Nerone Giovanni Ceccarelli Wall Panel in Wood, Copper and Brass
Nerone Giovanni Ceccarelli, wall panel, wood, copper, brass, signed ‘Nerone’, Italy, 1986
A sculptural and expressive wall panel, designed and created by Nerone Ceccarelli in 1986. The high-relief panel has a lively yet balanced composition. Nerone employed the bas-relief technique in crafting this exceptional piece. Through the skillful use of carving, various geometric shapes have been meticulously rendered onto a flat surface, resulting in a shallow yet three-dimensional effect. The term "bas" in French conveys the concept of "low," indicating that the relief sculpture is subtly raised from the background rather than deeply carved. To further accentuate the depth and visual impact, the addition of metal inserts, such as brass and copper contributes an exquisite touch to the composition. The warm wooden grain, combined with different approaches to create relief and texture to the surface make this panel is a feast for the eye. The fluid edges of the panel add to the feeling of constant movement in the composition.
This piece shows a hand-engraved signature: 'neRonE 1986'.
As a young man of only twenty years old, Nerone moved from Pisa to Turin in 1957, after attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and Florence. During the 1950s and 1960s, the lively contemporary artistic climate of Turin inspired Nerone to discover who he was as an artist. It was in this city that he studied the work of the Bauhaus movement and developed a particular affinity for the work of Oscar Schlemmer and Lászlò Moholy-Nagy. His passion for Bauhaus architecture and interiors would play an important role in the way he perceived his own work: as a more personal version of the Modernist Constructivist art of the 1930s. It was also the ideas of Bauhaus that inspired his aim to integrate art into architecture as much as possible. In 1962, together with his friend, fellow student and from then on associate Gianni Patuzzi, he founded Gruppo NP2: a collective named after both their initials. Many Turin based artist joined, and it was their combined ambition to resist the French notion of ‘l’art pour l’art’ and create art that was a true part of the home, and therefore an important part of daily life.
The presented wall panel was created during the prolific years of his individual career, when he had established himself fully as an artist and had received international recognition and prizes. It was for instance during the 1970s that he was asked to create an immense wall panel for the European Parliament in Luxembourg.
In 1973, Gianni Patuzzi left the group, but Nerone kept the name. Het transformed Gruppo NP2 into an individual company. From that time on, Nerone was developing his own path as an artist. This panel holds all the distinctive features of a true artwork of Ceccarelli: a strong and sculptural composition with different textural approaches to the surface. Nerone highly enjoyed carving in metal and wood and was always experimenting with ways to treat the surfaces of his wall sculptures. Sometimes his wooden sculptures would have to ‘face’ fire as well. Giovanni Ceccarelli, as Nerone was originally called, was known to be quite a curious and hot-tempered child. He received the nickname Nerone, after he had set fire to a wooden shed near his school. His curiosity and love for playing with fire would remain part of his artistry as well, as many of his wooden sculptures have partly burnt surfaces. He always stayed curious and loved discovering new techniques. Nerone never stopped creating his own work and, up until his death in 1996, he constructed panels and sculptures.
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