Acquired from the above by the present owner in the early 1970s
One of the proponents of the Italian Arte Povera movement, Fabro set out with his contemporaries to challenge pre-existing perceptions of so-called high art. Translating literally to ‘Poor Art’, the term Arte Povera was coined in 1967 by Germano Celant to refer to the adoption of commonplace and everyday materials by artists such as Fabro, Alighieri Boetti, Pino Pascali and Michelangelo Pistoletto, in a bid to unsettle the traditional aesthetic of oil painting and marble sculpture. In the present work, Fabro further subverts the conventions of traditional art by deliberately obscuring the relationship between sculpture and plinth: whilst the great statues of antiquity rest imposingly upon their pedestals, Fabro’s aluminium, bird-like foot in Piede functions as both pedestal and crux of the work itself. Indeed, the etymology of the word ‘pedestal’, or ‘piedistallo’ in Italian, is ‘piede’, or foot. Deeply inspired by the ground-breaking work of artists such as Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein, Fabro paved the way for a bold, new approach to sculpture: “I want to do something very complex, but presented in a simple way,” Fabro declared of his stylistic ambitions. “Within this simplicity you must be aware of the complexity. This is what Arte Povera is about” (Luciano Fabro cited in: Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Luciano Fabro, Press Release, May 2015). Alluding, with an almost lyrical humour, to the overbearing shadow of ancient sculpture, Piede seems to step defiantly into the present day, as if capturing and exalting the spirit of its contemporary moment.
Born in Turin, Italy, in 1936, Fabro moved to Milan in his early twenties to pursue his artistic career, after becoming enraptured by Fontana’s radical Spatialist concepts and perforated canvases at the 1958 Venice Biennial. He remained there until his death in 2007, living and working at the heart of the Italian avant-garde, alongside pivotal post-war artists including Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni. His fascination with Italian culture, from its rich and weighty history to its grand mythological legacy, is implicated and integrated within the fabric of his work. As artist and writer Martin Holman has written, “Fabro’s approach is not literary but philosophical and sensual. The essence of his work lies in the paradox of invoking the richness of myth and history with the everyday material... instead of precious stone or metal. This tension vies with the settled dignity of form. The aesthetic conundrum of beauty and value lies at the heart of our encounter..." (Martin Holman, ‘Art is Always Art: The Academia Opens its Doors to Modern Art,’ The Florentine, 7 June 2012, online). In Piede, this poignant blending of history and myth, and ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, reaches majestic heights.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale