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Sandrine Colard on the 6th Lubumbashi Biennale Ocula Conversation Sandrine Colard on the 6th Lubumbashi Biennale

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the largest Francophone nation in Africa with vast resources and nearly 80 million inhabitants, is a place where commodities play a vital role in the national economy and the country's significance on the world stage. This is the context from which the 6th Lubumbashi Biennale (24 October–24 November...

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52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS Symposium Brings Ideas Offline Ocula Report
In collaboration with Artspace Sydney
52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS Symposium Brings Ideas Offline 13 Dec 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

From 20 to 21 July 2019, Artspace Sydney held a two-day symposium that brought artists in conversation with leading curators, writers, activists, academics, diplomats, and journalists from across Asia. The symposium was the final chapter of the 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS exhibition, publication, website, and Instagram project. Instigated and...

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We Are Our Infrastructure, Argues Newly Announced Shanghai Biennale Chief Curator Ocula News We Are Our Infrastructure, Argues Newly Announced Shanghai Biennale Chief Curator 13 December 2019

The Power Station of Art will make a fitting location for Andrés Jaque, whose past projects expose the politics concealed by buried pipes and managed cables. Spanish architect, writer, and curator Andrés Jaque has been named the chief curator of the 13th Shanghai Biennale, which will take place at the Power Station of Art (PSA) from 13 November...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy. Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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HomePage Artists

(1936 - 2007), Italy

Luciano Fabro Biography

Italian conceptual artist and writer Luciano Fabro was a radical, central figure in the redefinition and re-evaluation of sculpture in post-war Italy. In utilising and expanding on spatial context, materials and meaning, Fabro's sculpture moved away from convention, resisting established artistic thought and process.

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Fabro decided to become an artist when he was 12 years old. In 1958, a developing interest in the avantgarde led Fabro to that year's Venice Biennale, where he encountered Lucio Fontana's slashed canvases. Inspired by Fontana's introduction of space to what were otherwise flat surfaces, Fabro moved to Milan to pursue an artistic career the following year. It was there that he was introduced to Piero Manzoni, with whom Fabro became closely associated, particularly in relation to the avantgarde Arte Povera ('poor art') movement. This movement took a critical stance against established institutions and consumerism by experimenting with an unconventional style and raw or 'poor' materials. Fabro, however, never completely accepted this characterisation; once calling himself the 'heretic of the Arte Povera church', he was known to also use expensive materials, such as gold, bronze and marble, in addition to more humble ones. His works are elegantly designed but assuredly simple enough to bring the viewer in as a participant to an experience where seeing and feeling are united.

Throughout his nearly five-decade-long career, Fabro constantly found ways to emphasise the past alongside the urgency of the new through the expression of time. Conscious of the legacy of Italian ruins, Fabro often used classical sculpture as inspiration to create new perspectives and spatial relations. One of his best-known works, Sisifo (Sisyphus) (1994), is an example of this; the work comprises a large cylindrical piece of marble, engraved and rolled through a layer of flour leaving behind an outline of a figure in the dust.

Among Fabro's other well-known works is his sculpture Buco (Hole), (1963) which comprises a mirror with parts of the reflective backing scraped off, so that in some areas it reflects the viewer, while in others, it acts as a window to the surrounding environment. Fabro frequently worked with other raw materials, as in his 'Piedi' (Feet) (1968–71) series of extremely large claws forming tripod bases, made of materials including cast bronze, marble and aluminium, and draped in silk.

In arguably his most famous series, 'Italia' (Italy), Fabro transfigured shapes of the Italian peninsula into reliefs from all sorts of materials, including leather, metal and wire. For a well-known work from this series titled Golden Italy, Fabro hung a map of his country in gilded bronze upside down to represent a carcass. The work was created in 1971—part of an era of significant political and social disorder. By hanging his country on its head, Fabro boldly portrays Italy as backwards and in disarray.

In 2014 the first major, posthumous retrospective of Fabro's work was held at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain. During his lifetime he was featured in numerous solo and group shows, including ones at Musée Bourdelle, Paris, France (2004); Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1997); Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom (1997); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (1996); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, United States (1992); Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland (1991) and more. Between 1972 and 1997 Fabro participated in the Venice Biennale at least eight times, and he also featured in Documenta, Kassel, Germany, three times. Throughout his life he was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a Coutts Contemporary Art Award from Zurich, Switzerland (1994); the Antonio Feltrinelli Prize from Rome, Italy (1993); and the Sikkens Prize, awarded from Rotterdam, the Netherlands (1987).

Biography by Jessica Douglas | Ocula | 2018

Luciano Fabro Featured Artworks

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Computer Forbice by Luciano Fabro contemporary artwork
Luciano FabroComputer Forbice, 1990 Steel and painted aluminium
150 x 247 x 8 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Enquire about this work
Computer Forbice by Luciano Fabro contemporary artwork
Luciano FabroComputer Forbice, 1990 Steel and painted plastic
150 x 247 x 8 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Enquire about this work
Tondo e rettangolo (Circle and Rectangle) by Luciano Fabro contemporary artwork
Luciano FabroTondo e rettangolo (Circle and Rectangle), 1964/2004 Glass, mirrored glass
110 x 150 cm
Marian Goodman Gallery Enquire about this work
Italia ipocrita (Hypocritical Italy) by Luciano Fabro contemporary artwork
Luciano FabroItalia ipocrita (Hypocritical Italy), 1996 Wood, paper
94 x 112 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Enquire about this work
Tautologie (Foro) by Luciano Fabro contemporary artwork
Luciano FabroTautologie (Foro), 1967 Stainless steel
198 x 99.7 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Enquire about this work
Tutto trasparente (All Transparent) by Luciano Fabro contemporary artwork
Luciano FabroTutto trasparente (All Transparent), 1965–2007 Glass, stainless steel
100 x 205 x 170 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Enquire about this work
Mezzo specchiato mezzo transparente (Half Mirrored Half Transparent) by Luciano Fabro contemporary artwork
Luciano FabroMezzo specchiato mezzo transparente (Half Mirrored Half Transparent), 1965–2007 Glass, silver, stainless steel
100 x 205 x 170 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Enquire about this work
Tondo e rettangolo (Circle and Rectangle) by Luciano Fabro contemporary artwork
Luciano FabroTondo e rettangolo (Circle and Rectangle), 1964–2004 Glass, silver, stainless steel
200 x 60 x 130 cm
Simon Lee Gallery Enquire about this work

Luciano Fabro Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Metal at Simon Lee Gallery, London
Closed
17 January–23 February 2019 Group Exhibition Metal Simon Lee Gallery, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Towards Infinity: 1965-1980 at Simon Lee Gallery, London
Closed
4 July–7 September 2018 Group Exhibition Towards Infinity: 1965-1980 Simon Lee Gallery, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Towards Infinity: 1965-1980 at Simon Lee Gallery, New York
Closed
2 May–16 June 2018 Group Exhibition Towards Infinity: 1965-1980 Simon Lee Gallery, New York

Luciano Fabro Represented By

Luciano Fabro In Ocula Magazine

Visions of Brazil: Reimagining Modernity from Tarsila to Sonia Ocula Report Visions of Brazil: Reimagining Modernity from Tarsila to Sonia 18 May 2019 : Fawz Kabra for Ocula

Bridging almost a century of Brazilian art, Visions of Brazil: Reimagining Modernity from Tarsila to Sonia at Blum & Poe in New York (30 April–22 June 2019), hosted in collaboration with Mendes Wood DM, offers a rereading of Brazilian Modernism through the works of artists practising at different times, from the 20th century through to...

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