“The 1960s represented a pivotal moment both in our personal lives and in the art world. Having been exposed to the Arte Povera movement of this time, we were fascinated by the juxtaposition between what was occurring in America versus Italy.
Captivated by Arte Povera, we began to explore the main proponents of this movement in depth—the more we learned, the more dedicated we became. We were also inspired by the legacy of Margherita Stein, a visionary figure and art advocate in Turin and later in Milan. We decided to create Magazzino Italian Art Foundation devoted to this generation of Italian artists.
These 12 radical artists’ work came at a defining moment, as Italy was entering an era of burgeoning industrialization, student rebellion and the decline of the “economic miracle” of the 1950s. I Poveristi opposed the commercialization of the art object and aimed to eradicate the boundaries between media as well as between nature and art; their mantra was ‘Art is Life’.” — Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu
Installation views of “Arte Povera: From the Olnick Spanu Collection”. Photos by Marco Anelli and Alexa Hoyer. Courtesy Magazzino Italian Art Foundation.
The term Arte Povera was coined by art critic Germano Celant in 1967 to mean ‘impoverished art’. The exhibition presents 76 artworks by 12 artists associated with the Arte Povera movement: Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Gilberto Zorio.
Title photo by Marco Anelli.