Giuseppe Spagnulo
biography

Giuseppe Spagnulo was born in Grottaglie (Taranto) in 1936. His early training came about in his father’s ceramics workshop where he also mastered the art of lathing. After his first studies in the local art school, he went to the ceramics institute in Faenza. In the ceramics museum he studied the works donated by Picasso at the beginning of the 1950s, and he made his first experiments with stoneware.

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biography

Giuseppe Spagnulo was born in Grottaglie (Taranto) in 1936. His early training came about in his father’s ceramics workshop where he also mastered the art of lathing. After his first studies in the local art school, he went to the ceramics institute in Faenza. In the ceramics museum he studied the works donated by Picasso at the beginning of the 1950s, and he made his first experiments with stoneware.

He came into contact with the French ceramicist Albert Diato who managed to instill in the young Italian an interest for “high temperature” materials; he became a friend of Carlo Zauli and Nanni Valentini, with whom he shared an interest in earth materials and with whom he had a strong poetical affinity. In 1959 he moved to Milan where he frequented the Brera Academy. He became a studio assistant to Lucio Fontana and Arnaldo Pomodoro.

As soon as he arrived in Milan Spagnulo came into contact with Tancredi and Manzoni. It was through the latter and Fontana that the young sculptor became aware of the Informale sculptural activities being undertaken in Albissola, at the time a cultural offshoot of Milan. From this time date the small stoneware sculptures exhibited in his first solo show in 1965.

Spagnulo took part in the1968 protests, symbolised in his first metal works designed to be placed in urban areas. These large iron pieces exploited the geometry and constructive logic of the material they were forged from, and they were an introduction to the artist’s thoughts about the physicality and materiality of the sculptor’s work. In fact, Spagnulo worked in steelworks, blast furnaces, and workshops to forge his works together with the labourers.

In the 1970s, Spagnulo’s work was strongly marked by conceptual aspects that highlight his interest in the ideation and performative processes of art. From these years date the series “Archeologia” and “Paesaggi”, created for his 1977 show at the Newport Harbor Art Museum. The artist was also interested in the theme of horizontal sculpture, whose spread over the floor is in some way reminiscent of American Minimalists. In 1982, after a physical and metaphorical journey through the Mediterranean, the sculptor renewed his interest in ceramic materials and techniques, and constructed an enormous lathe to create his imposing “Turris”. At the end of the 1980s the artist returned to the theme of broken iron and, in the successive decade, attempted to confer an innovative sense on sculpture by challenging the gravity acting on the material by suspending enormous blocks of iron.

At the beginning of the 1990s he was entrusted with the sculpture professorship at the Stuttgart academy of fine arts.

Spagnulo’s work was honoured by critics at the beginning of the 2000s with the award of the “Premio Faenza alla Carriera”, and with the prize for an international competition for urban furnishing in Milan: a large-scale sculpture by Spagnulo, “Scogliere”, consisting of five enormous blocks of steel and which was placed in front of the Arcimboldo theatre. In 2005 he was seen at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice in the show “E se venisse un colpo di vento?”. In 2007 he won the competition for a monument to the victims of the Nassiriya massacre with a huge sculpture titled “La Foresta d’Acciaio” to be erected in Rome.

He died in Milan in June 2016.

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exhibitions

2017

Vimercate (MB), Heart Spazio Vivo

 

2015

Milano, Progetto Arte Elm

Pistoia, Galleria Vannucci,

 

2014

Milano, Galleria Consadori

 

2013

Bolzano, Antonella Cattani Contemporary Art

 

2011

Livorno, Galleria Giraldi

Cittadella (PD), Palazzo Pretorio

 

2010

Reggio Emilia, Galleria 2000 & NOVECENTO

Basel, Galerie Carzaniga

Grottaglie (TA), Castello Episcopio

 

2009

Prato, Duomo, Positioning of “Porta della luce”

 

2008

Bolzano, Galleria Antonella Cattan

Roma, Opening of the work “La foresta d’acciaio”, Nassiriya war memorial, Parco Schister

Milano, Galleria Progetto Arte Elm

 

2007

Corbetta (MI), Galleria Brera Uno

 

