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Styles & Periods
Arte Povera

Arte Povera developed in Italy in the 1960s, and became an internationally influential sculpture movement. This movement is called Povera, which is Italian for “poor,” for the artists’ use of discarded and worthless materials. Part Conceptual Art, part Minimalism, the movement liberated artists from traditions. Also called Actual Art, Impossible Art and Anti-form, the message of Arte Povera was a reaction against media and commercialism and therefore the Pop revolution that was glorifying the erasure of the hand of the artist. Informality of process, as well as display, allowed a stronger, more vital connection to everyday life. This prerogative has much in common with the Performance artists of America, and the connection between the artist and materials. In a similar current, Japanese artists of the Mono-Ha, or school of things, were also creating works of sculpture using everyday, beautiful, materials and presenting their work in unconventional ways. While an almost entirely Italian-based movement, the currents of Arte Povera were felt all over the globe.


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