I grew up in the countryside and as a child I always loved digging around in the mud and playing with colors and this started me on my path to becoming an artist.
Until recently, I painted and made installations and videos. I then started to design furniture and ceramics. Today ceramics are my biggest passion and it is my way of expressing life itself: from a seed that grows in the earth to the mysteries of outer space. An indian guru once read my palm and told me that, in my life, colors for me are divinities and my purpose is to make them dance together. I see use of colors, silver, and gold feels as a magical means of expression. Through this language emerges a primitive and precious esthetic, like a gem that sparkles in a pile of earth.
Coralla Maiuri is very versatile artist who at times lends her creativity and her soft and strong feminine sensitivity to design. The furniture and objects she makes look so simultaneously new and familiar and she exhibits them only after they have been tested and cared for. The shapes, surfaces and colours of her creations invite you to caress and to be enchanted by them even when they are made of steel or their function is trivial. She lives in Rome and Milan.
What's cooking in Coralla's pans?
Something light-hearted, feminine, young in spirit?
Is style, I ask myself, (as naive as this question might appear?) And if so, what sort of content?
For the person who has looked into many subjects over many years (in this case the subject's art) and who has reached the farthest ends of such subjects (all in good time, of course) the time has come to begin re-examining what has been learnt, understood, practised and taught. The inertia of coherence keeps the tracks upon which the maturity of our ideas flows wholly intact. The work that has been accomplished is proof of a homogeneity, which even surprises the creator of the work itself. However, this creator knows that adulthood, even when lucid, can become invisibly childlike. The risk is serious. Wouldn't it have been better to become a pilot, as had been desired as a child? Rhetoric can help the soul in quite a useless way at any age whatsoever.
Anyway, it's better to observe the moves of a young, quite able artist and to understand what encourages her to hide away convent-style and to undertake the tiresome road that impels her to come to terms with the all around her, with the evil that strikes the us like some sort of leprosy attaching itself to all the wondrous good in the world.
And what will our friend do, bursting with life as she is? Which is like saying: what's life going to be getting up to after us?
Both the life as well as the artist (both equally talented) will most certainly answer this question and, by doing so, they will be giving rise to a particular, yet amused sense of expectation which, I hope, will be convincing. This is also a question answered by another one of my very dear acquaintances, another very talented artist: "what happens after me is of no interest to me". Yet, for any one of her little unsigned drawings she could kill you.
All the very best to Coralla for her gambling on pleasure and congratulations on her skill and her steadfastness in carrying on towards her ambitious goal with irony and joy.
There are, of course, several precedents.
Palma Bucarelli di Pascali writes: "In the fair of consumption the terrible little boy begins by enjoying himself and ends up getting irritated. Out of mischief he invents the 'anti-invention', the invention of the "boomerang" which always returns to its starting point, the chain-mail bridge, the brush bug (...).
Pascali's is an honest invention (...) which shows up the falsehood of technological utopia (...). Maybe she's a moralist. (From A. Zevi "Peripezie del dopoguerra nell'arte italiana").
Let not Coralla adopt sufferance through the sake of charity but let her take care of the architecture of happiness, hoping, maybe to conserve it.
A room, small and regular as a monk's cell, open sideways: to impress the most striking acceleration to the space is the diagonal perspective, inexorable, which opens on the cutting surface of a photographic print in black and white, hanging on the back wall. The infinite tunnel "to Lynch," which seems to start before our eyes to reach the farthest recesses of the centre of the earth, is punctuated by regular and unstoppable theory pans. This image "dusts" the ancestral knowledge stored in fairy tales: how many treasures lie hidden inside pots protected in the belly of the earth?
Those same pots, exaggerated and lacquered in white, are stacked on one side of the room, lying inside one another to form a "Endless Column", which seems to pierce the ceiling and the floor, as a pin connecting the sky and the depths of the earth. Far from abstract vocations, this column, composed of repetition, redundancy, by the echo of the same common and domestic object, immediately reveals its material and concrete matrix.
The dialogue between these two elements of the installation, photography and column of pots and pans, is perfect; they find correspondence in one another, being inscribed in an aesthetic "politically correct" strategy from the point of view of the contemporary art scene.
