Mario Cerioli

Trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, under the guidance of Leoncillo Leonardi and Pericle Fazzini, Ettore Colla, of which he became an assistant, addressed his interest in ceramic works and initially reproduced ceramic sculptures.

In 1957 he experimented with the use of wood, mainly tree trunks pierced by nails, with which in 1958 he won the award for young Italian sculpture. At the end of the fifties, wood became its favorite expressive material.

In the sixties he carved large human shapes in the rough wood that often repeated in a serial manner, becoming a hallmark of much of his production. It is therefore in the sixties, impressed by Pop art through the works of Louise Nevelson and Joe Tilson, who arrives at the materials and forms that would later characterize his creations: silhouette of objects molded in wood, without color, sometimes repeated in series (Last Supper, 1965, National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome, Man of Leonardo, 1964; China, 1966, La Grande Cina, 1968), connected to a space that becomes an essential theme (Cassa Sistina, 1966) , or drawn in tempera and ink (The door, the cenacle, 1981; Day, Night, 1982).

The Center for Studies and Archive of Communication in Parma preserves a fund dedicated to Ceroli, consisting of 2 sculptures, public and partially accessible for conservative reasons.

In 1967-1968 he took part in the exhibitions of the Arte Povera group, of which Ceroli can be considered a forerunner since in the early 60s he introduced in his artistic production materials such as: burned wood, glass, lead, ice rags, paper, ash etc. . In 1966 Cassa Sistina, was awarded at the Venice Biennale. The shapes, shaped in the wood, include letters, numbers, geometries, objects, referable to Pop research and the reinterpretation of the great classics of art history: from Leonardo da Vinci to Michelangelo to P. Uccello, up to G. De Chirico.

At the same time he creates stage sets for theater, cinema and television. In fact, the "invasive" character of his work leads him to encroach on the cinema, in the scenography, in the design of environments, in the design of churches and their interior furnishings, up to a project, never completed, of theater.

He created in Bologna in 1988 the so-called "Casa del Nettuno", a wooden container decorated with the floating man silhoutte, which constituted the restoration of the bronze statue of Neptune by Giambologna. His is the winged Unicorn (1990), in wood covered with gold, exposed at the entrance of the Rai headquarters of Saxa Rubra. He took care of the furnishing of the church of Porto Rotondo (1971), of Santa Maria Madre of the Redeemer of Tor Bella Monaca, in Rome, in 1987 and of San Carlo Borromeo at the Centro Direzionale of Naples, in 1990.

He also worked intensively as a set designer, collaborating with the Teatro Stabile di Torino (set design by Richard III of Shakespeare, 1968), for which he created the sculpture La grande cina, an invention that sees the scene of the great human silhouettes whose movements are suspended in a metaphysical space, now preserved at the CSAC in Parma) and with the Scala in Milan, 1972 (set design by Vincenzo Bellini's Norma).

From the mid-eighties he introduced glass sheets into his work and made numerous monumental installations in public spaces, including the winged horse of the Rai Center of Saxa Rubra in Rome (1990).

In his sculptures, frequent quotes from famous works of the past, such as those of Leonardo, which he paraphrased with his woods the design of the "Vitruvian man" (Disequilibrium, 1967) and the Last Supper (painted wood, 1981) ).

In 1997 he donated to the town of origin, Castel Frentano, a copy of the wooden sculpture Vitruvian man placing it in the square of the Conception.

In 2007 he was called by the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome to participate in its official reopening, after long years of renovations, with a choice of his main works.

In 2008 the city council of the city of Siena entrusted him with the task of painting the banner for the Palio of 16 August, dedicated to Madonna Assunta and won by the Contrada del Bruco, with the jockey Giuseppe Zedde called "Gingillo" and the horse Elisir Logudoro .

Author of his own living and working environment, Ceroli gathered at his gates of Rome, in a space of 3000 square meters, his works, in a sort of house-museum  an extraordinarily suggestive place that collects his works, beyond 500, in a sort of museum in constant change and growth, which he intends to open to the public to make it alive, usable, useful as a stimulus and model to the most recent generations of artists.


Works of Mario Cerioli


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