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Article

Italian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 17 July 1947, in Milan.

Painter, sculptor, theorist.

Arte Povera, Conceptual Art.

Adriano Altamira put forward his first critical observations on the phenomena of vision in 1967. Next he began to use minimalist structures, plaits and interlacings, like some of the methods used in France by the ...

Article

Renato Barilli

Italian sculptor. After working as a painter from 1959 to 1964, he turned to conceptual art in 1965 and by 1968 was associated with the emergence of Arte Povera, of which he became one of the strictest and most coherent exponents. His limited output consisted largely of the staging of major physical processes whose long-term effects the audience was invited to imagine, in such a way that the non-material dimension of thought was brought to bear on bulky and spectacular physical phenomena. In ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1930, in Milan.

Sculptor, painter.

Arte Povera.

Aricò exhibited in Rome, Milan, Verona, and at the Venice Biennale in 1964 and 1968, as well as in Chicago and at the São Paulo Biennale in 1963. His use of litter and used objects in hazardous compositions has categorised him as an Arte Povera artist....

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1943, in Bologna.

Sculptor, painter.

Arte Povera.

Pier Paolo Calzolari spent his teenage years in Venice. He lived in Paris from 1970 to 1972 and travelled from 1981 to 1986 in Crete, to Urbino, Vienna, Venice and Marrakech. Urbino is his home and workplace. His early violent oil paintings swung between representational and abstract styles, incorporating 'objects, cast shadows, small ledges'; then from ...

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1950.

Sculptor.

Arte Povera.

Endo Toshikatsu works in wood, coal tar, earth, fire and water. He has taken part in numerous group exhibitions since 1974, mainly in Japan. Other exhibitions were: 1986, Documenta VIII, Kassel; 1987, New York; 1988...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1936, in Turin; died 22 June 2007, in Milan.

Sculptor, installation artist, environmental artist, performance artist.

Arte Povera.

Luciano Fabro lives and works in Milan. His creations may seem entirely disparate, to which he responds that coherence between different elements across all sections of a work seem unnecessary to him, and that a deeper coherence is provided by the very identity of the artist.His creations are enormously diverse in their appearance, but it has been suggested by Fabro himself that what links them is that they all fall within the domain of Arte Povera. This is convenient, given that the artists using this concept (first coined by Germano Celant in ...

Article

Matthew Gale

Italian sculptor, conceptual artist and writer. He frequented artistic circles in Udine in the mid-1950s. In 1958 Fabro saw Lucio Fontana’s contribution to the Venice Biennale and the following year moved to Milan, where he discovered the work of Yves Klein and Francesco Lo Savio and was closely associated with Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani. Their investigations of matter and space influenced Fabro’s idea of the artist as a facilitator of experiences without preconceived categories. After tentative early works, he embarked upon austere pieces that encapsulated phenomenological problems, such as ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Sculptor, environmental artist.

Arte Povera.

Rafaël Ferrer exhibited in New York in 1970. He created environments in the style of Arte Povera by assembling a variety of materials - wood, corrugated iron, neon bulbs.

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in England.

Born 1947, in Salem (Ohio).

Draughtsman, sculptor.

Without joining the Arte Povera movement, which sprang up primarily in Italy from 1968 onward, Joel Fischer nevertheless benefited from it, in that this movement looked at the coarsest materials through new eyes. However, the issue for Fischer is not one of expressivity, as it is for the Arte Povera artists, but rather a reflection on the ambitions of art. In his early career his work was above all intended to be a derisory activity. At this time he began to plait and spin hair, and make nails from old bits of metal or pieces of coarse paper from old clothes. By reaffirming ties with the artisan side of art, Fischer quickly found favour in the USA. Without losing interest in the materials, he began in the 1980s to explore meticulously the medium and subject of his future drawings: chiffon paper, which he makes entirely by hand. The imperfections are exaggerated with charcoal and, in a new space, come to signify a non-accidental form. In ...

Article

German, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active since 1977 active in France.

Born 1950, in Kronach (Bavaria).

Sculptor, assemblage artist, environmental artist, mixed media.

Arte Povera.

