Artist biography

Pietro Consagra born 1920

Italian abstract sculptor and, occasionally, painter. Born in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily. Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Palermo, 1938-44. Moved to Rome in 1944. Started in 1946-7 to make abstract metal sculptures, and with the painters Accardi, Turcato and others founded in 1947 the group Forma, with a periodical of the same name which proclaimed the importance of the abstract tendency in art. First one-man exhibition at the Galleria Mola, Rome, 1947. Wrote La Necessità della Scultura in 1952 in reply to Arturo Martini, Italy's greatest pre-war sculptor, who said that sculpture was dead. Since c.1955 has made sculpture in the form of double-sided low-reliefs, with abstract shapes sometimes suggesting the encounter of several figures; these sculptures are usually in metal but sometimes in wood or marble. Awarded a City of Venice prize for an Italian artist at the 1960 Venice Biennale. Lives in Rome.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.129-30