Nicola Lazzari Recent sculpture

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Lazzari in the studio, 2016
3 57 Jermyn Street ∙ St James’s ∙ London ∙ SW1Y 6LX ∙ T. 020 7629 1144 ∙ E. ∙ sladmorecontemporary ∙ 2023 RECENT SCULPTURE

on the exhibition, by

“The dream being dreamt”

There is a dream at work in these sculptures — or perhaps this is true for art in general. Perhaps the question we should ask ourselves when looking at an artist’s work today is: “what dream is being dreamt in this piece”? I believe that the dream being dreamt in Nicola Lazzari’s sculptures is an ideal asymmetry between matter and absence.

Bronze was not made for sculpting slender things: bronze is for cannons, for coins, for Rodin’s roughness — raw brushes of metal inflicted upon the empty space. It is not for jewels, nor for glasses. There might even be cruelty in bronze. The metal itself is impure: a heavy alloy of copper and tin. But, as it appears in these works, it is not a mere combination of metals but the possibility of balance — the cruelty of matter prevented by the lightness of forms. This is the dream being dreamt in the sculptures before us. The lines are thin, the frames essential. At times they host scattered figures: a child, a dog, a bird; silent and delicate beings inhabiting the frailty and the void within the frames. These elements unfold their contradiction with the material they emerge out of. Isn’t all of this delicacy more appropriate for a painting, or a drawing? Isn’t paper the right place for such lightness?

The bull, the lion, the ram — these are heavy and fierce animals, fit for bronze: “where is their contradiction?”, we might ask. The density of the bull, for example, matches the heaviness of the alloy: it reminds us of it, even imposes it on us. But looking closely they rest on slender heads, born out of them like Athena from Zeus — or like a zodiac dream. Shadows of a constellation.

Bronze and void, emptiness and crudeness. The dream being dreamt in Nicola Lazzari’s sculpture is a dream of balance between the roughness of matter and the delicacy of his subjects — the material of cannons at last bended to the intimate forms of nature.

Giaime Lazzari, 2023 The exhibition is dedicated to Count Manfredi della Gherardesca.

H:17” W:16” D:9” (H:43 W:40 D:23

1. Studio di Pittore con Cane e Cavalletto , ‘Autoritratto’ Painter’s Studio with Dog and Easel, ‘Self-portrait’ Bronze, edition of 12 cm)

2. Airone tra le Canne, ‘Bolgheri’

Heron among the Reeds ‘Bolgheri’

Bronze, edition of 12

H:12” W:17” D:4.5” (H:30 W:44 D:11 cm)

3. Bambino con Carretto con Asino, ‘L’infanzia dell’anima’ Child with a Toy Donkey, ‘Childhood of the Soul’ Bronze, edition of 12 H:16.5” W:24.5” D:5” (H:42 W:62.5 D:12 cm)
4. Testa di Ariete, ‘Costellazione’ Ram, ‘Constellation’ Bronze, edition of 12 H:9” W:7.5” D:5” (H:22 W:19 D:12 cm) 5. Testa di Leone, ‘Costellazione’ Lion, ‘Constellation’ Bronze, edition of 12 H:9” W:6” D:4.5” (H:23 W:15 D:11 cm)
6. Figura Mitologica, ‘Costellazione’ Mythological Figure, ‘Constellation’ Bronze, edition of 12 H:10.5” W:4.5” D:4.5” (H:27 W:11 D:11 cm)

7. Testa di toro , ‘Costellazione’

Bull, ‘Constellation’

Bronze, edition of 12

H:9” W:5” D:4.5” (H:23 W:13 D:11 cm)

H:14” W:27.5” D:7” (H:36 W:70 D:18 cm)

8. Cavallo sul Ponte, ‘Ex Voto’ Horse on the Bridge, ‘Ex Voto’ Bronze, edition of 12
9. Porta tovagliolo con Testa di Cavallo Napkin Ring with Horse Head Bronze, edition of 12 H:5” W:2.5” D:2” (H:12.5 W:7 D:5 cm)

The following pages show a select group of sculptures from some of Lazzari’s past exhibitions with Sladmore.

Second version

edition of 12

H:14” W:34.5” D:7.5” (H:35 W:88 D:19.5
10. La Terza Notte, Seconda versione The Third Night,
11. Raccoglitore Di Stelle Star Collector Bronze, edition of 12 H:13” W:15” D:10” (H:33 W38: D:25.5 cm)

The Artist Bronze, edition of 12 H:14” W:10” D:8” (H:35.5 W26: D:20 cm)

12. L’artista

13. Contrappunto No.1 (Fenicottero e rane)

Counterbalance No.1 (Flamingo and frogs)

Bronze, edition of 12

H:14.5” W:12.5” D:5” (H:37 W32: D:13 cm)

14. Alcune delle cose che non so Some of the things I don't know Bronze, edition of 12 H:8 W:5” D:3.5” (H:21 W12: D:8.5 cm)

15. Set di quattro porta tovaglioli: Gallina, Gallo, Gufo, Pesce Set of four napkin rings: Hen, Cockerel, Owl, Fish Bronze, edition of 12

Hen: H:4.5” W:2” D:2” (H:11 W:5 D:5 cm)

