Bruno Ceccobelli: Cre-a-te

headshot of a bearded, bald man with his back turned to a dark wooden door with a door knocker in the shape of a woman's head

Cornell in Rome Fall 2018 Lecture Series

Bruno Ceccobelli was born in 1952 in Todi, where he now lives and works. He graduated from Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, where he studied Jewish culture, modern philosophy, and religion.

Ceccobelli is one of the most representative and successful artists of the Italian art scene since the 80s. His name is often associated with the group of artists known as Gruppo di San Lorenzo, or Nuova Scuola Romana, that established their studios in an old pasta factory, Pastificio Cerere, in the area of San Lorenzo, in the mid-70s.

The group included Bruno Ceccobelli, Gianni Dessì, Giuseppe Gallo, Piero Pizzicannella, Nunzio, and Marco Tirelli. Although each one of them carried on his personal research and career, they commonly refused a totally conceptual idea of art that dominated at the time, returning to the use of the basic artistic elements of painting and sculpture, with the intent of creating works that conveyed conceptual ideas with a shrewd craftsman capability.

Ceccobelli's artistic research was born out of his profound interest in theosophical thought, in alchemy, anthroposophy, and Eastern philosophies. His research starts out as performative-conceptual, before reaching pictorial abstractions leading to a genuine spiritual symbolism.


In regards to positive thinking, which some believe to be able to translate into positive facts, or about the possibility of creativity changing reality, or about the general influence of culture on social structures, in particular, the persuasive strength of art and architecture on social changes, is it true that willpower can shape reality?

Starting from his artistic experience, Ceccobelli will present some considerations on what he has verified and understands about the general practice of art-making. He will analyze a vision of reality common to many artists where beauty, harmony, and spirituality are essential elements towards a sustainable future. He will start from historical times, for instance, the second Chicago school, emphasizing the importance of Mies Van der Rohe and continuing with Marcel Duchamp's concept of the death of painting, and then discuss the end of any ideology characterizing our contemporary consumerist society. In short, he will explore the eternal struggle of art and poetry confronted with social, economic, and, in general, the material boundaries of our consumeristic society.

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