This exhibition, dedicated to Piero Gilardi (Turin, 1942), signals the comeback to the Dutch art scene of an artist who was a decisive contributor to the birth of a movement that was to change European art drastically in the middle 1960?s: Arte Povera. Therefore this exhibition fits in the line of solo exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum of 'rediscovered' artists like Allan Kaprow, Lee Lozano and Lynda Benglis.
The exhibition will focus on his works from the period 1963-1985. Gilardi initially produced large, hyper-realistic sculptures of polyurethane foam, the so-called Nature Carpets. With these interactive sculptures he tried to give new meaning to interaction between viewer and artwork and nature and culture.
He acquired also great reputation as a critic of the art movement which he himself called “Micro Emotive Art” and was named “Arte Povera” by Germano Celant. In the seventies, he stopped his work as an artist and travelled, wrote theoretical analyses and was involved in political, cultural and social issues. This part of his artistic practice will be on display via documentation and photographs. In 1983 he returned to the art world and began a new series of “Nature Carpets”. His main themes now were the new media, virtual reality and interactive installations. He is also working on so-called Relational Art-projects in which he combines political activism and social goals around nature and society.
The exhibition is made in collaboration with Castello di Rivoli, Turin/Rivoli. There will be a catalogue published with an interview with Gilardi by Andrea Bellini and texts by Christian Rattemayer and Diana Franssen. Publ. JRP. Ringier, Zurich.