It is my pleasure to introduce our first exclusively sculpture based exhibition Take Care: Ettore Sottsass and Jesse Wine.
I first encountered Jesse Wine’s eclectic ceramics at the monumental group show of London based artists put on by the Moving Museum one year ago. Since then, he has had several gallery shows, took part in the Camden Arts Centre ceramics fellowship and is currently enjoying his first, and well deserved, institutional show at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle which runs until the end of February. It is fascinating to see the versatility Wine achieves with the medium and with nine new sculptural works made exclusively for the ARTUNER curation one can really experience the breadth of his artistic production.
Having Wine, who with his innovatory use of ceramics could well be seen as a benchmark for what is currently happening in the in London art scene, paired with an Italian master like Ettore Sottsass, combines my own personal roots with my present-day situation as a collector based in London.
I first came across the work of Ettore Sottsass when I was fairly young. The designs of the Godfather of the Italian Cool stood out in any possible setting: whether in the form of a Cartier necklace around a woman’s neck at a crowded opening or as a wildly shaped room divider in an Italian villa, one could immediately spot it was a Sottsass piece. His most famous masterpiece however is the typewriter ‘Valentine’, produced for the Olivetti company in Ivrea, just a stone’s throw away from my hometown Torino. Sottsass once described it as being “a bit like a girl wearing a very short skirt and too much make-up”. This quote somehow stuck and when I first saw the vases presented in this show it came back to my mind. The stark colours combined with the sharp edges absolved by soft curves come nothing short of the girl described by Sottsass.
I’m also very much looking forward to the Insight we’re publishing later this week about Alessio Sarri, the ceramicist who has been giving form to the Italian architect’s ideas and who is still producing Sottsass’ work post-humously today. With a photographic reportage of his studio and a text he’s written about his relationship with the vases that are part of the exhibition, attention is drawn to the great tradition and history of Italian craftsmanship.
Finally, I’d like to complement Leopold on his unusual choice of integrating a physical exhibition catalogue into an online show. This goes to demonstrate once again how the idea of an online art platform is something undefined and shifting; open for interpretation and challenges. It is incredibly exciting to have ARTUNER engaged with this development and become a shaping agent in this transitionary phase where experiments can often open up new perspectives on art.
Eugenio Re Rebaudengo