Culture / Art Republik

Un Art Pauvre: Paris Pompidou Explores Simplicity

A new exhibit at the Paris museum focuses on the irreverent work of Italian post-war artist movement – Arte Povera.

Jun 06, 2016 | By Staff Writer

Although Andy Warhol is probably the most well-known artist in the attempt to breakdown the demarcation between ‘high’ and ‘low’ in the arts, there were many others who attempted the same – albeit through different paths than Pop Art. The Paris Centre Pompidou will focus on one such group in their exhibition from June 8 to August 29 2016 in Galerie 4, where they’ll dive into the work of the Arte Povera (‘poor art’) artists from Italy. The exhibit is a multidisciplinary event entitled “Un art pauvre” that also extends to music, design, architecture, theater, performance and experimental cinema – all meant to showcase a return to simplicity in art forms.


Height: 120 cm. Diameter: 200 cm. Iron cage, plastic bags filled with clay, neon lights, batteries. Collection Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI

Originating in the early 1960s, the Arte Povera sought to use recovered or recycled materials in order to infuse their art with a “new symbolic power” separate from previous conceptions of beauty. The two predominant figures of the movement were the art critic, Germano Celant, who named the movement, and Alighiero Boetti, who created the “Manifesto” poster listing 16 artists. Beyond that, they’ll also focus on other post-war Italian artists such as Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Alberto Burri. The show will explore the diversity and roots of Arte Povera through some 40 works by these and other less well-known artists, focusing on the decade 1964-1974. Throughout you’ll be able to see the whole scope of the movement’s irreverent attitude towards art and relentlessly avant-garde vision of the world.


70 x 23 x 37 cm. Granite, lettuce, copper thread. Collection Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI

Furthermore, architecture and design from names such as Ettore Sottsass and Andre Branzi will be featured on level 5 – focusing on installations, films, photos, models and objects created around the 1973 “Global Tools” movement. This was a movement that called for a return to manual skills in the face of a growing industrial landscape. The Centre Pompidou has also teamed up with IRCAM (a French institute for the science of music and sound) to stage film screenings, dance events and theater performances exploring the idea of “plainness”.


Height: 57 cm. Base: 40 x 30 cm. Painted wood, brass, metal and silk shade. Collection Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI.

You can check out more on this exhibit, and the wide variety of other exhibits running in the Centre Pompidou over at their website.

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