Arte Povera 1966 – 1971

Term coined by the Genoese critic Germano Celant in 1967 for a group of Italian artists who, from the late 1960s, attempted to break down the ‘dichotomy between art and life’ (Celant: Flash Art, 1967), mainly through the creation of happenings and sculptures made from everyday materials Such an attitude was opposed to the conventional role of art merely to reflect reality The first ArtePovera exhibition was held at the Galleria La Bertesca, Genoa, in 1967 Subsequent shows included those at the Galleria De’Foscherari in Bologna and the Arsenale in Amalfi (both 1968), the latter containing examples of performance art by such figures as Michelangelo Pistoletto In general the work is characterized by startling juxtapositions of apparently unconnected objects: for example, in Venus of the Rags (1967; Naples, Di Bennardo), Pistoletto created a vivid contrast between the cast of an antique sculpture (used as if it were a ready-made) and a brightly coloured pile of rags Such combination of Classical and contemporary imagery had been characteristic of Giorgio de Chirico’s work from c 1912 onwards

Arte Povera is a contemporary art movement The Arte Povera movement took place between the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s in major cities throughout Italy and above all in Turin Other cities where the movement was also important are Milan, Rome, Genoa, Venice, Naples and 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

[pt_view id=”22620c9e39″]

The exhibition “Im Spazio” (The Space of Thoughts), curated by Celant and held at the Galleria La Bertesca in Genoa, Italy, from September through October 1967, is often considered to be the official starting point 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 Key figures closely associated with the movement are Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Emilio Prini, and Gilberto Zorio They often used found objects in their works Other early exponents of radical change in the visual arts include proto Arte Povera artists: Antoni Tàpies and the Dau al Set movement, Alberto Burri, Piero Manzoni, and Lucio Fontana and Spatialism

The most diverse public collection of works from the Arte Povera movement is at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein