Laura Caramelli was born in Montelupo Fiorentino, a town on
the outskirts of Florence famous for its production of artistic ceramics; this
gave her the opportunity to visit pottery workshops and kilns from an early age.
It was at the beginning of the Eighties that she began to tackle drawing from
real life at the studio of Patrick Hamilton, concentrating on nudes especially,
both with a classic approach and as an exploration of movement.
Later on, she furthered her analysis of light en plein air,
and subsequently attended the atelier of Marco Lisa where she was intrigued by
the use of metal putties and resumed modelling terracotta. It was at this time
that she attended the school of ceramics in Montelupo Fiorentino, with a special
focus on the use of the potter's wheel.
A short time later she met Roger Partridge who introduced her
to sculpting in stone and marble both in atelier and at the quarries of
For several years she worked with Frances Raynolds, the
artist to whom she attributes her approach to minimalism and working with wood
as a primitive material.
In 1994 she held a one-man sculpture exhibition at the
Ceramics Museum of Montelupo Fiorentino (FI) after which she joined the IBERNA
group with whom she took part in the international art competition "Projet Uni
Dufour". The work was exhibited at the Musée d'Art e d'Histoire in Geneva.
After the IBERNA group broke up she continued to participate
in one-man and collective shows in Italy and Europe.
She also collaborates with Pietro Antonio Bernabei, the
forerunner of European Bioart, with joint works and shows and subsequently with
Primo Biagioni, a versatile sculptor in terms of expression and technique.
In 2008, for the Olympic Games she was selected, along with
17 other Italian artists, to exhibit in the Forbidden City, at the " Salon des
Artistes Européens de Beijing ".
Recently she joined the"Antica Compagnia del Paiolo" in
Florence and has collaborated in the illustrations of Maria Rita Montagnani's
book: "Il grande ascoltatore".
Currently she divides her time between painting and
sculpture; her works revealing a new stylistic dimension in which, while not
abandoning her taste for substance, she has evolved towards a formal minimalism
centred around the profound symbolism of man.
Over the last few years this artist has been trying to communicate with
an increasingly more minimalist style the profound loneliness she feels
as she explores the world around her.
A head, a hand, a foot - these are symbols that transcend from a type of
humanity that neither communicates nor feels, and against which she
rebels. She struggles to express her "inner self", divided between
abandonment in an oppressive world and capture the emerging energy that
shatters the ostracism towards a lost being who would like to be heard
in the inconsistent abyss in which humanity has been buried.
The recurrent schematic face that rises from the surface of the painting
exalts this inner desire. The intense ultramarine blue, the purity of
the carmine red, the contraposition between black and white, all give
life to the contrast between the soul and an empty humanity. (January
Laura Caramelli's works are engaging, dense with pathos and poignant
alchemy … Clearly her mastery of matter assists the artist in the
elaboration of works in mixed technique in which alchemical and
psychological exploration proceed abreast. The sensations generated are
in fact morphed mental states and techniques. Starting from the more
classic techniques of oil and acrylic, the deft hands of the
artist-alchemist mould these through integration of the most diverse
materials - sand, gauze, meshes and whatever - that transform the matter
of the painting and evolve into works of striking visual-tactile impact.
Her creations stimulate the observer to an awareness that does not stop
at the mere vision but arrives at a direct contact with the work: we are
attracted to the point of touching it, urged to experience a symbiosis
with the work. "Vita alchemica" (Alchemical Life), "Riflessi lunari"
(Lunar Reflexes) are intriguing works in constant metamorphosis, culling
something different from each new contact, implementing a species of
continual elaboration and enrichment both in the observer and within the
work itself. The true magic that art alone succeeds in working when it
arises from the creativity of eclectic and sensitive artists such as
Laura Caramelli … (February 2008)
Sculpture, the strength and fragility of our EGO
Wood, cement, stone, plastic, iron: different materials that Laura
Caramelli uses and moulds to her own sparkling and profound vitality of
intent. The constant frenetic quest for the deepest and most concealed
SELF and EGO emerges in the sculpture, as in the painting, partly
through the use of particular woods and specific juxtapositions of
matter and colour which, harking back to the material painting, continue
with consistent determination to unfurl their magnificent results. Thus
in "Antonio1" we can grasp the contrast between the passionate red of
the wood and the dark countenance that weighs on the heart, bringing out
the contrast between what is more superficially engaging and the depth
of the thought and the feeling. Similarly in "Pendolo" (Pendulum) the
robust strength of the structure is in contrast with the delicate
suspension of the little sphere hanging above. In all her works we find
this dichotomy between materials and symbols, an awkward coexistence
that perfectly reflects the reality in which our conscious and
unconscious frequently coexist, Figures and symbols, stylised and used
between lines and cuts that are geometrically perfect and symmetrical,
whet our wonder and stimulate our curiosity. How can we fail to be
captivated by the simple yet complex representation innate in "Antonio
2"? Laura's artistic evolution is eminently consistent, as she
tirelessly continues to stimulate our imagination and our most profound
emotions. (October 2008)
MARIA RITA MONTAGNANI
Laura stigmatises her "hermetic" vision of the world in the expressive
cipher, the compositional module of the ONE, anonymous and serial icon
recounting an existence by now stereotyped and alienating. This ONE is
in fact no longer a carrier of humanity, and thus finds itself shifted
from the individual to individuality, that supreme value that each of us
ought to seek and achieve in order to cease being ONE and become man. No
longer an individual in the multitude but rather an individual that
comprises it.... Laura embodies this crucial passage. (October 2009)
MONICA SEGUI GONZALEZ
The key to Laura Caramelli's artistic language is to be found
principally in colour and in the elaboration of matter. The style of
both her paintings and her sculpture ranges from the schematised
figurative to the abstract and is characterized by personal formulas
that combine tradition with contemporariness.
In the landscapes represented in her triptychs the essential features
develop through intensely chromatic geometric figures; rhythmic
repetition dominates as do contrasts that evoke the classic tradition
while, at the same time, attaining expressiveness through the contrasted
play of roughness and smoothness of pictorial surfaces.
In other works, a primitivist and expressionist influence emerges in
both theme and style. In these works the artist uses a great variety of
structures and reliefs. This exploration of matter induces her to use
various compositions both in the support materials (canvas, board,
paper, the assemblage of various canvasses), and in the pictorial
technique (oil, acrylics, minerals, sand, glass, rope, metallic net…).
The importance of matter is particularly visible on the screens with a
dance theme. It is on these screens, stripped of the superfluous and
where structure is emphasized, that colour and the transparency of the
surface dominate. In some of her works, the artist goes from the research of colour to the
purity of whites; in others the contrast produced by red stains against
a black background and vice-versa results in a powerful expressiveness.
Particularly interesting are the chromatic effects obtained from the
passage from cold to warm shades of colour.
The last series of monochromes introduces us to the contemplation of
spaces where emptiness emerges and the purity, essentiality and elegance
of the artist's language dominate. Colour creates the painting and its
character materializes through thickness, opaqueness and luminosity.
Opalescent shades vibrate on a gold, silver or copper lamina or on a
uniform green, red, blue or yellow background. In this phase,
characterized by a reduction of the chromatic range, the theme of dance
reappears. On various panels with backgrounds of a single colour the
elusive figure of the moving dancer is immobilized forever.
The creative and investigative character of the artist emerges also in
her sculpture. Her solid background in the ceramic factories of
Montelupo, in the marble quarries of Pietrasanta and her experience in
the workshops of various artisans, lead her to explore the expressive
potential of matter, be it ceramic, wood, stone, cement, iron or
synthetic materials. The formal simplification, the primitivism and
purity of materials are the core of her style which, from its beginning
with terracotta, ranges from the figurative to the abstraction of her
A surrendering to the flowing inscrutability of the unconscious. Her
work continues in the search for atavistic and mysterious alchemies in
which the challenge is renewed in the knowledge of repeating predestined
pathways. The journey that artist Laura Caramelli has "always" embarked on, both
in painting and sculpture, can be glimpsed in the conflicts involving
her own EGO, expressed with feverish, carnal and cerebral impulses that
move and propagate on waves involving the artist herself. As a result, it is as though Caramelli were materialising her own inner
work through the figures and symbols that make up her own special
language. (September 2005)
Her plastic and pictorial works attain a schematism, a simplification
that underline her tabula rasa approach, her desire to start from the
origins of art and of the history of humanity through ancestral forms
that are part of our inner world.
Laura Caramelli often resorts to symbolic shapes… that strike our
imagination letting us into the primordial mysteries that concern also
modern man. She explores the arcane aspects of art in order to find a balance
between the I and the Self, between the individual soul and the
"Laura's strong point is the insatiability of her research. Sculpture,
painting, or rather "writing", emerge with great clarity. In her sculptures and her canvases the idea, the thought behind the
lines and colours are there, complete. It is up to us to read them and
to discover their dramatic content."