Yet, happily, there is more and there's more, something that disturbs and moves the reading: an organic form, a sulphur and fluorescent fungus, almost certainly poisonous and radioactive - mutant? - comes out suddenly from behind the column. The fungus slowly releases its magical powder, surrounding him as pollen fell on the floor around an atomic flower. Its colour scheme really surprising turns it into pure lump of solid light, in a form of materialization of shining.
Even the title, "mental colour" of the work, in this case provides a valuable indication: frog hare stone milk, while it sounds like an infant litany, seems also the beginning of the recipe of a magic potion, which lists the ingredients that will be placed in the pots to boil along with the fungus ... Or the fungus is the guardian of the treasure?
All Coralla’s work speaks of transformation and operates in the viewer a process ... you know from where it begins, but it's hard to know where it will lead.
The work of Coralla Maiuri is the result of a careful observation of events, a sensitized look at the large and small elements of her own natural, domestic reality and the ever-changing components of her life: an intuitive progression.
Coralla Maiuri uses various artistic languages and materials to tell the story of life, the forms which generate it and the talismans which influence it.
And having touched the essence, she perceives what remains when it is all over: the image, the vision and the sound. Coralla Maiuri observes, breathes, smells and touches the reality which surrounds her, absorbing impressions and moods and emerging her senses in the everyday things of life.
Her figures and images are represented at a moment in which they are still mobile, fluid, improvised and apparently modifiable, when it is still possible to perceive their original rhythm, when it is still possible to hear their primitive sound.
Having felt and imagined the evolution of the forms observed, Coralla Maiuri then renders them in a movement of gestures whose varying speeds create an alternation of curves in which a myriad of pushing and shoving, acute and obtuse angles converge.
The ultimate synthesis of the series of forms created by the artist is the white sculpture.
Made of a material solidified and moulded by unfathomable "coincidences" of time and space, sculptures generate an image, inhabit a place, create a presence and assume a form. The white of Coralla Maiuri's sculpture is the same white as that of the marble used in the most classic noble works of art. The marble is replaced by polystyrene, a common material which may even be considered pollutant, just as many of the materials used to create the things which surround us in our everyday life. But white is also a result of both a total absence of colour and a fusion of all colours. White symbolizes life, birth and regeneration.
The trumpet fanfare - an interval of a fourth: A-D - emitted by the sculpture develops into other semblances to occupy both parallel and contiguous portions of reality.
Every substance is governed by the laws of physics. Every object has a frequency and vibrates. Sound is the essence and the synthesis of this physical phenomenon. Sound is the subtlest and most acute form an object can assume.
Sound is an echo of an object's origin, of its "everness", of its infiniteness.
The interval played by the sculpture is the propagation of a breath and reminds us of a distant journey.
Breathing levels, unites and transforms.
Life creates its forms via a series of imaginary channels which ensure that every form has the right proportions for its place in the world.
And it this mysterious journey that the original lavatory sculpture suggests. Its forms remind us of something ancient, endowing an "unmentionable" object with a noble, mysterious presence.
The dark, perfectly round hole surrounded by candid geometries suggests the incessant transformations which occur in each and every life as a result of the incredible alchemies generated in channels and receptacles of every type.
Yet the lavatory can also be seen as a threshold, a passage to somewhere beyond. Its colour suggests light and transformation, while the many pure primary pigments which converge in it create an additional synthesis and mixture of shades.
The "cruelty" of the object's existence is thus suspended and absolved by the artist before being reconciled via the series of amulets offered by existence at every moment of our life.
Can the efforts and fatigues of our life modify, add, restore and amplify the essence of the objects and the materials with which we come into contact?
Can the tools we use help transform and nourish the experiences of our life?
The artist colours her utensils pink, the colour of love and care. All the keys to understanding the hidden potential of our lives can be recognized in the tools we already have.
But we must nevertheless be ready to see and hear when we are offered the chance to transfer the value of our experiences to the material.
Coralla Maiuri's humble, joyful and ironic approach is symbolic of her own personal story.
An ability to see and listen is essential for any artist wishing to establish an active relationship with the world.
As Tolstoy wrote, there is no point in artists pretending to be the creators of their creations. The creations have always inhabited the earth, perhaps in an invisible form, but nevertheless present. But invisible forms, inaudible sounds and marvellous combinations of colours and words can only be transmitted by those who are able to see and listen.
An ability to see and to listen is essential for those who wish to exist for themselves and for others.
The time needed to see is the time needed to perform. The time needed to perform is the time needed to imagine.
Art is defined through these qualities and each artist has his or her own means of organizing the space-temporal concentration via which he or she awards a deep and authentic value to impressions which would otherwise be lost in time.
An everyday utensil which is given a new dimension as a result of its being placed in a different space-temporal concentration represents an infinite number of similar utensils.
By raising our awareness of the objects we use, touch and encounter in our everyday life, we are finally able understand their truest meaning.
The arrangement of the works in the extraordinary space offered by the gallery generates a rotational movement. The very composition of the installation establishes a rhythm.
Forms and colours create special movements whose relations can be best summarized in the layout of the musical stave: a means of representing an unusual dance.
The musical stave is the ultimate concentration of forces in movement; a means of bringing to the eye the invisible forms and spaces touched by a movement before it is expressed via the hands of the performer. A vortex and a sigh capture the mood which then becomes a series of notes, a "sign" to follow.
The works are arranged as a sequence of experiences whose precise order is difficult to define, but whose very discontinuity suggests a movement or a rhythm.
And like thoughts, rhythm is also expressed in pauses, intervals, impressions and sentiments.
THE METAMORPHOSIS OF TOUCH
When you look at an artwork it is inevitable to cross the sympathetic border of the other categories, so the "Fictions" by L. Borges are made, deep down, crawling in the mind, capable of merging the temporal intricacies of the mind with the notes of Debussy.
These works are not works: it would be better to call them metamorphosis, from Greek “beyond form." In fact, the works of Coralla Maiuri are beyond form and anthropological citation and beyond representation because they are capable of altering, appearing and at the same time being.
But in these works there is something more: it is the viewer who has to decide what it is, even if the conclusions are unique and unambiguous in their ecstatic perfection.
Coming from profane and contemporary times, we could tell our neighbours this is the work of an artist lying in the image, which affects our vision: perhaps it is a clever trick, perhaps a classic literary artifice, perhaps an escape from reality in a chemical separation, perhaps mystical exaltation at the threshold of our wishing perfect worlds, or maybe even all that our subconscious dreams.
However, in looking at these works one cannot be distracted because the immanence of the present is similar to the essence of truth and only in this way one can get back to oneself.
It is easy to hear all of this in a breath of cotton wool brought by a wind at night or in the reflection of aluminium that glows when the neon lights up, but it is still easier to watch and wonder what the rest of the story will be, a story that can be moved on other sensorial planes such as touch, inexplicably present here. What will be the feeling be skimming the polished surface of copper?
Those who look a bit longer can almost feel its heat ... it's the fire that forged it.
The words guide us in the universe of Coralla Maiuri and allow us to tune in with her desire to entrust her voice to a book. Voice or silence? It is precisely the word "silence" to form a kind of common denominator, of ideal place, and is the author silent inner dialogue to take shape in the book. PASS is the title of the book, as well as the first of a series of terms that scan the volume. Then follow WINE, FIRE, MILK, AIR, HOME, BACK, a sort of emotional vocabulary that declines between pages. Let's go then in each universe that these words evoke without worrying to follow the order, a freedom that an artist's book may grant. PASS is an imperative in the Italian language and at the same time, a cordial invitation of who gives way. An invitation to go beyond, in physical proximity as in the mental distance. Incitement to the courage to face the unknown, to turn towards a renewed spiritual attitude. And the whole volume acts as a "pass", a document that seals a moment of transition between a past to which pay any debt and a future yet to penetrate. It records a transitional space in its mild and painful, soft and bright aspects. Certainly does not appear casual the presence, between the terms chosen by the artist, of the word HOUSE. A direct reference to the size of the affective roots, infant memory, distant past, a place of magic unreality and ancestral wisdom. If the term HOUSE evokes