A leading figure in the landscape of post-war Italian art and proponent of the influential Arte Povera movement, Luciano Fabro (1936-2007) is renowned for his radical practice that offered a re-evaluation of sculptural form via a rigorous approach to spatial context, material and meaning. Emerging in the second half of the 20th century, Fabro and contemporaries, including Michelangelo Pistoletto and Giulio Paolini, were directly influenced by the innovative approaches to art making of such groundbreaking artists as Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni. Employing a wide array of non-traditional and traditional fine art materials and techniques, Fabro’s oeuvre revealed a direct engagement with media that resisted established artistic thought and process, and liberated it from any expected symbolic representation. Amongst his most famous bodies of work are the Piedi (Feet), vertiginous sculptures in bronze or glass, sheathed in silk, and the Italia (Italy) works, which explore the contours of the artist’s native country in diverse media.
Fabro was a central figure in the expansion and redefinition of the limits of sculpture. Concerned with the environment of both work and viewer, his early theoretical works explored the framing of space with a spare and elegant simplicity designed to induct the viewer into a participatory experience, in which sensibility and seeing become symbiotic. The spare design and facture of his first works encapsulate with economic means the experimental poetry that would come to define the conceptual innovation of his near five-decade long career. This assiduous reflection on the language of form and space is documented in Fabro’s extensive textual output, which shines a light on the theoretical and artistic philosophies that guided his practice from beginning to end.