Arte Povera

1.- arte povera-“denotes not an impoverished art, but an art made without restraints, a laboratory situation in which a theoretical basis was rejected in favour of a complete openness towards materials and processes.”

(movement, 1960’s – 1968) Arte Povera – “poor art” or “impoverished art” – was the most significant and influential avant-garde movement to emerge in Europe in the 1960s.  The term ‘Arte Povera’ was introduced by the Italian art critic and curator, Germano Celant, in 1967. It grouped the work of around a dozen Italian artists whose most distinctly recognizable trait was their use of commonplace materials which might evoke a pre-industrial age, such as earth, rocks, clothing, paper and rope. Their work marked a reaction against the modernist abstract painting that had dominated European art in the 1950s, hence much of the group’s work is sculptural. But the group also rejected American Minimalism, in particular what they perceived as its enthusiasm for technology. In this respect Arte Povera echoes Post-Minimalist tendencies in American art of the 1960s. But in its opposition to modernism and technology, and its evocations of the past, locality and memory, the movement is distinctly Italian.

2.- Example of one artist working with that technique.

3.-For my book application, I tried to achieve arte povera by limiting myself to the materials I had at arms reach. From my desk, I used left over materials from my mask, silver duct tape, and post it notes. I used the tape to make a rose and created a ‘flowerbed’ with the silver washers from my mask. I crinkled up neon post it notes to represent the leaves; I then had a round sponge brush I utilized as the sun.


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