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Antonio Lampecco in Crystallized

For Antonio Lampecco, showing in the Crystallized exhibition at Spazio Nobile in Brussels until April 15, craftsmanship is a form of love.

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Text by Nadine Botha
Photography by Margaux Nieto / Courtesy of Spazio Nobile

“A great sensitivity in the hands and even more in the heart is necessary to make beautiful ceramics, as well as a constant search in the forms. For me, a good craftsman is in life a simple person, reproducing in his works what he feels in himself, craftsmanship must be an integral part of life,” says Antonio Lampecco, the Italian-born Belgian ceramicist whose installation of more than 30 large-scale works forms the centrepiece of the Crystallized group exhibition at Spazio Nobile until April 15.

Lampecco moved to Belgium with his family in 1948 at the age of 16. He completed a two-year apprenticeship in a pottery in Rebaix, and in 1951 joined Roger Somville’s studio where he was introduced to the artistic potential of ceramics. This gave Lampecco his first taste in exploring his own interests and forms, which would develop even more once he joined the Craftsmanship School of the Benedictine Abbey of Maredsous a year later. By 1958 he had participated in his first exhibition, and in 1960 won his first award: a gold medal in Monza, Lombardy. In 1962 he took over the Maredsous workshop, which he and his sons run to this day. Numerous other prizes and accolades followed, but Lampecco’s humility is one of his most distinctive traits. As Therese M Thomas recalls in her book about him, after winning an award in a ceramics competition, he did not journey to Brussels to receive it, explaining simply: “I was pleased to know that I deserved it, but I didn’t need to have or to see it. That doesn’t change anything.”

Since the 1970s, Lampecco has pushed the structural limitations of clay with sharp austere shapes, and smooth tactile surfaces. He is also not interested in the traditional functions of ceramics. Comprising ellipsoids and spheroids with only tiny holes, he says: “My pots with their little holes have no function as I didn’t create them as vases. A work doesn’t need function. Isn’t beauty function enough?”

Skin-like in effect, it is Lampecco’s crystalline glazes that transform his austere forms into luminous volumes. Originally only using a tender blue significant of the sky and dreaming, Lampecco first started adding black, and later added green-turquoise, pink and other hues.

“A long time is needed to become a good craftsman, also a lot of work and of tenacity, patience too,” Lampecco writes in an address to apprentices under probation. “And, most of all, love: because we create in this profession and each creation is an act of love.”

Season IV – Crystallized at Spazio Nobile, Brussels (BE), 23.2.2017-15.4.2017, www.spazionobile.com

Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Pot bleu / vert : dimensions 18 x 8,5 cm / 1980.
Pot bleu / vert : dimensions 18 x 8,5 cm / 1980.
Pot bleu: dimensions 16, 5 x 27 cm / 1980
Pot bleu: dimensions 16, 5 x 27 cm / 1980
Pot bleu vert: dimensions 20,5 x 23 cm /1980
Pot bleu vert: dimensions 20,5 x 23 cm /1980
Pot bleu clair: dimensions: 25 x 36 cm / 1980
Pot bleu clair: dimensions: 25 x 36 cm / 1980
Pot bleu mauve : dimensions 12,5 x 29 cm / 1980
Pot bleu mauve : dimensions 12,5 x 29 cm / 1980
Pot bleu vert: dimensions 13 x 28 cm/ 1980
Pot bleu vert: dimensions 13 x 28 cm/ 1980
Grand pot: dimensions 41 x 140 cm / 2000
Grand pot: dimensions 41 x 140 cm / 2000
Pot plat bleu: dimensions 14 x 90 cm / 2010
Pot plat bleu: dimensions 14 x 90 cm / 2010
Pot bleu: dimensions 28 x 100 cm / 2010
Pot bleu: dimensions 28 x 100 cm / 2010
Pot bleu: dimensions 20 x 80 cm / 2010
Pot bleu: dimensions 20 x 80 cm / 2010
Pot petit bleu: dimensions 17 x 64 cm/ 1990
Pot petit bleu: dimensions 17 x 64 cm/ 1990
Pot plat bleu: dimensions 12 x 83 cm / 1990
Pot plat bleu: dimensions 12 x 83 cm / 1990
Pot bleu: dimensions 22 x 72 cm / 2010
Pot bleu: dimensions 22 x 72 cm / 2010
Pot bleu: dimensions 22 x 72 cm/ 1990
Pot bleu: dimensions 22 x 72 cm/ 1990
Pot mauve: dimensions 22 x 80 cm / 2010
Pot mauve: dimensions 22 x 80 cm / 2010
Pot plat bleu: dimensions 13 x 90 cm / 2010
Pot plat bleu: dimensions 13 x 90 cm / 2010
Pot petit: dimensions 16 x 62 cm/ 1990
Pot petit: dimensions 16 x 62 cm/ 1990
Pot petit: dimensions 22 x 60 cm/ 1980
Pot petit: dimensions 22 x 60 cm/ 1980
Pot haut bleu: dimensions 45 x 74 cm / 1963
Pot haut bleu: dimensions 45 x 74 cm / 1963
Haut pot saumon : dimensions 35 x 100 cm/1980
Haut pot saumon : dimensions 35 x 100 cm/1980
Pot bleu: dimensions 35 x 112 cm / 2005
Pot bleu: dimensions 35 x 112 cm / 2005
Pot jaune: dimensions 34 x 110 cm/ 2007
Pot jaune: dimensions 34 x 110 cm/ 2007
Pot mauve: dimensions 26 x 90 cm / 1980
Pot mauve: dimensions 26 x 90 cm / 1980
Pot bleu-mauve: dimensions 26 x 93 cm / 1980
Pot bleu-mauve: dimensions 26 x 93 cm / 1980
Pot plat grand mauve: dimensions 14 x 100 cm/1980
Pot plat grand mauve: dimensions 14 x 100 cm/1980
Pot mauve bleu clair : dimensions 30 x 103 cm / 1980
Pot mauve bleu clair : dimensions 30 x 103 cm / 1980
Pot plat grand bleu : dimensions 12 x 100 cm/ 1980
Pot plat grand bleu : dimensions 12 x 100 cm/ 1980
Pot bleu: dimensions 23 x 111 cm/ 1980
Pot bleu: dimensions 23 x 111 cm/ 1980
Pot bleu mauve: dimensions 26 x 91 cm / 2010
Pot bleu mauve: dimensions 26 x 91 cm / 2010
Pot grand bleu mauve: dimensions 30 x 134 cm / 2003
Pot grand bleu mauve: dimensions 30 x 134 cm / 2003
Pot grand brun: dimensions 39 x 139 cm/ 1980
Pot grand brun: dimensions 39 x 139 cm/ 1980
Pot grand haut bleu brun: dimensions 58 x 145 cm/ 1997
Pot grand haut bleu brun: dimensions 58 x 145 cm/ 1997
Pot grand haut mauve clair: dimensions 55 x 128 cm/ 2003
Pot grand haut mauve clair: dimensions 55 x 128 cm/ 2003
Pot grand bleu: dimensions: 58 x 130 cm / 1990
Pot grand bleu: dimensions: 58 x 130 cm / 1990
Pot grand avec col bleu: dimensions 70 x 138 cm/ 1980
Pot grand avec col bleu: dimensions 70 x 138 cm/ 1980
Potbleuvert:dimensions40x145cm/1980
Potbleuvert:dimensions40x145cm/1980
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
Spazio Nobile installation of large scale contemporary soft glazed ceramic sculptures with signature-made crystalline compositions, unique pieces, after 2000.
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