens).
The nineties opened with exhibitions in Germany, Austria, Canada and Italy. In 1994 he also held a training course at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Artes in Senegal. In 1996 he was invited to the Quadriennale in Rome and in 1999 Arturo Schwarz presented the exhibition Trascorsi d'Asfalto at the Galleria Guastalla in Livorno. In the same year he won the "Progetto Arte Roma" competition, consisting of the decoration of the Rome underground: he created a large mosaic at the EUR Fermi station.
On the occasion of the Jubilee of 2000 he created the bronze portals of the Duomo of Terni.
In 2002 he held the Classical Eclectic exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of Villa Adriana in Tivoli, where some of his marble sculptures and other works interact with artifacts from the classical era. In 2004 he created the mosaic in Gibellina. Eternity is the real medicine.
In 2005 he held the position of Director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia, but left after just one year to devote himself exclusively to artistic production. In 2006 he exhibited marble sculptures in Verona and Pietrasanta, and participated in the San Lorenzo group exhibition at Villa Medici in Rome. In 2007 he presented the Longa march post-temporal installation at the Volume gallery! in Rome, and in 2008 Invasi, exhibited at the Pastificio Cerere Foundation, with which he reminded the viewer that man is a spirit enclosed in a body vessel and, therefore, invaded from the beginning by the divine.
In 2009 he proposed the installation Unique Attics in the Attic gallery of Fabio Sargentini, where the visitor is invited to enter large bags hanging from the ceiling, interacting with them in a path that leads him to explore the symbolism of the four elements (water , air, earth and fire) and that leads to human synthesis. Finally he took part in the Natalis in Urbe with an installation in the Basilica of Saints John and Paul at the Celio in Rome.
In 2009 the Mart Museum in Rovereto took care of the first retrospective dedicated to the Officina San Lorenzo. Thus the experience of one of the most vital artistic associations of the last part of the twentieth century was historicized. The exhibition catalog, accompanied by texts and critical apparatus, took stock of the work of the six of San Lorenzo and contextualized them within the most influential movements of contemporary art.
In 2010 he held the exhibition San Lorenzo: Limen, the art threshold curated by Achille Bonito Oliva in Rome, and participated in the XVI Biennial of Contemporary Sacred Art organized by the Stauròs Foundation. In the same year R. Rodriguez took care of the relevant exhibition In carta sogni. Works on paper 1980-2010, which for the first time historicized the main graphic works of Ceccobelli.
In 2011 to remember are Grandi opere ... grandi, at the Marconi Foundation in Milan and participation in the Italian Pavilion, Regione Lazio, at the Venice Biennale.
In 2018 he took part in the collective exhibition Challenging Beauty - Insights in Italian contemporary art, curated by Lorand Hegyi, in the Parkview Museum in Singapore.
After a career spent almost entirely in Rome, Ceccobelli returned to Montemolino di Todi, where he lives in an old watchtower dating back to the year one thousand.
Ceccobelli has collaborated with important photographers, including Tom Haartsen, John Stoel, Steven Tucker, Ottavio Celestino, Pino Settanni, Chris Felver, Mimmo Capone, Stefano Fontebasso de Martino, Aurelio Amendola, Sandro Vannini.