Arte Povera  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The term Arte Povera (Italian for poor art) was introduced by the Italian art critic and curator, Germano Celant, in 1967. His pioneering texts and a series of key exhibitions provided a collective identity for a number of young Italian artists based in Turin, Milan, Genoa and Rome. They were working in radically new ways, breaking with the past and entering a challenging dialogue with trends in Europe and America. The artists would use any medium they could get for free or very, very cheap. Sticks, rocks, slate, rope and iron were common materials in the artist's artworks. The term "Poor Art" is not an attack on the artists, but rather a reference that any poor man or woman could get involved.

The movement was particularly influential during the early 1970s in countries with large Italian migrant populations, such as Australia where major local practitioners included John Davis and Domenico De clario.


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