Making a community around ceramics



Antonella Galli,

Savona and the two Albisolas are networking, forming a widespread centre to study, conserve and research ceramics. But that's not all: they are bringing artistic handicrafts to life by inaugurating two autumn exhibitions with Tommaso Corvi Mora and Francesca Anfossi. These two Italian artists expatriates in London have returned for the occasion.

Making a community around ceramics

Luca Bochicchio speaks so quickly that it’s a struggle to keep up with his lengthy narrative. Perhaps because he knows and does so many things, or perhaps because his thoughts flow faster than his voice, and his enthusiasm propels him like a tailwind. He is the scientific director of MuDA Museo Diffuso Albisola (Albisola Diffuse Museum) and Casa Museo Jorn, as well as being professor of contemporary art history at the University of Verona. In 2011, as a new doctoral student, he was directed by the University of Genoa to Albisola to take care of a unique heritage, that of the two Albisolas (Albissola Marina and Albisola Superiore), an area with a tradition of ceramics and an attractive hub, until the 1970s, for great artists from all over the world who settled here to work with the local workshops. Just a few names, because the list is so long: Lucio Fontana, Enrico Baj, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Asger Jorn, and Wifredo Lam, whose exhibition recently closed; it had extraordinary content and the poetic title, Lam et les Magiciens de la Mer. Totems, primordial figures and signs in Albisola ceramics between the '50s and '70s, and was hosted both at the MuDA in Albisola and at the Museo della Ceramica di Savona (Ceramics Museum in Savona).


Luca Bochicchio's journey began in Albisola, but over the years has extended to Savona, where since 2022, with a team of young and tireless colleagues, he has breathed life into the cultural scene of the Museo della Ceramica di Savona as well, which is seeing a renewed season of activities and involvement of a broad public around ceramics. "After ten years of work in the area, we have succeeded in creating a unique system," he recounts, "between the Museo Diffuso di Albisola, located in different places and throughout the territory, and the great historical and artistic hub of the Museo della Ceramica di Savona, the Palazzo Monte di Pietà with five floors of works from the 16th century to the 2000s, from popular art to cultured art, from Baroque collections to design. We have created a synergy between the two museums and their various activities, while also making use of the Ceramics Museum's educational workshop, which has kilns and makes it possible to run courses and workshops that are open to all, from the general public to scholars, from children to senior citizens."

Thus the Museo della Ceramica di Savona, owned by the De Mari Foundation of Savona, a treasure trove of over a thousand works and fascinating multimedia displays, has found a spirited and itinerant ally in Albisola's MuDA, which makes its link with the territory, villages and workshops its strength. It is in this context, perhaps unique in the world, that the House-Museum of Asger Jorn, Danish artist and one of the founders of the CoBrA group, is set, which Luca Bochicchio, the protagonist of the reopening in 2014, describes as follows: "It is a total work of art, a house with a terraced garden overlooking the sea, a unique example of situationist architecture. People come from all over Europe and even from overseas to visit. It is home to studio projects and artist residencies." In Albisola you will also find the MuDA Exhibition Centre, which is the heart of the town's cultural life. Here one can admire the Dama bianca (1953) and the four ceramic panels made by Lucio Fontana in 1949 for the Conte Grande liner.

The synergy between the two hubs of Savona ceramics takes shape in the programme for the coming months, with two exhibitions opening on 28 October focusing on a community-based, experienced and intimate approach to ceramics: "We have involved two Italian artists, Tommaso Corvi Mora and Francesca Anfossi, who live in London but were very happy to be able to return to work in Italy", explains Bochicchio, "the first exhibition, conceived with and for Anfossi, is entitled "A tavola con Rochester Square" (Dining with Rochester Square) and stems from a workshop experience held in Savona during the summer. It focuses on a communal vision of ceramics, which Anfossi explores with other artists in his London workshop in Rochester Square. Meanwhile, Corvi Mora's exhibition, "Diario" (Diary) is the result of an artist's residency in Albisola and tells of an intimate journey, the results of which will be exhibited throughout the Albisola area, even 'abandoning' the works along the streets of Albisola Marina, so as not to deny the village's vocation. It’s a place where you can breathe in ceramics, on the waterfront and among the olive trees, in the alleys and squares, along with the scent of the sea.

Antonella Galli

"A tavola con Rochester Square"
a project conceived with and for Francesca Anfossi and curated by Alessio Cotena, Marco Isaia and Daniele Panucci
Museo della Ceramica di Savona

"Diario", a diffuse exhibition by Tommaso Corvi Mora
. curated by Daniele Panucci with critical contributions by Irene Biolchini and Luca Bochicchio
Various locations: Museo della Ceramica di Savona, Lavanderia di Albissola Marina (home of the Angelo Ruga Cultural Association, leader of the initiative), Casa Museo Jorn, Fornace Alba Docilia, venues of the MuDA - Museo Diffuso Albisola
From October 28, 2023 to February 26, 2024


The images illustrate the exhibition routes, works, and temporary exhibitions of the Museo della Ceramica di Savona.

01 Quadrisphere: a multimedia structure, conceived by physicist Paco Lanciano, that allows people to watch a multi-projection of synchronised films in a technological kaleidoscope. Ph. Fulvio Rosso.
02 Ceramic egg cups, among the collective works on display within the exhibition “A tavola con Rochester Square”
03, 07, 08, 10, 11 Exhibition route. Ph Federico Farci.
04 Tea service, Nicolaj Diulgheroff with Manifattura Giuseppe Mazzotti, 1932-1933, Albisola
05, 09 Exhibition route. Ph Fulvio Rosso
06 Tommaso Corvi Mora, small sculptures, for the exhibition Diario; ph. Federica Delprino and Omar Tonella.
12 Works on display in the exhibition route.


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