Sacramora 12: A Conversation with Claudio Piersanti
Sacramora 12 hosts a collection of paintings by Phillippe Artias, who was a friend of Pablo Picasso in the years of Vallauris. He died in Italy in Numana 2002, but his legacy lives on in the rationalist farmhouse near Faenza, designed by architects Claudio Piersanti and Rita Rava, who also designed Museo delle Ceramiche di Faenza, and worked in the art sector on other projects. It happened naturally, then, that they met him and developed a strong friendship with his partner, Lydia Orlova. "Lydia allowed us to exhibit many works on canvas - even large ones - and works on paper of no less importance, taken from those of her private collection," says Piersanti.
“Staying at Sacramora 12 is like living in a contemporary art museum, surrounded the exhaustive work of a twentieth-century master. Philippe Artias's entire painting career is present at Sacramora, with cycles ranging from the royal family, to those on soccer, landscapes, geotemes and flat painting,” he adds.
We caught up with Claudio Piersanti, to find out more about the collection at Sacramora 12.
WHAT WAS YOUR VISION FOR THE ORIGINAL STRUCTURE, AS YOU FIRST LAID EYES ON IT?
Claudio Piersanti: “The barn was the most spectacular building in the agricultural complex: an empty straw shelter with very few walls, a roof supported by brick columns. The way to recover it was natural, leaving the void without divisions and closing it with transparent glass walls, so that even if closed it remained open.
“From the inside, the views are spectacular, due to a central mezzanine overlooking the outside at the height of the treetops. The guest has the feeling of being among the branches and leaves of the tree. Another feature of the recovery is that we left original parts intact, like the peeling of the plaster and the exposed stones. The floor is in concrete on the ground floor and in thin, galvanized iron plates in the mezzanine. The furnishings complete the imprint of contemporaneity, with design objects of absolute value. The kitchen is a mobile element that can remain hidden, and not add visual clutter.
“So, the space is flexible, for different kinds of guests, and holidays, and for events. And the size of the whole (about 150 square meters) has finally made it possible to welcome on the walls some of the most fascinating and dynamic paintings of Artias, those of the royal family, which are a tribute to Goya's masterpiece, 'The Family of Charles IV'.”
WHAT PIECES ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
CP: “All the design objects are purchased for our homes. From this point of view, everything is loved by us and considered of utmost excellence. Some of our favorites are: a ceramic series by Ettore Sottsass from the Yantra series for Poltronova, pre-1970s (very rare), the Camaleonda modular sofa by Mario Bellini for CeB – also from the 1970s – which was the first example of a modular seat that can be combined at will, and now re-edited by BeB (it was the sofa in my mother's house).
“We also love the curved glass armchair by Cini Boeri, an object with complex technology in its simplicity, and unexpected comfort (a gift from Rita for my birthday).”
DO GUESTS COMMENT ON THE ART?
CP: “Guests coming to Sacramora are mostly 'aware' people, who choose this place for its particular characteristics. Whether they say it explicitly or not, the enjoyment of what they experience is quite clear. This applies to the architectural spaces, the design and furnishings, the hospitality of our house director Miria, the goodness of the breakfasts. Regarding art, the perception is a little different. It may not be noticed at all, as it is the subject of a lot of questions and requests.
“Artias catalogs and brochures available for guests are carefully read and studied. Some also ask if the paintings are on sale (some things are) and the prices, some also buy. Finally, among the less attentive, there are those who ask if the artist is ‘from the family.’ When we say that Artias was an artist who met, attended, and exhibited with the great masters of the twentieth century, they are often quite surprised!”