The similarities with Phyllida Barlow and Arte Povera.

This two images is telling everything about the influence with Phyllida and Arte Povera, I will explain the key ideas of Arte Povera, and Phyllida Barlow.

One of the ideas of Arte Povera and it seems also in Phyllida Barlow was to bring everything back to the essential, to everyday materials, taking out any idea that was superficial.

The Arte Povera movement was born in Italy in 1967. Why do we have such a precise date? Because one of the most important art critics of the time, Germano Celant, invented the term in a critique he wrote. Of course some important works were created before this date, and everyone of them falls under the umbrella-term of Arte Povera.

In Italy at the time the Minimal Art and the American Abstract Expressionism were very popular, but some artits were tired of those trends. As a reaction, they created something totally different, with the approval of the critique, since Germano Celant was holding their hands.

  • The name of the movement is Arte Povera, they didn’t use “poor” materials, not only at least. They wanted to make a statement against the high-qualified art that uses only marble, oil paint and canvases, choosing to recycle materials, or using natural items to build their “assemblages”. This doesn’t mean that they avoided precious materials! They just included other ones in the process.
  • Mario Merz, Tavola a spirale (Spiral table), 1982The artists belonging to this movement wanted also to act against the art market (although everyone of them sold pieces to the art market eventually…). They thought that by using natural, and therefore perishable objects, their work could not be bought and sold. Obviously that was not true, otherwise we would not speak about them now! The idea is to be appreciated though. The idea of challenging the art market was already present in the Conceptual Art, the Performance Art, the Minimal Art and many others (but at the end they always found way of selling something).

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