ARTE POVERA REVISTED June 3 – July 2, 2017

Opening Saturday June 3  @ 7pm

ARTISTS: Steve Armstrong, Peter Blendell, Gary Michael Dault, Marc Gagnon, Tammy Love, Colm McCool, John McKinnon, Peter Mennacher, Shani Mootoo, Terry Veevers, and Chris Velan.

Arte povera translates from Italian as “poor art“. It was an art movement in the late 1960s to the mid 1970s mainly in Italy,  concentrated in the towns of Turin, Milan, Rome, Genova, Venice, Naples and Bologna. The term AP was coined by the art critic Germano Celant who also organized the first AP show in 1967 in Genova / Italy.

We had an arte povera show at BLIZZMAX in 2014 and we are in good company to do a revisit as that is exactly what the Tate Modern / London UK did in 2009.

The word “poor“ refers to the movements use of a wide range of materials including rags, twigs, soil, throwaway items or found objects, the term garbage is not far fetched.

The movement was also closely linked to the political radicalism emerging across Europe which culminated in the riots of 1968, especially in Italy and Germany. Arte povera criticized the values of established institutions of government, industry and culture. The heyday of the movement was from 1967 to 1972 but the influence of AP is still enduring. One may call it the Italian interpretation of conceptual art. The leading artists were Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Guiseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto and others.

A well known piece of AP from those days was Michelangelo Pistoletto’s “Venus of the Rags“ which was a classic life size statue of Venus facing an enormous heap of rags.

We visited a fascinating installation in 2012 by Guiseppe Penone at the AGO in Toronto called “The Hidden Life Within“. Penone carved the “guts“ out of a huge tree trunk to revert to its past, lying bare the sapling of the first years, a veritable tree anatomy. This was also one of the concepts of AP, nature documented in its physical and chemical transformation.In March of this year the Met Breuer Museum In New York had a solo show of 90 year old arte povera artist Marisa Merz, wife of famous arte povera artist Mario Merz who died in 2003. The show was highly praised by Peter Schjeldahl, art critic of the New Yorker.

Click on the first image to launch the slide show.