Artistic Life

Ivo Sassi

“Ideas come from working. If you work, if you do something then you get the idea of doing something else”.
Ivo Sassi

Foto Birgül Göker

Ivo Sassi was born in Brisighella on November 30, 1937, died in Faenza on July 6, 2020.

In 1950 he began attending the State Institute of Art for Ceramics in Faenza and got the sculptors Anselmo Bucci and Angelo Biancini as teachers and Nanni Valentini and Carlo Negri as colleagues.

In 1954 he worked in Carlo Zauli’s workshop, a relationship he interrupted in 1959, when he opened a personal studio in Faenza.

In 1965 he performed three large polychrome majolica panels for the “Angelina” and “Achille Lauro” vessels.

In 1968 he won the First Prize at the 4th National Competition of Ceramics and Sculpture “Francesca da Rimini” and the Gold Medal at the 6th Art Ceramics Competition in Cervia; in 1969 the First Prize at the 11th Gualdo Tadino International Competition and in 1970 the “Faenza Prize” at the 28th International Contemporary Art Ceramics Competition in Faenza.

In the same year he received the Prize for Sculpture at the Vallauris International Biennale.

It is, however, since 1965 that his work acquires a precise physiognomy and formal autonomy: until 1971 he develops the cycle Technological Era, using mainly the white majolica and, from this date, begins the cycle ET Genesis in which he merges geometric elements and a largely informal organicism using black, gold and third-fire platinatures.

In parallel with his work as a sculptor, Sassi collaborates with tiles factories: Ceramica Artistica Italia ’68 in Fiorano Modenese (late 1960s), Ceramica l’Astorre in Faenza (seventies and eighties), Ceramica Del Conca (2002).

In 1973 he held a personal exhibition at the Roman gallery SM13 where Enrico Crispolti presented the book written by Luigi Lambertini “Le ere tecnologiche di Ivo Sassi” (The Technological Eras of Ivo Sassi).

In the same year he received the First Prize at the Gualdo Tadino competition and was invited to Turin at the Bolaffi exhibition (Catalogo Bolaffi della Scultura).

In 1985 he was invited to “Arte Fiera” in Bologna and in 1986 to the 11th “Quadriennale d’Arte Nazionale” in Rome.

In 1988 the critic Marcello Venturoli invited him to the exhibition “Mare Mare” in Naples. He has personal exhibitions in Faenza (1988), Lugo (1992), Ravenna (1994), Brisighella (1996), Bagnacavallo (2001).

Until 1989, when he ceased to participate in competitions, he received numerous awards and reports, notably in Faenza (in 1977, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1986) and in Gualdo Tadino (1981).

Artistic Life

Ivo Sassi

“A life spent between pottery, glazes, colors and shapes”.
M. Isola, Culture and Ceramics Assessor of the Municipality of Faenza

Foto Birgül Göker

Among the works installed in public spaces they report: the Great Wing (1988-’89) in the headquarters of the Bank of Romagna in Faenza, the Great Nike (1988-’89) in Brisighella, the Great Fire (1990-91) in Faenza, the Red Column (1996) in Bagnacavallo , the Great Stele (1999) at the Bargellini Museum of Art in Pieve di Cento, the Stele of Life (1996-2002) in the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce of Ravenna, the Red Vertical (2002) in Cesena, the Two Towers for Cesena great roundabout, and Sculpture (2007) at the headquarters of Cefla in Imola.

In 2004 he held his most important anthology exhibition in Cervia with the publication of a monographic volume edited by Giorgio Di Genova.

Internationally he is invited to the most important exhibitions in Hamburg, Madrid, Nagoya, Moscow, Innsbruk, Lucerne, Kecskemet, Lisbon, Lima, Kyushu, Athens, Budapest, Limoges, Stok on Trent, Selb-Plossberg, Schwaebisch Gmund.

In 2007 the Municipality of Faenza organized a large personal exhibition at the Faenza Exhibition Palace with the publication of a volume edited by Franco Bertoni.

At the same time, to celebrate his 70th birthday, the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza dedicates an exhibition of all his works, owned by the Museum.

In 2009 the Municipality of Cesena and Cesenatico organized the great exhibition “Ceramics” curated by Silvia Arfelli.

In 2010 in Shanghai, on the occasion of the World Expo, is inaugurated the Great Column in front of the Palace of Congress, works 600 cm high.

In 2011 Cesena, Carbonari Gallery, a personal exhibition of painting. Bologna, Fava Palace, Exhibition of the artists of Emilia-Romagna, organized by the 54th Venice Biennale curated by Vittorio Sgarbi.

Reggio Emilia, St. Peter’s Cloister, 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, Emilia Romagna Pavilion.

Brisighella, Sculptures in the City and Municipal Gallery.

2017 “Ivo Sassi – La Ceramica”, is the exhibition designed to celebrate the eighty years of his career. Exhibitions in Brisighella “From the 50s to the present” and Faenza, at the Molinella Gallery. The exhibition includes about fifty works, all made in 2015-2017. Catalog made with contributions written by the deputy mayor Massimo Isola, the director of the museum Magi 900’ Giulio Bargellini and the director of MIC Claudia Casali.

It shows large discs about one meter in diameter and rectangular or square panels where color is the undisputed protagonist.

Artistic Life

Ivo Sassi

“An incessant search, still ongoing, and a very extensive production that reflects the volcanic character, never tamed in front of the fragility of the material and the mystery of cooking”.
E. Nonni

Essential bibliography
Ivo Sassi. La coerenza variata, Ravenna, a cura di G. Di Genova, Ravenna 2004
Ivo Sassi in conversazione con Franco Bertoni, a cura di Franco Bertoni, Faenza 2006
Ivo Sassi: forme della materia, catalogo della mostra al Palazzo delle Esposizioni di Faenza, a cura di Franco Bertoni, Faenza 2007
Ivo Sassi. Le Terre Amate. 1996
Di Genova Giorgio – Ivo Sassi. La coerenza variata – Comune di Faenza, 2004
Ivo Sassi in conversazione con Franco Bertoni di Franco Bertoni, Faenza, 2006
Franco Bertoni – Ivo Sassi forme della materia – Palazzo Esposizioni Faenza, 2008
La spada Lo scudo La corona – Ivo Sassi- Magazzino del Sale Cervia, Anno 2014

Works: artist’s studio (Faenza) and artist’s residence in San Biagio Antico (Faenza)

They wrote about him. Umbro Apollonio, Franco Basile, Jadranka Bentini, Franco Bertoni, Giancarlo Bojani, Beatrice Buscaroli Fabbri, Maurizio Calvesi, Enrico Crispolti, Giorgio Di Genova, Luigi Lambertini, Paolo Levi, Giuseppe Marchiori, Luciano Marziano, Giorgio Mascherpa, Franco Miele, Sandra Orienti, Marilena Pasquali, Giorgio Ruggeri, Sergio Segato, Luigi Servolini, Franco Solmi, Claudio Spadoni, Lorenza Trucchi, Marcello Venturoli, Cesare Vivaldi, Dario Zanasi.


Studio Ivo Sassi
APS Ivo Sassi

Via Bondiolo, 11 48018
Faenza (RA) - IT - 0546 663069

Via San Biagio Vecchio 20 – 48018 – Faenza – Ra – Italy

Sabina Orlandi - Enrico Pasi


Organizing Secretariat
Carmen Fantinelli +39 348 360 1354

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