Artist biography

Italian sculptor, conceptual artist and writer. After tentative early works, he embarked upon austere pieces that encapsulated phenomenological problems, such as The Hole (1963; artist's col.). His first one-man show (1965; Milan, Gal. Vismara) combined mirror pieces with the Spatial Lines, which demarcated their environment with tubular metal.

In 1967 Fabro exhibited with Paolini, Kounellis and Pino Pascali in Arte Povera/In spazio (Genoa, Gal. La Bertesca). Responding to their unorthodox materials, Fabro began to diversify into silk, molten glass and marble for the gigantic bird-like Feet (1968–71; artist's col.). By 1971, feeling that purely group activity was restricting, Fabro attempted (unsuccessfully) to have the Arte Povera show at the Kunstverein, Munich, retitled to a simple list of names. By this time he had begun the series of Italys, which continued for the next two decades. Alongside these were more private themes, such as the sexual connotations of hanging cloth captured in the undulating Clothes-Hangers (1976; artist's col.), with their allusions to Apollo and the laurel-garlanded Daphne. Cloth was also used in the subsequent Habitats, which recalled the cubes of the 1960s (e.g. Habitat, 1983; artist's col.). In the late 1980s massive stone pieces such as the Double Face of the Sky (steel cable and marbled-blue rock, 1986) were made light by means of their suspension, which was typical of Fabro in its paradox and whimsy.

Bibliography
Luciano Fabro: Sehnsucht (exh. cat. by Z. Felix, Essen, Mus. Folkwang; Rotterdam, Boymans–van Beuningen; 1981)
J. de Sanna: Luciano Fabro (Ravenna, 1983)
Luciano Fabro (exh. cat. by J. Gachnang, R. Fuchs and C. Mundici, Rivoli, Castello, 1989)
Luciano Fabro (exh. cat. by M. Rowell, Barcelona, Fund. Joan Miró, 1990)
Luciano Fabro (exh. cat. by J. Caldwell, M. Rowell and R. Fuchs, San Francisco, MOMA, 1991)

MATTHEW GALE

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