Nicolò Cardi Opens up on Milan’s Local Art Scene
Closely associated with the Arte Povera movement, Italian artist Pier Paolo Calzolari frequently employs lead, salt, and roses in bloom in his sculptural assemblages. He is best known for his use of refrigerator generators to draw lines of frost on walls or other surfaces. In Sale Nero, the blackness of a sheet of burnt salt is paired with a creeping white line of frost. This work reflects the continuing influence of Arte Povera, with its emphasis on ephemerality, and interest in processes of material transformation.
Pier Paolo Calzolari—whose practice spans painting, sculpture, performance, architecture, and video, as well as the inclusion of live people and animals—is recognized worldwide as a leading figure of the Arte Povera movement. Bringing quotidian ritual into the realm of aesthetic experience and focusing on the fragility of objects and materials, Calzolari attempts to saturate the senses in order to reveal the nature of abstract thought and the essence of matter. In 1966-67, he produced his first multi-media performance piece, Ιl filtro e benvenuto all’ angelo, which incorporated audience participation, light, darkness, grass, and birds. Calzolari invited spectators to dress and undress, to move freely among the flying birds, and to lie on the grass. Anticipating contemporary social sculpture, Calzolari called this piece an “activation of space.”
Italian, b. 1943, Bologna, Italy, based in Fossombrone, Italy