ARTE POVERA (1960) – ArtPinStar
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What Is Arte PoveraTrap (1968) by Pino Pascali, made from braided steel wool; © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

Arte Povera (1960s)

Translating literally to “poor art,” Arte Povera challenged modernist, contemporary systems by infusing commonplace materials into creations. Artists used soil, rocks, paper, rope, and other earthen elements to evoke a pre-industrial sentiment. As a result, many of the notable works during this movement are sculptural.

Italian artist Mario Merz, in conjunction with other Italian artists such as Giovanni Anselmo and Alighiero Boetti, created anti-elitist works by drawing upon materials from everyday life. His 1968 Giap’s Igloo, one of what would soon become his signature series of igloos, focused on his occupations with the necessities of life: shelter, warmth, and food.