Staccioli | Bavia | Caplin
24 March – 5 May
20 Cross Street
N1 2BG London
Paolo Staccioli, Girotondo (2015)
No 20 is delighted to present ‘Staccioli | Bavia | Caplin’,
an exhibition displaying the work of Paolo
Staccioli, Silvano Bavia and Steve Caplin.
Each in their own way, the three artists place traditional
techniques at the centre of their practice and revisit
them through a contemporary perspective:
Paolo Staccioli models ceramics and bronze to create
timeless figures; Silvano Bavia transforms
newspaper articles into alchemic rose-based installations;
and Steve Caplin reimagines antique
furniture in mutated forms.
Having exhibited worldwide for over forty years, ‘Staccioli | Bavia | Caplin’ is the first London
exhibition of Italian artist Paolo Staccioli.
Born in Scandicci, near Florence, Staccioli began his career as a painter in the 1970s. Eager to
experiment with a new artistic vocabulary, in the early 1990s he was drawn to Faenza to work and
train in the workshop of local ceramists. Eventually he moved back to Scandicci to open his own
workshop where he continues to explore different approaches to fire glazing and copper oxides.
At the beginning of his career Staccioli preferred to work on wide surfaces where he could easily
draw. Today, he alternates between these pottery pieces and monumental sculptures. This exhibition
surveys the diversity of his practice presenting twenty-one works in ceramics and bronze created
between 1998 and 2016.
Staccioli’s sculptural language is influenced by the work of Alberto Giacometti, Marino Marini, Arturo
Martini and Pablo Picasso. His compositions are domitaned by accumulation and variation of themes
where warriors, travellers and horses are recurrent characters. The elongated figures are reduced to
the essential and seem fixed in a dimension outside of time in which they appear motionless.
Exhibitions include: Museo Horne, Florence (2011); Spazio 522 in New York (2010); Palazzo Pitti,
Florence (2009); Italian Embassy in Washington (2009); Galleria Selective Art in Paris (2009); Italian
Institute of Culture New York (2008).
Italian artist Silvano Bavia was born in the South of Italy, Lecce and now lives and works in Florence.
Having resided in London for many years, Bavia’s mixed cultural heritage and international
background is reflected in his practice. His work is rooted in the fusion of the ancient tradition of
papier-mâché – a practice originating from Salento in Puglia – with the spirit of western modern
Used for centuries in the production of religious statues, papier-mâché remains one of the oldest
examples of recycling practices. Bavia takes the humble material and transforms it into emotional
and alchemical 3D installations.
His work engages the viewers’ visual and tactile perceptions, making them wonder about the
palpable aspects of the delicate floral forms. Hand-made individually from recycled newspaper,
each rose embodies vibrant and contrasting elements of texture, colour and light, creating a
dialogue between renewal and tradition, canon and conceptualism.
The rose is chosen for its inner alchemical meaning: the representation of birth, purity and beauty of
the universe. By mashing up poor and recycled materials, Bavia transforms the dreadful events
exhibited in the paper into the magnificence of hundreds of roses.
Steve Caplin is a sculptor and digital artist based in London. ‘Curieaux’ is his latest project and the
first in which he uses carpentry and assemblage to create his pieces. By combining traditional
craftsmanship with post-industrial imagery, ‘Curieaux’ carries the cyberpunk aesthetic into the realm
of fine art.
As a sculptor, Caplin works primarily with mixed-media collages, using found objects to create
intricate constructions with surrealist and gothic suggestions. The titles of his works are often a direct
reference to historical and mythological characters. His opera is disseminated with hidden tales and
details to be discovered, which confer to the works a dreamlike, yet bizarre, atmosphere.
Caplin’s influences include Po Shun Leong, the Chapman brothers, Joseph Cornell and Hieronymus
Bosch. He studied philosophy at the University of East Anglia, and is the author of a dozen books on
digital illustration. He taught digital design at the University of Westminster and is a guest lecturer at
the London College of Communication.