“Ileana Sonnabend and Arte Povera” Exhibition

Lévy Gorvy

poster for “Ileana Sonnabend and Arte Povera” Exhibition

This event has ended.

Curated by Germano Celant

The genesis of the Arte Povera movement is, in many ways, inseparable from the history of Ileana Sonnabend’s legendary gallery. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the movement’s inception, Ileana Sonnabend and Arte Povera will open at Lévy Gorvy’s New York location on November 2nd and will run through December 23rd. Curated by the renowned art historian and Arte Povera forefather Germano Celant, this exhibition is the first to investigate Ileana Sonnabend’s central role in the international reception of Arte Povera, and the close friendship between Celant and Sonnabend that grew out of their shared interest in the Italian artists.

The exhibition will include works by Giovanni Anselmo, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Giulio Paolini, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Gilberto Zorio—most of which were originally displayed at Sonnabend’s New York or Paris galleries.

“The process of bringing together this project at Lévy Gorvy has been a personal journey,” said Germano Celant, curator of the exhibition. “My memories of Ileana and Michael Sonnabend go back to our first meeting at Venice Biennale in 1964. My friendship with them continued for decades, and our affection for each other was strengthened by professional exchanges. Ileana’s contribution to Arte Povera artists was profound: she brought them into an international context. Today, this exhibition celebrates her work and shares this history, from 1962 to 2014.”

Arte Povera, or “poor art,” began in 1967 with a small group of young artists in Bologna, Genoa, Rome and Turin. They were noticed by Celant, who gave the artists a name and mission in his text “Arte Povera: notes for a guerilla warfare,” published in Flash Art in November 1967. Although the artists were interested in new possibilities for international exchange and collaboration from the beginning, they purposefully set themselves against the hegemonic American art of the time, particularly Minimalism, which they considered impersonal, and the materialistic sensibilities of both Optical Art and Pop Art. Indeed, Celant positioned the movement as an insurrection and its artists as radicals, and the artists of Arte Povera engaged with the politics of representation and the structure of labor in postwar Italy, often with subversive, wry wit. Recognizing the revolutionary potential of these “poor” artworks, Sonnabend introduced Arte Povera to the American art world through a series of influential exhibitions.



from November 02, 2017 to December 23, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-11-02 from 18:00 to 20:00

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