Bruno Ceccobelli


Bruno Ceccobelli

Montecastello di Vibio (Todi) 1952

Bruno Ceccobelli was born in Montecastello di Vibio, a small village in Umbria, but his family soon moves to Todi. After completing part of his school career, he moves to Rome, where he attends the Academy of Fine Arts under Toti Scialoja’s guidance, from whom he learns the theory and practice of abstraction. His art, which in some ways can be considered an inheritance from the Italian artist Alberto Burri, also from Umbria, and sharing some of Arte Povera characters, is part of a more general return to painting typical of his artistic generation. However, through the study of theosophy, alchemy and oriental philosophies, Bruno Ceccobelli comes to a spiritual and sacral symbolism, that differentiates him from the currents mentioned above. In the early '80s, along with other artists, he settles in the former Pastificio Cerere, a large abandoned industrial space located in the San Lorenzo quarter (Rome). The group, known as New Roman School or San Lorenzo Workshop, includes also Piero Pizzo Cannella, Marco Tirelli, Giuseppe Gallo, Gianni Dessì, Nunzio Di Stefano and Domenico Bianchi. The Italian art critic Achille Bonito Oliva writes that these artists are "all bearers of individual poetics and all streams towards a common aesthetic mentality and a moral vision of art". In 1975 he takes part for the first time to a group exhibition in the Town Hall of Albach (Austria) and, two years later, he has his first solo exhibition at the “Alternative Space” Gallery in Rome, where he exhibits works of conceptual art and participates in two group exhibitions at “La Stanza”, an independent space self-managed by young artists. In the following years he has a number of international exhibitions: in 1979 at the Festival of Italian Culture in Belgrade and, subsequently, some group exhibitions in France, Germany and Croatia. In 1980 he is invited to the Biennale des Jeunes in Paris, and later on he is invited by Ugo Ferranti (Rome) and Ivon Lambert (Paris) (1981). In 1983 he has his solo exhibition at Salvatore Ala (New York). In 1984 the art critic Achille Bonito Oliva curates the exhibition Ateliers, in which the artists living in “Pastificio Cerere” open their ateliers to the public. It is the consolidation of the San Lorenzo Group on the international art scene. In the same year, Bruno Ceccobelli is invited to the Venice Biennale, joining the Aperto '84 section. In 1986 he is invited for the second time to the Venice Biennale in the Art and Alchemy section curated by the art critic Arturo Schwarz. The ‘80s end up with many international exhibitions: in 1985 in New York, at Gian Enzo Sperone Westwater and in 1988 with a triple exhibition: in New York at Jack Shainmann, in Rome at Centro Culturale Ausoni, and in Madrid at Mar Estrada Gallery. In 1989 Bruno Ceccobelli is in Paris (Yvon Lambert), London (Mayor Rowan) and Barcelona (Thomas Carstens). The '90s start with exhibitions in Germany, Austria, Canada and Italy. In 1994 he is invited to give a training course at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Artes in Senegal, an experience that will leave a deep influence in his life showing him once again value of simple life and exasperations of modern civilization. In 1996 he is invited to La Quadriennale di Roma, and in 1999 Arturo Schwarz curates the exhibition Trascorsi d'Asfalto at the Guastalla Gallery in Livorno. In the same year he wins the contest "Project Art Rome", consisting in decorating Rome metro station: he realizes a large mosaic at EUR Fermi station. The year 2000 opens up with the creation, on the occasion of the Jubilee, of the bronze doors of the Terni Cathedral. In 2002 he holds the important exhibition Classico Eclettico at the Archaeological Museum of Villa Adriana in Tivoli, where some of his marble sculptures and other works interact with artifacts of the classical roman period. In 2004 he creates in Gibellina the mosaic “Eternity is the true healer”, side by side with the tormented Sicilian land, with works of numerous protagonists of contemporary art. In 2005 he is appointed Director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia, but after one year he leavs the charge in order to devote himself entirely to the artistic production. In 2006 he exhibits sculptures in marble in Pietrasanta and  Verona, and he participates in the exhibition San Lorenzo at Villa Medici in Rome. In 2007 he produces the installation Longa marcia post-temporale at Volume! Foundation in Rome. In 2008 he creates the installation Invasi, which is exposed at Pastificio Cerere, in which he reminds us that man is a spirit encased in a body vessel and, therefore, inveselled since his origins by the divine. In 2009 he proposes the installation Attici Unici at L'Attico Gallery held by Fabio Sargentini. He also takes part to Natalis in Urbe with an installation inside the Basilica S. Maria sopra Minerva (Rome). In 2009 the Museum of Contemporary Art MART of Rovereto presents the first retrospective exhibition dedicated to the Officina San Lorenzo, which traces the history of one of the most vital artistic groups of the last part of the twentieth century. In 2010 he holds in Rome the exhibition San Lorenzo: Limen, la soglia dell'arte, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva, and he takes part to the XVI Biennial of Contemporary Religious Art organized by the Stauròs Foundation. In recent years, after a career spent almost entirely in Rome, Bruno Ceccobelli has decided to return to Montemolino (Todi), where he lives.