Cockerel: H:5” W:3.5” D:2” (H:12.5 W:9 D:5 cm)

Owl: H:3.5” W:2” D:2” (H:9 W:5 D:5 cm)

Fish: H:3.5” W:3” D:2” (H:9 W:8 D:5 cm)

16. Set di quattro porta tovaglioli: Tartaruga, Testa di Ariete, Rana, Uccellino

Set of four napkin rings: Turtle, Ram, Frog, Bird

Bronze, edition of 12

Turtle: H:3.5” W:2” D:2” (H:9 W:5 D:5 cm)

Ram: H:3” W:1.5” D:2” (H:7 W:3 D:5 cm)

Frog: H:3” W:2.5” D:2.5” (H:8 W:6 D:6 cm)

Baby bird: H:3.5” W:2” D:2” (H:9 W:5 D:5 cm)

Nicola Lazzari b.1957

Nicola Lazzari was born in Florence, Italy in 1957 and had a cosmopolitan upbringing surrounded by the Renaissance art of Italy. He currently lives and works in Pietrasanta near Lucca.

Trained as a painter and a sculptor, Lazzari fashions unusual narrative sculptures of a rare complexity and beauty. He incorporates selfportraits in many of the works, which have something of a renaissance quality to them, yet borrow also from Giacometti and other modern masters. Charming, intriguing, witty and exquisitely sculpted, his bronzes have a keen international following.

Lazzari’s work in bronze work embodies two different worlds. The tradition of representing objects from nature, along with a multitude of Italian and wider European artistic traditions. He is particularly inspired by the sixteenth century, such as the Paduan workshop bronzes. The compositions of his earlier bronze work shown in an exhibition in 2006 were likened to medieval fountain jesters as well as half-formed gargoyles of gothic edifices.

In Pietrasanta, Lazzari works alongside many craftsmen who, he has acknowledged, have imparted their wisdom to him throughout the years of working in collaboration. Patience while working is very much stressed by Lazzari, as he states, "these hands that work on the wax need to be sometimes warm, sometimes firm, and at other times cool, but always patient—for thought is fast but my hands are not".


List of Exhibitions

2018 “Nicola Lazzari”, solo exhibition, Sladmore Contemporary, London

2016 “Fatti a Mano”, solo exhibition, Sladmore Contemporary, London

2012 “Castate”, drawings & sculpture, (introduction by John Winter, text by Nicola Lazzari), Trinity Fine Art, London

2012 “Se Cezanne Fosse mio Padre e De Pisis mio Cugino...”, mixed-media, watercolour, bronze (text by Roaria Fabrizio), Andria

2012 “Il Lepre” bronze, Galleria Piacenza

2010 “Piccolo Salto del Buio”, bronze, mixedmedia & watercolour (introduction by Philippe Esteves Mendes, text by Olda Spanio), Galerie Mendes, Paris

2010 “L’Esilio delle Ninfe”, Three artists offcourse: Nicola Lazzari, Vito Tongiani, Ivan Theimer, (text by Massimo Bertozzi), Circle Gallery, Amsterdam

2009 “Nicola Lazzari”, bronze, (text by Oliver Wootton), Sladmore Gallery, London

2008 “Letters from Home”, mixed-media, (introduction by John Winter, text by Pia Pera), Trinity Fine Art, London

2006 “Curiosities”, bronze, (introduction by John Winter), Trinity Fine Art, London

2006 “Favola Breve”, watercolour & bronze, (text by Edoardo Testori), Galleria il Tempietto, Brindisi

2003 “Meteore e Lontananze”, watercolour, (introduction by Francesco Musotto, text by Cesare Garboli), Galleria Belle Arte, Palermo

2003 “Comune di Marignana”, paintings, sculpture & watercolour, (intorduction by Simona Poletti, text by Fulvio Dell’Agnese), Pezzini Editore Arte, Marignana

1999 “Tramonto, il Paesaggio Mediterraneo”, (text by Josef Kroutvor, Fulvio Dell’Agnese, Giorgio Soavi), Galleria Novy Svet, Prague

1998 “Ai Margini Dell’Appia” tempera, drawings, watercolour & sculpture (text by Edouardo Albinati), Galleria il Tempietto, Brindisi

1997 “Il mio Primo Giorno da Geranio”, watercolour, tempera & sculpture (introduction by Rosetta Loy), Galleria Documenta, Turin

1997 “Arte alla Badia”, paintings & scupture, (introduction by Maria Borsacchi, text by Antonella Serafini), Camaiore

1985 “Dipinti 1984-85” (texts by Henry Berg –Antonella Serafini – Daria Sanminiatelli), Galleria Documenta, Turin


Collective exhibitions

Vivita, Florence

Documenta, Turin

Davico, Turin

Wallace Collection, London

Castello di Mesola, Ferrara

Il Tempietto, Brindisi

Sladmore Gallery, London

Le Muse, Andria

The Art Box, Vicenza

Arte alla Badia, Camaiore

Galleria “Paola Raffo”, Pietrasanta


Studio photography by Beatrice Spreanza Lazzari in the studio, 2016
57 Jermyn Street ∙ St James’s ∙ London ∙ SW1Y 6LX ∙ T. 020 7629 1144 ∙ E. ∙ sladmorecontemporary ∙ 2023
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