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The authentic beauty of porcelain seen through contemporary sculptures and renowned manufactories

Porcelain Virtuosity reveals the inventiveness, innovative approaches and contemporary savoir-faire used in porcelain craftsmanship and for the creation of sculptures. Carefully selected from Europe and Japan, a collection of independent ceramic artists as well as internationally renowned manufactories and their artistic collaborations will exhibit unique artworks.

David Caméo Curator - Laila Pozzo©Michelangelo Foundation

A showcase of contemporary porcelain pieces by esteemed manufactories Meissen, Nymphenburg (Germany), Bernardaud and Sèvres (France) created in partnership with famous artists and designers

• A selection of independent master artisans including Katsuyo Aoki, Hitomi Hosono, Shigekazu Nagae (Japan), Bouke de Vries (Netherlands), and Tamsin van Essen (UK) showcase their innovative approaches to the art of porcelain crafting

• In the beautiful backdrop of the 17th century Longhena library, French curators and porcelain specialists David Caméo and Frédéric Bodet unveil a magnificent showcase of the fine craftsmanship behind outstanding porcelain pieces with a forward looking vision

This September at Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Homo Faber unveils an exhibition imagined by French curators David Caméo and Frédéric Bodet. Porcelain Virtuosity shines a light on the creative craftsmanship behind contemporary porcelain with a spectacular display of sculptures to tableware, Japanese to Baroque.

Porcelain is typically associated with the fine tableware of the 18th century; the vision for this exhibition is to unite porcelain’s rich cultural heritage with the present, illustrating the way contemporary manufacturers and independent artisans and artists are breathing new life into a traditional craft whilst remaining faithful to time-honoured techniques.

Visitors will have the unique opportunity to see a selection of artworks created from fruitful collaborations between international artists and renowned European porcelain manufactories. Sèvres will show the artworks crafted with Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa, Italian designer Pucci de Rossi, and ceramic sculptor Grégoire Scalabre. Bernardaud will present its collaborations with American plastic artist Gisèla Colon, the street artist JR and the Dutch designer Olivier van Herpt. Meissen will be represented by the artworks of the American artist Chris Antemann, whilst Nymphenburg will showcase the creations of artist Ruth Gurvich.

The French curators of the exhibition, David Caméo and Frédéric Bodet seek to revive the spirit of the Baroque period, ever present in contemporary porcelain production as European and American artists renew the savoir-faire and emblematic styles of historic porcelain manufacturers. On top of these mannerist studies, the artworks are inspired by contemplative musings, all the while respecting extraordinarily sophisticated techniques, exemplified especially by certain Japanese ceramicists.

The majestic room of the 17th century Longhena Library of the San Giorgio monastery, with its striking architecture, makes it an evocative space in which to showcase the chosen porcelain masterpieces. Caméo’s intention is to present the pieces to onlookers in a way that highlights a common thread between the objects and the space. Linking the art of making to the art of learning with the symbolic presence of the ancient reading tables and book shelves which have themselves facilitated a transfer of knowledge for centuries.

Rendering Porcelain Virtuosity - ©Architetti Pedron_LaTegola “The outlook today for artisans and contemporary craftsmen depends on those who are willing to exceed expectations, to revitalize and renew their metiers and in the process capture a young audience by the force which is represented by beauty, savoir-faire and ultimately the final object”- David Caméo

Participating manufactories and artisans:

- De Vries, Bouke, Netherlands
- Hosono,Hitomi, Japan
- Katsuyo, Aoki, Japan
- Maison Bernardaud, France: works by Olivier Van Herpt/ Gisèla Colon/ JR
- Manufacture de Sèvres, France: works by Pucci de Rossi / Naoto Fukasawa / Vase Brongniart / Grégoire Scalabre
- Meissen Manufactory, Germany: works by Chris Antemann
- Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, Germany: works by Ruth Gurvich
- Shigekazu, Nagae, Japan
- Takahiro, Kondo, Japan
- Van Essen, Tamsin, United Kingdom

Porcelain Virtuosity is set in the Longhena Library at Fondazione Giorgio Cini. It is one of 17 exhibitions that comprise Homo Faber, organised by the Michelangelo Foundation.

