Arte Povera

Arte Povera

Arte Povera (poor art) was an art movement in 1960s Italy that endeavoured to forge a fresh sculptural style using modest, common materials.

In the late 1960s, young Italian artists sought to develop a fresh sculptural style using ordinary materials in a movement known as Arte Povera or ‘poor art’. Coined by Italian critic Germano Celant in 1967, this term encapsulated the work of these artists, as Celant identified a common revolutionary essence in their art, closely tied to the growing radical political climate in Italy. Through the use of basic, temporary materials like soil, cloth, and branches, Arte Povera artists aimed to defy and break free from the commodification of art.

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Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.