the opening words from which to move, to go over (to PASS), BACK - another imperative chosen by the artist - speaks of the revocability of every act, every step, exactly ... seals a passage that does not need to be transformed into escape. BACK attenuates the peremptory of PASS, offers a kind of consolation: even the most reckless traveller still wants to keep open the way back. Leave verbs that guide us in the intimate path of the artist to approach names capable of colouring steps otherwise abstract. FIRE, vital centre of HOME, heat, but also primary element since the roots of Greek philosophy, energy which allows to proceed, warmth that welcomes in the rest. AIR, another primary element, is a synonym for freedom of action and reflection, essential condition for whatever may happen. We are risking to trace an ambiguous and ethereal existential journey, but the word MILK immediately reminds us of the presence of a body that is nourished with the first food, while WINE opposes recalling the adult dimension, and the loss of orientation. Both evoke a simple and primitive dimension linked to land and nature: impossible then not to think of the country to which Coralla Maiuri is deeply linked. Words, shapes, silhouettes, signs: only in the relationship between written text and visual text, writing and image, thought and vision, the secret nucleus and the real need of these pages is revealed. Words and shapes interact in common orchestration of colours. Precise chromatic choices give direction to the sinuous forms, while spirals, determined diagonal signs create movements that overflow from page to page. Vaguely organic forms, remote sexual innuendo, hints to the mystery of the female body, sudden orthogonal lines, allusions to the size of the male: a dance barely hinted that creates a contact, a precise tune with words. No description, no illustrations, but a silent approaching, recomposing of meaning between written text and visual text. The shapes drawn on printing plates with atypical materials (condensed milk, lavender oil ...) alternate with white silhouettes applied on the pages, curved shapes that, in their snow-white support, reverberate from the silhouette hosted on the cover. A vague evocation, this, of the childhood home of the artist, built around a central patio. Browsing through the pages we enter a path where even in the balanced sobriety of the sequence, it captures the most hidden nature of the author of these sheets. A story told through archetypal forms, which belongs to Coralla Maiuri and not only to her.
stamina sunt stamina
stamina nomen stamina nomines
stamina loci stamina oculi stamina verba
there is a lexical geography that slips into the house and makes the nest with the affections
an oikography the profile of the faces of the joints of the loins of the places of the eyes of the names
all that changes over time, and passes and does not pass, and returns
if as a child she filled the rooms in the house with dry leaves she has tied the outside to the inside, and the inside to the outside
leaf is nomad pass
nomad is home, those living home
leaves smell leaves colour leaves sound return
that home is a little nest to where everyone brings back leaves, branches
pass and turn home, back inside
it’s the home that retains the perishable, otherwise useless if not to give shape to a core of eyes
home germ nest nomad home donut book
small measure, measure
home circle, home donut gestures
: donate, not knowing if eyes hands voice womb sound of the crackle of dry leaves like fire
how untraceable is preservation if not a gift
home retains gesture
retains face retains womb retains keel
the house that is a provider
milk wine fire air
a lot passes a lot returns semae
marking a line on paper is to tie the inside to the outside
her line is a place of affection
(stamina st. originaria,fam. lin[...]ae)
Leaving paint behind. The oil of the colours ruled by sticks and bristles, putting this orchestra down because of an urgent approach. There, for someone coming from paintings, sculpture means breaking the frames to get inside. Leaving a handmade article in the middle of a field, giving it a setting, creating the object's order and direction in the dishevelled surroundings that provide its edge and dimension. Here the sculpture rises from
the painter's half-closed fist, as the need to touch and apply materials, resins and metals opens the palms of his hands.
I willingly climb to an airplane window to look at the cloud's news. Passing over their bodies, a thought carne to me: I don't know any cloud sculptors. Painters, certainly. Perugino, Turner and then that master mason of the heavens from Catania who scoops clouds in the shape of cups around Etna.
But clouded sculptors, with their mouths open and their noses in the air, poised with their index finger pointed to catch the cut-out of air spanked by the wind.
An ancient Neapolitan song contains the phrase "la sperienza della neve", roughly meaning the experience of snow. But "sperienza" doesn't exactly correspond to experience. Rather, it implies a form, one that is right for and wise about the snow. Here there is a meteor's "sperienza", an adventure that runs rampant in the cycles' waves.
