arte povera

Pino Pascali

Italy 1935 - 1968

Installation, Sculpture, Arte Povera

Pino Pascali
Pino Pascali
March 30, 2015

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.

Pascali’s Background

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.

Style of Pino Pascali

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.

arte povera
Pino Pascali – La vedova blu – 1968

Pascali’s Works – Fake sculptures, Weapon series and Reconstructions of Nature

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.

arte povera
Pino Pascali – Natura morta (from his Weapon series) – 1965

Pino Pascali’s Death

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.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2014The Shaped Canvas, RevisitedLuxembourg & Dayan, New YorkGroup
2014Between Sign and Writing – a path through Italian artTornabuoni Art, Paris, ParisGroup
2013Denys ZacharopoulosSammlung Goetz, Munich, GermanyGroup
2011Pino Pascali's Final Works 1967-1968: ..a multitude of soap bubbles which explode from time to time...Camden Arts Centre, London, UKSolo
2010Arte Povera 2Galerie di Meo, Paris, FranceGroup
2010Contemporary Art from the CollectionThe Museum of Modern Art, Midtown, NY, USAGroup
2009Italics. Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution, 1968-2008Palazzo Grassi, Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice, ItalyGroup
2008Life? Biomorphic Forms In SculptureKunsthaus Graz am Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, AustriaGroup
2006Pino Pascali Gagosian Gallery, New YorkSolo
2005Pino Pascali, Il Mare ecc.,Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, RomaSolo
2005Buon Compleanno PinoPalazzo Pino Pascali - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Polignano a MareSolo
2004Pino PascaliCastel Sant’Elmo, NapoliSolo
2001Africa, ouvres de Pino Pascal et des EjaghamGalerie Liliene & Michel Durant-Dessert, ParisSolo
2001Pino Pascali, 1961-1968, Palacio de Velasquez Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, MadridSolo
2000Pascali GeometricoGalleria L’Attico, RomaSolo
1999Pino PascaliL’arte come gioco; Galleria Granelli; LivornoSolo
1998L’Isola di PascaliPalazzo Pino Pascali - Museo Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea, Polignano a MareSolo
1996Pino PascaliAkira Ikeda Gallery, Taura, Tokyo, NagoyaSolo
1996Pino PascaliGalleria Cesarea, GenovaSolo
1996Pino PascaliGallerie Liliale & Michel Durand-Dessert, ParisSolo
1993Pubblicità d’artistaStudio Trisorio, NapoliSolo
1992Pino Pascali, La reconstrucction de la naturalezza, 1967-1968IVAM Centre Julio Gonzales, ValenzaSolo
1991Pino PascaliGalleria Arco D’Alibert, RomaSolo
1991Pascali PerformerGalleria L’Attico, RomaSolo
1991Pino PascaliMusee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, ParigiSolo
1991Pino PascaliRijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, OtterloSolo
1990Pino PascaliOpere 1958-1964; LivornoSolo
1989Pino PascaliSalvatore Ala Gallery, New YorkSolo
1989Pino PascaliGalleria Peccolo, LivornoSolo
1988Pino PascaliSalvatore Ala Gallery, New YorkSolo
1988Pino PascaliGalleria L’Attico, RomaSolo
1987Pino PascaliPadiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, MilanoSolo
1983Pino Pascali su Commissione, Grafiche pubblicitarie, scenografie, decorazioni 1955-1965Pinacoteca Provinciale, BariSolo
1974PascaliGalleria LP 220, TorinoSolo
1973PascaliPinacoteca Provinciale, BariSolo
1970Pino PascaliGalleria Alexandre Jolas, MilanoSolo
1970Pino PascaliGalleria Alexandre Jolas, ParigiSolo
1970Pino PascaliGalleria Cristian Stein, TorinoSolo
1970Le Armi di Pino PascaliModern Art Agency, NapoliSolo
1969Pino PascaliAlla Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna di RomaSolo
1969Pino PascaliGalleria Jolas, New YorkSolo
1969Pino PascaliGalleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, RomaSolo
1968GennaioGalleria Ars Intermedia di ColoniaSolo
1968GiugnoBiennale di VeneziaSolo
1967OttobreGalleria Jolas, MilanoSolo
1966GennaioGalleria Sperone, TorinoSolo
1965GennaioGalleria La Tartaruga di Plinio De Martiis, RomaSolo