Open: Tue-Sat 10.30am-7pm

Via Margutta 48a-48b, 00187, Rome, Italy
Open: Tue-Sat 10.30am-7pm


decentering in Ceramics

Richard Saltoun, Rome

Tue 28 Feb 2023 to Sat 22 Apr 2023

Via Margutta 48a-48b, 00187 decentering in Ceramics

Tue-Sat 10.30am-7pm

Tour: Saturday 22 April, 4pm-6pm. RSVP:

Richard Saltoun Gallery presents decentering in Ceramics, a group exhibition curated by Giulia Pollicita that celebrates the symbolic power of ceramics and highlights the medium’s political, social, identitarian and imaginative declinations through the work of eight female artists.



Franca Maranò



210 × 310 mm

31 x 21 cm

© The estate of the artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

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Artemide Multimammia

Nedda Guidi

Artemide Multimammia, 1967

Painted terracotta

580 × 150 × 165 mm

15 x 58 x 16.5 cm

Signature of the author and inscription at the base: " per il film di Gianni Toti sulle vie di Damasco". © The estate of the artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery

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Wounded coral slipper candle stick

Zoë Williams

Wounded coral slipper candle stick, 2022

Glazed ceramic and wax candle

250 × 350 × 100 mm

35 x 25 x 10 cm (with candle)

© The Artist. Courtesy the Artist, ABC-ARTE, Genova and Ciaccia Levi, Paris-Milan

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Candy venus and pink squid dream haemorrhoid table lamp

Zoë Williams

Candy venus and pink squid dream haemorrhoid table lamp, 2022

Glazed ceramic, glass, lightning

300 × 700 mm

70 x 30 cm

© The Artist. Courtesy the Artist, ABC-ARTE, Genova and Ciaccia Levi, Paris-Milan

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Holly Stevenson

Splash, 2022

Glazed ceramic and terracotta

200 × 170 × 160 mm

17 x 20 x 16 cm

© and Courtesy The Artist

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Coat Hanger Angel

Holly Stevenson

Coat Hanger Angel, 2022

Glazed ceramic and terracotta

250 × 500 × 160 mm

50 x 25 x 16 cm

© and Courtesy The Artist

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Priest Beast

Holly Stevenson

Priest Beast, 2022

Glazed ceramic and terracotta

300 × 665 × 100 mm

66.5 x 30 x 10 cm

© and Courtesy The Artist

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Sister (capanna)

Chiara Camoni

Sister (capanna), 2022

Iron, black terracotta, fresh and dry flowers

1400 × 2200 × 1500 mm

220 x 140 x 150 cm

© The Artist. Courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia. Photo: Camilla Maria Santini

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A liquid Confession IV

Raffaela Naldi Rossano

A liquid Confession IV, 2020

Glazed ceramic

880 × 330 × 450 mm

33 x 88 x 45 cm

© The Artist. Courtesy Palazzo delle Esposizioni di Roma. Photo: Maurizio Esposito

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Added to list



Installation Views

The exhibition situates seminal sculptures by Franca Maranò and Nedda Guidi, pioneers in technical and formal experimentation, alongside new work by a younger generation of international artists working with ceramics: Chiara Camoni, Gaia Fugazza, Florence Peake, Raffaela Nardi Rossano, Holly Stevenson and Zoe Williams, a group of established contemporary artists working with ceramics. Through this intergenerational dialogue, the exhibition reverses the narration of a medium historically relegated to the 'decorative' realm, partially retracing its history and highlighting its potential for freedom.

The works of Chiara Camoni (Piacenza, 1974) originate from the alchemical composition of relational practices and organic matter. Using a collaborative approach, the artist shares her creative experience with friends and family in her studio in Fabbiano, in Alta Versilia, Tuscany, where most of the natural and plant-based elements that make up her sculptures are made. The large sculpture Sister (2022) created especially for this exhibition, is an eco-feminist goddess who serves as a propitiatory presence within the gallery space.

