Pier Paolo Calzolari


Pier Paolo Calzolari is an Italian artist known for his sculptural installations, performance, architecture and significant artistic practice in elemental materials. The artist is often associated with the Arte Povera movement and recognized as one of the influential figures of the group. Calzolari spent his early life in Venice, a place with distinctive light and structure where inspires him to start experiment on extracting elements from the quotidian world and turned into aesthetic presentation. Calzolari had his first multimedia performance displayed in 1966, which reflected the idea in what he entitled “an activation of space” by incorporating audience participation into his artwork. Over the years, Calzolari’s works has been featured in a number of significant exhibitions worldwide including group shows at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); Moma, New York (2014) and Fondazione Prada, Venice (2013) etc.


By making uncommon connections in media, Calzolari’s works resemble a synthesis of extracted ideas. His use of the leather belt suggests the tangible and the practical— physical aspects relevant to our identity. The neon lights represent the impalpable and the sublime. It echoes to the viewer severed, fleeting thoughts— “ripetuto, mio nome, nebuloso, avido, farfallesco”—“repeated, my name, hazy, avid, farcical.” Together, this combination comments on the existential questions that confront his daily life. To the perception of others, his name takes on a multitude of meanings and opinions. Suspended on the wall by the weight of its light and its words, Calzolari entreats: which fleeting thought, which persona, shall I take on today.