The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.
‘Arcobaleno’ by the Italian artist Luciano Fabro is made of packages of cotton wool folded in a zigzag pattern. They have been covered in acrylic paint in the colours of the rainbow. Altogether there are 55 parts with a changing number of folds. They are attached to the wall one against the other with hooks in a fixed order, and the rainbow covers the whole wall from corner to corner. Depending on the length of the wall, the curve of the rainbow can vary every time it is exhibited. The diameter of the rainbow should be about 8.75 metres and it may end slightly higher or lower on the left than on the right.
Luciano Fabro is a member of the group of Italian artists who exhibited together from 1967 under the name Arte Povera. Although the work of these artists differs enormously, there are a few common characteristics. They used materials which are not necessarily long-lasting and which had not been commonly used in art up to that time. The artwork could be of a temporary nature. Arte Povera literally means poor or impoverished art. The Arte Povera artists wanted to eliminate the distinction between art and reality as much as possible. Art is life and life is art. Nature often played a role in their work and there were also often references to cultural history. Arte Povera does not have an immediately recognizable style and is a complex art form without rules or limitations.
Fabro made several rainbows. He saw the rainbow as a natural phenomenon which approached art most closely. With his artificial rainbow he captured the natural phenomenon that can always only be seen for a short while, using cotton wool to do this, a relatively transient material, as well as colour. In the Arte Povera movement, Fabro is one of the few artists who devoted a lot of attention to colour.
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