Artemis Multimammia (1964) by Nedda Guidi (Gubbio, 1927–Rome, 2015), is a terracotta figure inspired by the Artemis Efesia of the 2nd century AD, preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Naples. Goddess of nature and abundance, dominatrix of fairs, Artemis is portrayed by Guidi according to a process of synthesis that reflects the artistic trends of the late 1960s, thus conceptually declining the formal representation of ceramics. The work of Raffaela Naldi Rossano (Naples, 1990) also draws inspiration from mythology and results from iconographic and symbolic stratifications. Holy Water Font [Acquasantiera] (2020) references the Kastalia fountain, considered a ritual element of purification also by the Christian faith, here filled with lemons to evoke a Mediterranean dimension. Her drawings, displayed in the last room of the gallery, tell the story of the artist's journey across the Mediterranean, from Naples to Greece.

The artistic practice of Florence Peake (London, 1973) is based on the body. Using a unique process-based approach, she choreographs immersive performances using dancers, performers, and even entire communities. Her live actions result in paintings and sculptures that are an extension of the body and capture the intrinsic multiplicity of being. The work on display results from the action Interior Pull (2022), in which the artist and performers Vanshika Agrawal, Flaminia Celata and Anica Huck performed a burial/unearthing of their bodies in response to the remains of the ancient Basilica Ulpia situated within the exhibition space of cultural association FOROF, for which the action was conceived.

Franca Maranò (Bari, 1920–2015) was a key figure in the Italian art movements of the 1960s and 70s. Profoundly nonconformist, Maranò chose to remain in southern Italy to challenge its patriarchal structures, and in 1970 she founded Bari's first avant-garde gallery, Galleria Centrosei, to promote the work of her contemporaries such as Maria Lai and Tomaso Binga. To safeguard his creative freedom, Maranò decided to work outside the conventions of tradition and use new materials, including needle, thread, fabrics and ceramics, which at the time was limited to male artists such as Fausto Melotti and Lucio Fontana. Third Sand Storm (2022) by Gaia Fugazza (Milan, 1985), is a swirling wall installation in black clay, with a hand-carved surface. Fugazza’s works are a tribute to the female body and are characterised by the hybridisation of materials, techniques and manufacturing processes, thus exploring the border between performativity and plastic arts.

Holly Stevenson's ceramics have been produced during her artist residency with Laboratorio Piramide in the Bravetta district. Mixing the suggestions of Catholicism that permeate the city of Rome with the daily life of the neighbourhood and its community, her pair of sculptures Priest Beast and Coat Hanger Angel (2022), represent a process of transposition and sublimation of innovation in the wake of tradition, in which conservatism and progressivism coexist. Referencing the abolition of the right to abortion in many American states, the crutch, used in the past for the illegal and often mortal termination of pregnancies, becomes a symbol of the claim of freedom against the oppressive patriarchal power.

Zoe Williams (Salisbury, 1983) has instead created floral and carnal still–lives with a sinuous sculptural language reminiscent of Rococo style. The fluidity of modelling and glazing creates evanescent visions in which a play of artificial and candlelight illuminates Venuses, octopuses, anemones and dreamlike images.

The works of Gaia Fugazza, Florence Peake, Holly Stevenson and Zoe Williams were created in Rome in 2022 tas part of Laboratorio Piramide’s residency programme, a project financed by the Lazio region to promote the encounter between contemporary art and craftsmanship, which allowed the artists to work in the historic Bottega Paolelli in the Bravetta district, experimenting with materials, techniques and processes of the Italian tradition.

decentering in Ceramics, is a tribute to the decentralisation of ceramics from the official historical-artistic discourse to celebrate its subversive potential while remaining in the wake of its millenary tradition. The title alludes to the ability of these works to reflect the current historical and artistic moment, "decentralised" with respect to univocal categories and readings, referring to the text published in 1989 by Mary C. Richards, Centering in Pottery, Poetry, and the Person, which alludes to the gesture of centering on the wheel in the traditional processing of clay and to the discipline imposed by the processing of ceramics as a philosophy of life.

Courtesy of the artists and Richard Saltoun Gallery

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