Arte Povera


(Michelangelo Pistoletto, ‘Venus of the rags’ – 1967, 1974)

Arte Povera (literally poor art) is a modern art movement. The Arte Povera movement was during 1967-1972 and took place in cities throughout Italy: Turin, Milan, Rome, Genoa, Venice, Naples, Bologna. The term was coined by Italian art critic Germano Celant and introduced in Italy during the period of upheaval at the end of the 1960s, when artists were taking a radical stance.
Artists began attacking the values of established institutions of government, industry, and culture.The exhibition Im Spazio (The Space of Thoughts), curated by Germano Celant and held at the Galleria La Bertesca in Genoa, Italy, from September through October 1967, is often considered to be the official start of Arte Povera. Celant, who became one of Arte Povera’s major proponents, organized two exhibitions in 1967 and 1968, followed by an influential book published by Electa in 1985 called “Arte Povera Storie e protagonisti/Arte Povera”. Histories and Protagonists, promoting the notion of a revolutionary art, free of convention, the power of structure, and the market place. Although Celant attempted to encompass the radical elements of the entire international scene, the term properly centered on a group of Italian artists who attacked the corporate mentality with an art of unconventional materials and style.

•A return to simple objects and messages
•The body and behavior are art
•The everyday becomes meaningful
•Traces of nature and industry appear
•Dynamism and energy are embodied in the work
•Nature can be documented in its physical and chemical transformation
•Explore the notion of space and language
•Complex and symbolic signs lose meaning
•Ground Zero, no culture, no art system, Art = Life


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