Italian artist and critic, born in Turin. He is chiefly known for sculptures of rocks and vegetable matter modelled illusionistically in polyurethane. Gilardi associated with the Arte Povera tendency, although his own word to describe the developments of the late 1960s was ‘microemotive’. He sought parallels between the work of Merz, Nauman, and others and recent developments in molecular science. The argument is obscure but is built around the possibilities of individual freedom within a mechanistic universe. After 1968 he abandoned art in favour of political activism, but from the 1980s onwards he worked with interactive computerized environments.