2006

Pietrasanta / Arezzo, Furini Arte Contemporanea

Todi (PG), Galleria Extra Moenia

 

2005

Venezia, Peggy Guggenheim Collection

München, Galerie Walter Storms – with Gastini and Zorio

 

2004

Stuttgart, Galerie Hoss Wollmann

 

2003

Gallarate (VA), Civica Galleria d’Arte Moderna

München, Galerie Walter Storms

London, Galleria Barbara Behan

Roma, Galleria Anna D’Ascanio

 

2002

Stuttgart, Galerie Hoss Wollmann

Teramo, Borgo medievale Castelbasso

 

2001

Faenza (RA), Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche

 

1999

München, Galerie Walter Storms

 

1998

München, Galerie Walter Storms

  

1997

Milano, Palazzo Reale

 

1996

München, Galerie Walter Storms

 

1994 

Zurich, Kunsthaus

 

1993

Padova, Galleria Fioretto

Milano, Galleria Erha

Hamburg, Galerie Hans Barlach

 

1992

Dortmund, Museum am Ostwall

München, Galerie Walter Storms

Köln, Galerie Hans Barlach

Zurich, Galerie Brandstetter & Wyss

 

1991

Stuttgart, Wurttembergischer Kunstverein

Dortmund,Museum am Ostwall

Stuttgart, Galerie Muller-Roth

 

1990

Paris, Galérie Daniel Templon

Seoul, Sangmoondang Gallery

Firenze, Galleria Gentili

 

1989

Torino, Galleria Martano

Rottweil, Forum Kunst

Roma, Galleria Oddi Baglioni

 

1988

Köln, Galerie Hans Barlach

Bologna, Studio G7

Roma, Galleria Oddi Baglioni

 

1987

Hamburg, Galerie Hans Barlach

Stockholm, Galerie Nordenhake

Milano, Studio Carlo Grossetti

 

1986

Venezia, XLII Biennale Internazionale d’Arte

St. Gallen, Galerie Susanna Kulli

München, Galerie Walter Storms

Köln, Galerie Hans Barlach

 

1985

Duisburg, Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum

Hamburg, Kunstverein

Lund, Lunds Konsthall

Torino, Galleria Martano

Milano, Piero Cavallini

 

1984

Modena, Galleria Civica

 

1983

Milano, Studio Carlo Grossetti

St. Gallen, Galerie Susanna Kulli

Firenze, Salone Villa Romana

 

1982

München, Stadtische Galerie, Lenbachhaus

Milano, Galleria Pero

 

1981

Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie, staatliche Museum

Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Brauschweig, Kunstverein

Bologna, Studio G7

Napoli, Galleria Il Centro

 

1980

München, Galerie Walter Storms

Milano, Studio Carlo Grossetti

Hamburg, Galerie Vera Munro

 

1979

Roma, Galleria E Tre

Frankfurt am Main, Galerie Appel und Fertsch, Karmeliterkloster

 

1978

Bielefeld, Kunsthalle

Stuttgart, Galerie Mueller-Roth

München, Galerie Walter Storms

Milano, Studio Carlo Grossetti

 

1977

Torino, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

Newport Beach, Newport Arbor Art Museum

Milano, Salone Annunciata

München, Galerie Walter Storms

 

1976

Bochum, Galerie M

Milano, Salone Annunciata – with Marco Gastini

Den Haag, Galerie M

Bergamo, Galleria 72

 

1975

Milano, Salone Annunciata

Milano, Galleria Schwarz

 

1974

Milano, Galleria di Porta Ticinese

Zurich, Galerie Huber

Bochum, Galerie M

 

1973

Prato, Nuova Arte Moderna

 

1972

Venezia, XXXVI Biennale Internazionale d’Arte

Milano, Salone Annunciata

 

1971

Venezia, XXX Festival Internazionale del Teatro di Prosa

Milano, Salone Annunciata

Milano, Studio Marconi

 

1970

Modena, Sala della Cultura

 

1969

Verona, Galleria Gian Ferrari

Torino, Galleria Martano Due

 

1968

Milano,Salone Annunciata

 

1965

Milano, Salone Annunciata

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