Pier Paolo Calzolari




An exhibition of works by Pier Paolo Calzolari. One of the most respected artists involved with Arte Povera, this is the first major UK exhibition of his sculpture. Featuring work drawn from across the artist’s extensive career, it includes several notable installations from the 1970s and ’80s.

Trained as a painter, Calzolari started exhibiting widely from 1968 onwards, initially creating performances and works including animals and people, then subsequently combining and staging different materials to evoke direct physical and emotional responses in the viewer. Although his 1969 text ‘La Casa Ideale’ and the related series of works are considered seminal Arte Povera statements, in 1972 Calzolari rejected his association with the movement and publicly declared it to be over.

Calzolari’s practice focuses on the activation of space, investigating notions of the sublime through transformative processes. Balancing materials in different states, such as lead and ice or fire and neon in installations or tableaux vivants, his work engages in a kind of alchemy, linking it with earlier traditions in art, in particular Renaissance painting and the work of Italian Valori Plastici and Pittura Metafisica artists.

Born in Bologna, Calzolari grew up in Venice where the city’s striking light and reflections led him to explore luminosity through his now signature material, frost. Created using small refrigeration units and copper tubing, this sensory material with its tactile, powdery surface is used in his works to convey ‘pure’ whiteness, something that cannot be found in manufactured pigment but which exists in nature alone. Furthermore, Calzolari often combines frost with warm elements in transfiguring unusual combinations to suggest notions of life and death. The work Combustio (1978) exemplifies these themes, consisting of a mattress pinned flat against the wall with the word ‘combustio’ written across it in red fluorescent letters, the whole ensemble covered in glittering, white frost.

Duration 21 March 2018 - 12 May 2018
Times Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm
Cost Free
Venue White Cube - Mason's Yard
Address 25-26 Mason's Yard (Off Duke Street), London, SW1Y 6BU
Contact 2079305373 / enquiries@whitecube.com / www.whitecube.com

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