Arte Povera
Pistoletto is considered one of the leading figures of Arte Povera. First of all because of his works—from the Minus Objects, which precede the official birth of the movement, to those that constitute almost its emblem, like the pieces (for instance, Venus of the Rags, 1967) containing the rags that were initially used by Pistoletto for cleaning the mirror paintings and later in several actions by The Zoo. No less important is his role as a catalyst (played since the beginning of the sixties) of the group of Turin artists—and as a bridge between them and those in Rome—which gave birth to Arte Povera. The theorist of Arte Povera, Germano Celant, who met Pistoletto during the exhibition of the Minus Objects in the artist’s studio, acknowledges this role to him: “As an intellectual his role was that of weaving a European network of contacts among artists, facilitating the exhibition of Pino Pascali’s Weapons [in January 1966 in Turin] and improving knowledge of Italian art, by creating the Deposito d’Arte Presente (Warehouse of Present Art) and, subsequently, an artist’s collection, as well as making possible the dialogue among galleries, particularly Ileana Sonnabend and Gian Enzo Sperone, which started off the circulation of Pop Art in Italy and of Arte Povera in France, Germany and the United States.” (Germano Celant, in Un’avventura internazionale, Charta, Turin 1993,14). The collection to which Celant refers is that of Arte Povera exhibited by Pistoletto in his home during 1971 and now on display at Cittadellarte.
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Venus of Rags, 1967
Venus of Rags, 1967
Arte Povera + Azioni Povere, 1968
Orchestra of Rags, 1968
Small Monument, 1968
Soap and Water Sled, 1968
Columns of Rags, 1968