Giovanni Anselmo

(b. 1934)

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(1934– )

Italian artist, born in Borgofranco d'Ivrea. He has lived and worked in Turin and on the volcanic island of Stromboli. It was there that Anselmo had the revelation in August 1965 that he says led him away from painting towards the kind of art that was to be identified as Arte Povera. While he was climbing up the mountain, the sun rose behind him and he realized that his shadow was cast not on the ground but in the air around him. Anselmo's work is concerned with invisible energies. In Direzione (1967–9, Pompidou Centre, Paris) a granite slab is laid on the floor with a tiny compass embedded. Untitled: Sculpture that Eats (1968, Pompidou Centre) features a smooth granite block to which a smaller block is attached by a loose wire. Between them is a lettuce. If this is allowed to dry out there will be insufficient tension to keep the work together and the smaller block will drop. Therefore the work must be constantly renewed with new lettuce if it is to retain its integrity. Anselmo has also worked with slide projections of single words.

Subjects: Art.

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