Curatorial Alchemy

Our paths first crossed, unknown until many years later, at an intimate yet bustling wedding reception in a south Chicago apartment. This was probably 30 years ago, perhaps even the same year a new gallery, Torno Wright, opened at the end of my street to a fanfare of Eames, heralding new changes to come. Criss-crossing breezes of chance encounters, meandering spirits, hazy focus of time and space, of enthusiasm and knowledge sought, now united again in the same city.

That same serendipity, prompting impulse and discovery, guided welcome reward in the crucible of that great industrial city, still littered with the artefacts of the American mid-century. It was within this uneven yet fertile terrain, hidden slightly below surface, that Patrick’s intuitive talent—honed first as photographer then embellished as artist—would treasure the valuable neglected as passionate collector, and then as the inspirational dealer that I was to meet again, years later in New York City.

If asked to select one word to describe Patrick, I would resist and pick two. The first would be curiosity—a fundamental essential, to stimulate inquiry and rigour in all things, both great and small, of any era or region, type or surface. Even the most fleeting survey of this selection for sale is a celebration of innovation and of inspiration—an unerring eye for the unusually exceptional, or perhaps the exceptionally unusual. The chances are, that these are indeed discoveries that you have not yet realized that you needed to make.

Mentor, would be my second word. If artefacts and objects articulate visual, cultural and historic language, then the fluency of skillful mentorship—to guide, nurture, describe and explain—releases the eloquence of murmuring histories. In this capacity Patrick is that most earnest and sincere of excellent narrators. If ever I had friends, clients or colleagues visiting New York looking for unusual inspiration, there was always the certainty that Patrick’s gallery would offer them a glimpse of the hitherto unseen or the unusually seductive, always with the reassurance of the most fascinating story waiting to be told.

Mentorship and curiosity, when balanced in equal measure, reveal the precious alchemy of a curator. And it is the duty of the mature curator to discern and detect, to cultivate change, and from there to pioneer, and to share. Innovation is never static, and the Present is already the Future. Fresh dialogs evolve, energies to be nurtured, opportunities to be guided. Renewed and re-orientated, Patrick now faces fully forward—as benefactor, interlocutor and mentor to a new, inquisitive generation of talented creators, and the quest for discovery rejuvenates.

— Simon Andrews

Guido Gambone

One of the most prominent Italian ceramicists of the 20th century, Guido Gambone became known for his unique works that merged ancient, traditional, and modern aesthetics through innovative, painterly technique. Born in Montella di Avellino, Italy, Gambone relocated in 1927 with his family to Vietri, a town well-known for ceramic production. Here, as a teenager, he became an apprentice at the local Avallone pottery, going on to study ceramics at the Manifattura Artistica Ceramica Salernitana. He later enrolled at the Industria Ceramica Salernitana, where he became artistic director in 1935.

Gambone returned to Vietri in 1939, and several years later established La Faenzarella pottery with his brother Remigio and their friend Andrea D’Arienzo. The company’s works became known for the use of thick glazes in both earthy and vibrant hues, often made to appear especially viscous through the addition of sand, with patterns reminiscent of oil painting. In 1947, Gambone received the prestigious Premio Faenza, which he would go on to win multiple times throughout his career.

In 1950, Gambone moved to Florence where he founded La Tirrena pottery. His son Bruno, who was born in 1936, would become an important part of La Tirrena, which expanded on the aesthetics of works created at La Faenzarella. That same year, Gambone participated in the 25th Venice Biennale and had multiple works on view internationally, including at the Brooklyn Museum. He continued to work through 1967, when La Tirrena closed its doors, and passed away two years later. Today, Gambone is recognized as hugely influential to subsequent generations of ceramicists and designers, and his works are highly sought after.

Auction Results Guido Gambone