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Luciano Fabro

(1936—2007)


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Italian sculptor, born in Turin. He lived and worked in Milan, where he had his first solo exhibition in 1965. Influenced by the work of Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, and Yves Klein, he became associated with Arte Povera, although he described himself in an interview as a ‘heretic of the Arte Povera church’. This might be a reference to the love of expensive materials and impeccable craftsmanship which characterizes his art. The Feet (1968–71) are great sheathes of silk hung from the ceiling. From these emerge feet in bronze, Murano glass, or marble. ‘Phidias and Praxiteles, Donatello and Michelangelo, Bernini and Canova, are my witnesses’, he told Flash Art in 1971, clearly signalling his identification with a sculptural tradition. In 1978 he installed Io (Me), a bronze sculpture of exactly his own weight, in the water of Bernini's Fontana delle Api in Rome. Fabro made a series of sculptures in the distinctive outline of Italy hung upside-down. One is gilded and shows the mountain ranges in relief. Another uses copper ribbon. The sinister Italy of War (1981) is made entirely from wire mesh. It is as though Fabro was telling the recent history of his country, one of post-war prosperity, but also of corruption, inequality, and social conflict, through the transformation of materials.

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.


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