Arte povera

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Phaidon, Feb 25, 1999 - Art - 304 pages
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It was in 1967 that critic Germano Celant defined as Arte Povera ('poor art') the work of thirteen young Italian artists. Through sculpture and installation they explored the relation between art and life as it is made manifest through nature, elemental matter or cultural artefacts, and experienced through the body. Their innovative works are lyrical, open-ended combinations of unlikely fragments -- a slab of marble with a lettuce, or fruit scattered amongst neon tubes -- giving the most banal materials a metaphysical dimension. First exhibiting together in Italy in the late 1960s, artists Anselmo, Boetti, Calzolari, Fabro, Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Paolini, Pascali, Penone, Pistoletto, Prini and Zorio went on to become internationally renowned. Bridging the natural and the artificial, the urban and the rural, Mediterranean life and Western modernity, Arte Povera's impact still resounds.

Rome-based critic and curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev has written extensively on these artists. Her introductory essay, covering all the key dates, players and issues of Arte Povera, is complemented by the works and statements of the artists themselves as well as their precursors and fellow travellers. Christov-Bakargiev has also selected seminal writings by founding critic Germano Celant as well as contemporaneous and retrospective documents by other thinkers, curators and practitioners including Jean-Christophe Ammann, Umberto Eco, Rudi Fuchs, R D Laing, Herbert Marcuse, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Harold Rosenberg.

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Mobili capovolti Upsidedown furniture 1976 page
Gilberto ZORIO Senzatitolo Untitled 1968 page
Gianni PIAC1NTINO Metalloid OrangeOchre ReadingDesk Object 1 196768 page

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About the author (1999)

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is currently Chief Curator for Contemporary Art at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art in Turin, Italy.
Jane Taylor is a cultural theorist and curator based in Cape Town and is a senior professor in the Department of English at South Africa's University of the Western Cape.

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