About the Artwork

Please note this artwork is no longer on display.

Salvatore Arancio’s works It Was Only a Matter of Time Before We Found the Pyramid and Forced It Open evoke a sculptural garden in which the sculptures are shaped by forms informed by the petrified trees of the “Lava Trees State Park” in the Hawaii Island, that preserves lava moulds of the tree trunks that were formed after a volcanic eruption in 1790. By using a natural material like clay to recreate the lava trees’ totemic presence and by toning the resulting shapes with iridescent, metallic glazes, the artist’s aim is to create a link to his ongoing fascination about nature as a theatre for rituals, worships and self-induced trance states. Arancio doesn’t hesitate to convene science and make apparent their mystical side decontextualizing the forms that have inspired him and emphasize the strangeness and the evocative power of these natural elements that may recall phallic symbols and esoteric signs.

The sculptures were made in collaboration with the Antica Ceramica Gatti of Faenza (Italy) to be presented at the 57th Biennale di Venezia in 2017.

Year: 2017

Courtesy of the artist and Federica Schiavo Gallery. Photo: © Nick Turpin


Glazed and unglazed ceramic, epoxy resin


160 x 90 x 270 cm, 160 x 90 x 250 cm

Artist Biography

Salvatore Arancio

Salvatore Arancio was born in Catania, Italy, in 1974 and lives and works in Nizza. Selected solo and group exhibitions: Black Tower, London, UK (2019); Museo Casa Jorn Albissola, Italy (2019); Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, UK (2019); Matera, Italy (2019); Drawing Room, London, UK (2019); Centre d’art contemporein La Halle des Bouchers, Vienne, France (2019); Bardo National Museum, Tunisi, Tunisia (2019); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2018); Biennale Ceramica – 60° Premio Faenza, MIC, Faenza, Italy (2018); Ty Pawb, Wrexham, UK (2018); Semiose Galerie, Paris, France (2018); NoguerasBlanchard, Madrid, Spain (2017); Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome-Milan, Italy (2019-2017-2013-2012-2011); Gyeonggi International Ceramic Biennale, Icheon, Korea (2017); 57th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2017); Kunsthalle Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland (2016); Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2015); The London Open 2015, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2015); Centre d’art contemporain La Halle des bouchers, Vienne, France (2015); Project 09: Salvatore Arancio, Contemporary Art Society, London, UK (2015); Cinéphémère, FIAC, Paris, France (2014); Ensapc Ygrec, Paris, France (2014); AV Festival, Northern Gallery For Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK (2014); Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico (2013); Spacex, Exeter, UK (2011); Kaleidoscope Project Space, Milan, Italy, (2009). Selected residency: Casa Wabi, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico (2017); CCA Andratx, Andratx, Spain (2016); Ceramics Fellowship, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2014/2015); Résidences Internationales aux Recollets, Paris, France (2013); Art Omi, New York, USA (2011); EKWC: European Ceramic WorkCentre, SG ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands (2012); Wysing Arts Center, Cambridge, UK (2012); Museo Carlo Zauli, Faenza, Italy (2012); ISCP, New York, USA (2009). He was awarded The Elephant Trust Grant, London in 2011, the Premio ‘New York’ in 2009 and was selected for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2006.