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Giovanni Anselmo (1934)

Giovanni Anselmo

From 1954 to 1964 he devoted himself to painting, but in 1965 he turned to the creation of objects inspired by observation of natural events and energies, which he exhibited in 1967 at the Galleria Sperone in Turin. In 1968 he joined the Arte Povera movement, embodying actions or ideas through combinations of contrasting and opposed materials (that didn’t involved industrial process, which is why the movement was called Arte Povera, “poor art”), whose weight, gravity and vigour he explored. In 1972 he turned to words and their immateriality to explore the relationship between abstract categories of thought, such as general and particular, finite and infinite, culture and nature, the passing of historical time and the hypothesis of the eternity of universal physical laws, the routine of experience and the abstraction of philosophical principles. He took part in Documenta 5 and 7, organized at Kassel in 1972 and in 1982. In 1990 he was awarded the Leone d’Oro for painting at the 44th Venice Biennale. His striving for a universal energy and an idea of infinity led the artist to represent actions of approach and communication between different realities in sculptures which express a compressed force, blocked “at the limit”, at a moment of balance. The Museo d’Arte Moderna in Bologna (MamBo) held in 2006 a wide-ranging anthological exhibition conceived by the artist as a total work. He lives and works in Turin and on the island of Stromboli.

I never heard of Anselmo until Rudi Fuchs became director of the Haags Gemeentemuseum . Fuchs has presented Anselmo at the Documenta 7 and was planning to make several presentations with the artist at the Rivoli Museum and at the Haags Gemeentmuseum. A for this museum….only a few loans were presented in the late Eighties and no large solo exhibitions with Anselmo were held at the museum at all. A pity since Anselmo is one of the great artists from the Seventies and Eighties. http://www.ftn-books.com has some nice Anselmo titles available at this moment.

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