Children blow soap bubbles, the world's most perfect sculptures. Here the shape of cycles are made for the poor bipeds we are, the only ones incapable of flight.
My rough eyes' will doesn't provide me with depth. I can only graze. The concave makes me curious: its renunciation of a cut, of a sharp corner.
And the opaqueness of the surface seems a snow-covered white to me, a chilled wine that fogs the glass. Knowing that the artist is a mother is a minor detail for the expert, for me, there is a piece of joy in these shapes that were shaped along with her children. And there is an offering inside these works, a gift that one wishes to open so that the wrapping paper from the ribbon bedecked packages will rustle between one's fingers.
This is how awakenings were on winter Sundays.
Here I am being the player, fumbling the words, like clapping at the wrong time before the "applause" card has been shown. Sounds that crush air in the pit of one's hands come better to me, here they are only written and dedicated to Coralla Maiuri.
ELLE Decor (2018)
The New York Times (2016)
Io Donna (2016)
Sight Unseen (2016)
The New York Times (2016)
Io Donna (2013)
Assab One (2005)
2017 "Spazio Nhow", Milan Design Week, Milan
2016 "Spazio Luisa Beccaria", Milan Design Week, Milan
2013 "Sotto la lingua nessun segreto" Coralla Maiuri apre una stanza, Rome
Music by Riccardo Giangi
2013 "Spazio Lucia Odescalchi", Milan Design Week, Milan
2008 “Apri, vai, cerca, mangia…” Valentina Bonomo Gallery, Rome
with a text by Fabio Mauri
2005 “La-Re” Paolo Bonzano Gallery, Rome
curated by Giuliana Stella
2005 “Il fucile è nell’aria” with Nicola Troilo, AssabOne, Milan
curated by Bettina Della Casa and Elena Quarestani
2002 “Da fonte a fonte” Casa delle Letterature, nel Chiostro di Borromini
curated by Maria Ida Gaeta, with a text by Erri de Luca
2018 "Festa", Cantiere Galli, Rome
2018 "Galleria Salvatore Lanteri", Arteﬁera, Bologna
2018 "La Sindrome di Pandora", Daforma Gallery, Rome
2018 "Arte Fiera Bologna", Galleria Salvatore Lanteri, Bologna
2017 "Brilliant Ceramics", Luisa Via Roma, Florence
2016 "10 anni di Secondome", Galleria Secondome, Rome
2016 "Awaiting, Galleria Secondome, Milan Design Week, Milan
2016 "Miart", Galleria Secondome, Milan
2016 "Operae", Galleria Secondome, Palazzo Cisterna, Turin
2012 “Natale” Marilena Bonomo Gallery, Bari
2011 LIV Venice Biennale, Italy stand
2010 “Invito all’opera” Il Ponte Gallery, Rome
curated by Achille Bonito Oliva
2008 “L’arca” Marilena Bonomo Gallery, Bari
2006 “Stampare ad arte” Giorgio Upiglio, Cantonal Museum of Lugano
curated by Bettina della Casa
2005 “Vaselle d’autore” Torgiano Museum
curated by Nino Caruso
2004. “Elettricità” Palazzo Primavera, Terni
curated by Giuliana Stella
Coralla Maiuri opens a room dedicated to art in Rome in Vicolo del Piombo 17. Riccardo Giagni composed the music for the evening. Here beginning with herself, she will show the work of artists and languages closer to her sensitivity.
"No secret under the tongue" is one of the few sentences that run on the video that introduces this opening.
These words contain a total acceptance of the lack of the keys to unlock the enigma that surrounds our lives.
The work that marks the opening of this room is a consommé specially created by the artist, and its peculiarities are the various elements that make it up, that range from longitude and latitude.
After having hosted an installation by Emilio Prini, Coralla Maiuri reopens with an evening at her studio/showroom in vicolo del Piombo 17b from which the proceeds will go to the Indian orphanage “Mother and Child” founded by Thomas Myladoor.
Inspired by children’s spirit and the way in which they decorate their dolls, Coralla Maiuri has made a series of drawings of cows adorned Indian style. She will be joined by two artists: Luigi Ontani with “perhaps nursery rhyme sketch” and Emilio Prini with a poem.
Thomas Myladoor will offer the guests an Indian soup.