Bertozzi & Casoni is a company founded in 1980 in Imola by Giampaolo Bertozzi (Borgo Tossignano, Bologna, 1957) and by Stefano Dal Monte Casoni (Lugo di Romagna, Ravenna, 1961). Already during the first training at the State Institute of Art for Faenza Ceramics their interests are directed towards a dialogue with the great tradition of art and cultivate an original vocation for experimentation in the sculptural field, seeing in ceramics a possibility for a painted sculpture. Bertozzi & Casoni then attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and take part in events that try to focus on the protagonists and the reasons for a “new ceramics” trying to overcome the gap that still inscribes this means of expression in a minor context. gregarious compared to other artistic forms. Their first creations are small in size and thin polychrome majolica. They collaborated from 1985 to 1989 with the Cooperativa Ceramica di Imola as researchers in the Center for Experimentations and Research on Ceramics and, as a corollary (1987-1988), established various relationships with “K International Ceramics Magazine” which also produced cover images. When the relationship with the Cooperative of Imola is about to end, they carry out two demanding tests sponsored by the company: the interventions at Tama New Town (Tokyo 1989-90) and the large panel “Say it with flowers” placed on an external wall of the Hospital Civil of Imola. Between 1983 and 1994 tangencies emerge with the world of design through a privileged relationship with the Dilmos space in Milan and participation in various editions of Abitare il Tempo in Verona and the Triennale di Milano as well as the events in the former church of San Carpoforo, always in Milan. For Dino Gavina they design the “Ercolano Armchair”. In the 1990s a more conceptual and radical aspect emerged in their work, almost to compensate for the hypertrophic expressiveness and inefficient execution perfections that, however, right at the end of the century, with “Bosco Sacro” of 1993, “Evergreen” of 1995 and “Choose the Paradiso “in 1997, they reach dimensional and realization points never reached before. With this last work Bertozzi & Casoni close the chapter of painted majolica and open to experiments that foresee the use, almost exclusive, of materials and technologies of industrial derivation. A decisive step that allows their works to conquer a higher level of physical presence. The pictorial virtuosities are abandoned in favor of a yield as objective as possible of the chosen subjects. The favorite iconographic themes, which find substance in the great artistic categories ofvanitas and memento mori, they undergo a fantastic transfiguration and their formal transcription assumes that objective form that attenuates the presence of the authors themselves and the conditioning perception of a particular time. It is the great turning point: the chapter of the “contemplations of the present” opens in which, in a sort of “epic of trash”, the attraction for what is transient, transitory, perishable and in decline, becomes an icon, internationally recognized, of one, not only contemporary, human condition. Critics, museums and the most important national and international art galleries are interested in their work. Between compositional surrealism and formal hyperrealism Bertozzi & Casoni have been investigating for years the waste of contemporary society, not excluding cultural and artistic ones.
In 2004 they were invited to exhibit at the Tate Liverpool and the XIV Quadrennial in Rome. The personal exhibition at Ca ‘Pesaro, the International Gallery of Modern Art in Venice (where they exhibit three major works in conjunction with the Biennale: “Composition in White”, “The Lies of Art” and “Composition of Composition”) and in 2008 the one at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan and at the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza. In 2009 their works are exhibited at the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale (“Unfinished-infinite composition” and “Rebus”); in 2010 at All Visual Arts in London, at the Westwater Spur in New York, at the Galleria Sperone in Sent and at the Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation in Milan. In 2011 they exhibit at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Ajaccio, at the Italy Pavilion of the Venice Biennale (“Electric chair with butterflies”), at the FaMa Gallery in Verona, at La Maison Rouge in Paris. In 2012 they exhibit at the Robilant + Voena Gallery in London, at the Sperone Westwater in Lugano and in New York. In the same year, the solo show at All Visual Arts in London, where the great “Regeneration” work was exhibited for the first time. In 2013 there were personal exhibitions at the Museum Beelden aan Zee in The Hague, at the Beck & Eggeling Gallery in Düsseldorf, at the Cardi Gallery in Pietrasanta and in 2014 at the Sperone Westwater in Lugano and in the monumental rooms of Palazzo Te in Mantua. In 2015 the solo shows at the Tega Gallery in Milan, at the Poleschi Gallery in Lucca, at the Westwater Spur in New York, at the Mambo in Bologna, at the Art’In Gstaad Gallery and participation in Expo Milano 2015. In 2016 the solo exhibitions in Palazzo Larderel in Florence (presented by the Galleria Il Quadrifoglio in Milan in collaboration with Gian Enzo Sperone), the Gallery of Modern Art in Palermo, the Espace Grandjean in Vallauris, the Galleria Verolino in Modena, Macist of Biella and the Palazzo Ducale di Massa. 2017 opens with personal exhibitions at the Museum of Palazzo Poggi in Bologna and at the Pinacoteca Civica in Ascoli Piceno and continues with the collaboration with Ca ‘del Bosco.
Messum’s Wiltshire is a pioneering multi-purpose gallery and arts centre celebrating the creative endeavour.