Friedmann is self-taught and settled in Aignay-Le-Duc in Burgundy in 1977, where she lives and works. In the early 1980s, she started photography, focusing on disused locations. Since ...

Article

Romanian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Germany from 1980.

Born 11 February 1953, in Bazna.

Sculptor.

Arte Povera.

Johannes Kares first studied choreography in Cluj before transferring to the theatre institute in Bucharest, from which he graduated in 1978. During the same period he was sculpting life-sized works in the studio of another sculptor, Grigore Minea. Settled in Germany, he continued his training as a sculptor with Baumann at the academy of fine arts in Stuttgart. During his summer holidays, he worked in the marble quarries in Azzano, Italy. He settled in Leonberg in ...

Article

Antonello Negri

Greek painter, performance artist and sculptor, active in Italy. He studied in art college in Athens until 1956 and then went to Italy. He settled in Rome, studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti, where he was particularly influenced by the non-figurative painting of Alberto Burri. From ...

Article

Greek, 20th century, male.

Active in Italy from 1956.

Born 23 March 1936, in Piraeus.

Sculptor of assemblages, painter.

Arte Povera.

Jannis Kounellis started his artistic training in Greece and left for Rome in 1956. He attended courses at the Accademia di Belle Arti and he discovered the works of Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana and the international avant-garde with Yves Klein and Piero Manzoni....

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Active in Belgium.

Born 1940, in Düsseldorf.

Sculptor (mixed media).

Arte Povera, Conceptual Art.

Bernd Lohaus initially worked in a carpentry workshop, then began an apprenticeship as a stone-cutter in 1960. After the show Fluxus, which brought together John Cage, Ben, Allen Kaprow, Nam June Paik and Joseph Beuys among others, he studied under Beuys at the school of fine arts in Düsseldorf ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1 January 1925, in Milan; died 9 November 2003, in Milan.

Painter, installation artist, sculptor, draughtsman, mixed media.

Conceptual Art, Arte Povera, Visual Poetry.

Mario Merz spent two years studying medicine at the University of Turin, during which time he also tried his hand at Concretist poetry and attended courses at the institute of fine arts. However, he soon turned against any kind of formal education. In 1945, shortly before the fall of Mussolini, he was imprisoned under the Fascist regime as a political activist. On his release he moved to Paris, where he became familiar with the work of artists such as Dubuffet, Fautrier and Pollock and the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre. In 1959, he met his future wife Marisa, and in the mid-1960s he returned to live and work in Turin....

Article

Italian, 20th century, female.

Born 1931.

Sculptor, draughtswoman, pastellist, installation artist.

Arte Povera.

The wife of Mario Merz, Marisa Merz was a member of the Arte Povera group from the beginning of her career and was the movement's only female member. She exhibited for the first time in ...

Article

Matthew Gale

Italian painter, sculptor, conceptual artist and film maker. His first one-man show (1970; Milan, Gal. S Fedele) reflected his awareness of Arte Povera in the multifarious cut-outs of corrugated cardboard and rubber. Ontani’s major occupation was, however, enacting ritualized performances, as in the fire-walking film ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 5 November 1940, in Genoa.

Painter (mixed media), collage artist, sculptor, draughtsman.

Conceptual Art, Arte Povera.

Paolini lives and works in Turin and Paris. His artistic activity has been an enquiry into the multiple aspects of art. At the beginning of the 1960s, he created presentations of blank canvases, of the reverse side of canvases, supports and frames. Initially restricted to just the geometry of the canvas, his later work tended to include the physical space in which the works are displayed....

Article

Renato Barilli

Italian painter and sculptor. He trained as a graphic designer and in the 1960s reacted against the picturesqueness of Art informel by concentrating on the basic components of painting: canvas, frame, paint of a single colour or even the abolition of paint in favour of a completely bare surface. In ...

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 19th October 1935, in Bari (Apulia); died 11th September 1968.

Sculptor.

Arte Povera.

Pino Pascali settled in Rome in 1956, where he studied scenography at the Accademia di Belle Arti. After his debut in the field of theatrical decoration, Pascali instilled a sense of space and theatricality into his sculptures. In the 1960s he celebrated women with a series entitled...