Notes for editors
Homo Faber
Crafting a more human future
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
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Homo Faber is the main event organised by the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship, an international non-profit organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, which was set up to celebrate and preserve master craftsmanship around the world and strengthen its connection to design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence and in the realities and challenges of today’s global economy, the foundation aims to support those who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of master craftsmanship and to foster a new cultural movement built around the values that are essential for their work. The Foundation focuses on Europe as a starting point for its activities, in recognition that craftsmanship has been a vital part of the economic and cultural fabric of the region for centuries, providing both a rich heritage and a competitive advantage in a global world.

David Caméo
The former head of the world-renowned porcelain company Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. David Caméo has spent his career serving the decorative arts. A politics graduate, he was an advisor on the decorative arts for the French Ministry of Culture, before becoming a technical advisor for successive culture ministers and then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. He is president of Marta Pan - André Wogenscky Foundation and the Roman Opalka Trust. Additionally, he is trustee for Villa Noailles, CIRVA, School of Jewelry Arts and Paris-Ateliers.

Frédéric Bodet
From 2012 to 2019, he served as Curator in charge of modern and contemporary collections at Musée National de Céramique à Sèvres (National Museum for Ceramics). From 1999 to 2012, he worked at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris as Curator Assistant, in charge of the contemporary craft collections. He has curated many exhibitions for these two renowned institutions as well as many as a freelance curator, especially for Bernardaud Foundation. Researcher and expert in the applied arts, he gives lectures at European art schools and publishes articles in reviews and catalogues and often takes part in jurys for international Biennals.

Architetti Pedron / La Tegola
Apml Architecture studio was founded in 2009 in Venice by Alessandro Pedron and Maria La Tegola.
Both graduated in architecture at the Università Iuav in Venice and started their professional activities in 1996. The city’s rich historical beginnings gave them the chance to focus their attention on the history and context behind the projects, enhancing their capacities thanks to the initial collaboration in the restoration of historical buildings. The professional experience of the studio and the constant search for original design solutions is utilised in different projects including heritage ones, new buildings, exhibition design projects, and interior design.

Collaborating on Homo Faber with the Michelangelo Foundation are partner organisations that share its vision including: the Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, and The Japan Foundation.

Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte
The Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte is a private, non-profit institution founded in 1995. Based in Milan, it promotes cultural, scientific and educational initiatives for the protection and diffusion of artistic crafts. The Fondazione Cologni’s mission is to inspire a “new Renaissance” of the artistic crafts and rescue them from the threat of extinction. Many of its initiatives focus on young people and training future generations of artisans.

Fondazione Giorgio Cini
The Fondazione Giorgio Cini is a non-profit cultural institution based in Venice, Italy. Established by Vittorio Cini in 1951 with the aim of creating an international cultural centre re-integrating the San Giorgio Maggiore Island into the life of Venice and the region, today it is an important centre of humanistic studies and encourages the creation and development of educational, social, cultural and artistic institutions in the surrounding territory.

The Japan Foundation
The Japan Foundation, established in 1972, in Tokyo develops international cultural exchange programmes globally. The foundation’s aim is to promote Japanese culture to the world through programmes and activities in the following categories: art, cultural exchange, Japanese-language education and Japanese studies. The foundation has a global network, with 25 overseas branches in 24 countries. As part of their cultural programme, the foundation offers successful applicants support in the form of grants, research scholarships and training opportunities.

Ruth Gurvich Artisan_Nymphenburg©Nymphenburg Ruth Gurvich Artisan_Nymphenburg©Nymphenburg Porcelain Virtuosity Rendering©Architetti Pedron La Tegola David Caméo Curator_Laila Pozzo©Michelangelo Foundation