One artist brimming with countless achievements, and has rightfully earned his place in the design industry is the celebrated painter and sculptor, Giuseppe Calonaci. His list of accomplishments may make amateur artists feel overwhelmed because of his career’s grandeur and successes. Nevertheless, his story is destined to be every artist’s inspiration. Giuseppe Calonaci’s dedication in the world of art is, simply put, memorable, timeless, enduring, thought-provoking and emotion-inducing.
History of the artist
Calonaci was born in 1931. He attended the School of Art during the post-war reconstruction in Tuscany, Italy. He had greatly influenced the climate of MAC or Concrete Art Movement; Forma 1; and mostly of Florentine “Astrattismo Classico”. He remains one of the few artists who have outdone the standards of the art world. Needless to say, he has successfully pushed its limits and managed to create pieces of art that overcome the boundaries of genres, given the fact that Tuscany, at the time, was generally conservative.
Basically, his impeccable talent and skill in creating sculptures started in the early 1950s. He started studying about drawing, and later moved on to sculpting when he attended the art school run by Professor Pilade Moni, among other renowned professors at the time. This is where Calonaci learned about the works great artists such as Braques, Mondrian, Picasso and Kandinskij. He took to heart the lessons he acquired from his stints in artisan and industrial laboratories, including techniques of working on diverse materials such as glass-ceramic, precious metals, fire-glazing and metal engraving. His genius enabled him to absorb very well the various techniques in painting and sculpting, helping him to be where he is today.
In 1955, Calonaci established a laboratory of artistic enamels on steel, the S.I.V.A. By 1957, he worked in the classic abstractionism field with the Florentine vanguards.
Calonaci’s works are divided into ten periods, starting from 1957 up to 2002. Period I encompassed his drawings, engraving and oil painting from 1957 to 1969.
Period II, which featured his works from 1969 to 1972, showed his interest in the perfection of shape, particularly the circle and its possible variants.
Spanning from 1973 to 1977, Period III, on the one hand, is a reminiscent of Period II in the sense that his interest in creating the perfect shape, the circle, is still present in his works of art during this time. He depicted the symbolic value of the sun as shown in his paintings and sculptures made of wood, stainless steel and aluminium.
Ever the student of experimentation, his Period IV collection shows his evolution from one of the artists who were different enough to defy the conservatives. Period IV looks like urban plans on polychrome woods, on canvas, on paper, on bronze and by xylography.
Period V, on the one hand, is quite a revelation from Calonaci. Here, we can see how his interests has evolved and made better through time. From 1982 to 1986, Period V’s artworks look like documentations of ancient civilization and futuristic themes. His works depict time melded with a rustic and modern look.
As his works of art continue to evolve, his Period VI, staring in 1987 and continuing through 1990, showed diverse topics, themes and subjects, ranging from violence, love, human history and even scientific discoveries. Again, the essence of time is depicted as if his messages are meant to be tattooed in the minds of its spectators.
Calonaci's Period VII, from 1991 to 1996, showed his immense talent in creating abstract art and combining it with new visual technologies.
Truly a lover of classics, his Period VIII collection shows new representation of images from history.
Somehow a first in his collection, his Period IX artworks convey spirituality with representations of the prayer, the story of Crucifixion and as Citation in bronze.
Period X, which started in 2001, had the theme of “citation”, the insertion of detectable shapes and patterns.
Awards and Exhibitions
Calonaci’s decades of artworks earned him awards and prizes, two of which he founded himself. He held exhibitions in different cities in Europe, USA, Asia and South America. His works are displayed in public places, museums and in private collections.
Collaboration with Kubikoff ArtGallery Project
Kubikoff ArtGallery Project, a twice-yearly publication, showcases different interpretations of its products with other forms of art, such as painting, architecture and photography. The 2012 debut issue is a tribute, of course, to none other than Giuseppe Calonaci, specifically his artworks from the 1960s.
This collaboration with Kubikoff, one of today’s most innovative and creative designers of modern furniture from Italy, is a tremendous success. After all, Kubikoff’s credo in providing high-user value modern furniture with astounding designs complement the decades-long of passion and commitment Calonaci has shown over the years.
In Kubikoff’s Art Gallery Magazine feature, writer Martina Corgnati elaborates on the juxtaposition of Calonaci’s works and Kubikoff’s furniture designs brought to life in a series of photographs taken by Giampiero Muzzi.
She writes, “…the towers and examples of [Calonaci’s] Classic Abstractism which appears today alongside and behind the sophisticated Kubikoff design creations: they seem to participate with absolute naturalness in the physical environment in which the chairs are placed, almost as though their inner spatial relations had to some extent preceded and announced the static solutions, shapes and volumes of these contemporary objects. This is proof of how art is always a child of its time, to paraphrase Kandinsky, but sometimes contains the intuition of the time and shapes still to come.”
Calonaci art with Diamond Armchair
Calonaci art with Slice Armchair
Calonaci art with Stack Chair
Calonaci art with Icon Chair
Calonaci art with Diamond Rocker Chair
Calonaci art with ZigZag Armchair
Calonaci art with Mies Table and Diamond Armchair
Gino and Matthieu Lemson with Calonaci art and Diamond Rocker Chair
Image Credits: All Calonaci artwork via Calonaci.com.