Pino Pascali was an Italian artist, a pioneer of the Arte Povera movement – a group of artists who used ordinary, everyday objects to create poor art in order to express their anger to the commercialization of the art world. Pascali’s work leaves the viewer with an active brain, a colorful memory, and an understanding of what it truly means to think outside the box.
Pino Pascali was born in Bari, Italy in 1935 and moved to Rome in 1955 to learn scene painting and set design at the Academy of Art. Pascali worked as an advertisement illustrator and designer for a number of years before his first solo exhibition in 1965 at the Galleria La Tartaruga. In 1955, Pascali left the science-oriented school that he attended in Bari, and went to a secondary school specialized in the arts. In 1956 he enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, on the scenic design course. Before Pascali graduated in 1959, he worked as an assistant scenic designer in many RAI productions and additionally collaborated with the Studio Saraceni, Lodolofilm and Incom as a set designer, graphic designe, scriptwriter and creative writer for television advertising, making sketches, creating characters and shorts for the ads.
Pascali’s sculptures function both as constructed objects and also as a distinct visual code. Each of his pieces are substantially different from the next, creating a level of variety and spontaneity. Pascali is associated with Post-Minimalism and, specifically, with the Italian Arte Povera movement, whose protagonists sought to incorporate everyday life into art through the use of natural, organic and, often, unorthodox materials.
In 1966, Pascali had a solo exhibition at the L’Attico Gallery in Rome. There, Pascali showed his Fake sculptures, a series of shaped-canvases that first appear to be solid sculptures but are actually paintings that present abstract forms suggesting animals, plants and landscapes. Soon after, Pascali created his Weapon series, which is perhaps his most famous group of works. Assembled from found materials and painted olive-green, it faithfully recreates every detail of the weapon it mimics. However, as the weapon cannot fire or kill, it becomes an innocent, oversized toy.
As the artist states, ‘the first games I played were based most of all on war. My toys were piles of objects found in the house, which represented weapons. For example, a bean became a bullet, a broomstick and a box held together with a rubber band became a rifle, a rolled-up piece of paper tied to a stool was a cannon, a saucepan was a helmet, two pieces of wood nailed together were a sabre, three pieces of wood an aeroplane and so on.’ This quote shows the roots of the strong connection of these war items as toys to a strong war presence in his childhood.
The work titled Bridge may have the appearance of a primitive rope bridge, but it is constructed of steel wool, a modern industrial product. This is the most ambitious of the works in Pascali’s last series, Reconstructions of Nature – besides Bridge, it includes a human trap, jungle vines, and an animal skin all crafted of unlikely materials such as rubber and fake fur.
In 1968, Pascali died tragically in a motorcycle accident at the young age of thirty-two. In his short yet vital career, Pascali displayed a subtle and sophisticated approach to the canon of sculpture. His oeuvre has served as an important contribution to post-war art.
|Year||Name of the exhibition||Museum/Gallery||Solo/Group|
|2014||The Shaped Canvas, Revisited||Luxembourg & Dayan, New York||Group|
|2014||Between Sign and Writing – a path through Italian art||Tornabuoni Art, Paris, Paris||Group|
|2013||Denys Zacharopoulos||Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany||Group|
|2011||Pino Pascali's Final Works 1967-1968: ..a multitude of soap bubbles which explode from time to time...||Camden Arts Centre, London, UK||Solo|
|2010||Arte Povera 2||Galerie di Meo, Paris, France||Group|
|2010||Contemporary Art from the Collection||The Museum of Modern Art, Midtown, NY, USA||Group|
|2009||Italics. Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968-2008||Palazzo Grassi, Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice, Italy||Group|
|2008||Life? Biomorphic Forms In Sculpture||Kunsthaus Graz am Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria||Group|
|2006||Pino Pascali||Gagosian Gallery, New York||Solo|
|2005||Pino Pascali, Il Mare ecc.,Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Roma||Solo|
|2005||Buon Compleanno Pino||Palazzo Pino Pascali - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Polignano a Mare||Solo|
|2004||Pino Pascali||Castel Sant’Elmo, Napoli||Solo|
|2001||Africa, ouvres de Pino Pascal et des Ejagham||Galerie Liliene & Michel Durant-Dessert, Paris||Solo|
|2001||Pino Pascali, 1961-1968, Palacio de Velasquez||Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid||Solo|
|2000||Pascali Geometrico||Galleria L’Attico, Roma||Solo|
|1999||Pino Pascali||L’arte come gioco; Galleria Granelli; Livorno||Solo|
|1998||L’Isola di Pascali||Palazzo Pino Pascali - Museo Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea, Polignano a Mare||Solo|
|1996||Pino Pascali||Akira Ikeda Gallery, Taura, Tokyo, Nagoya||Solo|
|1996||Pino Pascali||Galleria Cesarea, Genova||Solo|
|1996||Pino Pascali||Gallerie Liliale & Michel Durand-Dessert, Paris||Solo|
|1993||Pubblicità d’artista||Studio Trisorio, Napoli||Solo|
|1992||Pino Pascali, La reconstrucction de la naturalezza, 1967-1968||IVAM Centre Julio Gonzales, Valenza||Solo|
|1991||Pino Pascali||Galleria Arco D’Alibert, Roma||Solo|
|1991||Pascali Performer||Galleria L’Attico, Roma||Solo|
|1991||Pino Pascali||Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Parigi||Solo|
|1991||Pino Pascali||Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo||Solo|
|1990||Pino Pascali||Opere 1958-1964; Livorno||Solo|
|1989||Pino Pascali||Salvatore Ala Gallery, New York||Solo|
|1989||Pino Pascali||Galleria Peccolo, Livorno||Solo|
|1988||Pino Pascali||Salvatore Ala Gallery, New York||Solo|
|1988||Pino Pascali||Galleria L’Attico, Roma||Solo|
|1987||Pino Pascali||Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milano||Solo|
|1983||Pino Pascali su Commissione, Grafiche pubblicitarie, scenografie, decorazioni 1955-1965||Pinacoteca Provinciale, Bari||Solo|
|1974||Pascali||Galleria LP 220, Torino||Solo|
|1973||Pascali||Pinacoteca Provinciale, Bari||Solo|
|1970||Pino Pascali||Galleria Alexandre Jolas, Milano||Solo|
|1970||Pino Pascali||Galleria Alexandre Jolas, Parigi||Solo|
|1970||Pino Pascali||Galleria Cristian Stein, Torino||Solo|
|1970||Le Armi di Pino Pascali||Modern Art Agency, Napoli||Solo|
|1969||Pino Pascali||Alla Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna di Roma||Solo|
|1969||Pino Pascali||Galleria Jolas, New York||Solo|
|1969||Pino Pascali||Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Roma||Solo|
|1968||Gennaio||Galleria Ars Intermedia di Colonia||Solo|
|1968||Giugno||Biennale di Venezia||Solo|
|1967||Ottobre||Galleria Jolas, Milano||Solo|
|1966||Gennaio||Galleria Sperone, Torino||Solo|
|1965||Gennaio||Galleria La Tartaruga di Plinio De Martiis, Roma||Solo|