NEW YORK—Paula Cooper Gallery is delighted to announce representation of the work of Luciano Fabro in collaboration with the Archivio Luciano e Carla Fabro.
Luciano Fabro (1936–2007) was a central figure in a wide-ranging movement to question and redefine sculpture in post-war Italy, a movement initiated by predecessors such as Fausto Melotti and Lucio Fontana that culminated in the 1960s and 1970s with the artists grouped under the label of Arte Povera, to which Fabro gave his own distinctive inflection. Though closely associated with Arte Povera, Fabro viewed himself as “the heretic of the Arte Povera church.” Like his peers, he approached sculpture from a conceptual angle, as a mode of critique of contemporary culture; and similarly, he employed “poor,” or rather unconventional and often unprocessed materials as varied as rocks, bed sheets, sealing wax, leather, and more, which he enlisted alongside the more traditional mediums of bronze, steel, and marble. But he uniquely invested his work with a visceral quality intended to jolt and disorient the viewer’s sensory, perceptual, and psychological expectations. In the late critic Germano Celant’s words, Fabro “built ‘things’ or sculptures […], that were events of unresolved tension, apertures through which visual and plastic awareness could pass, interlocutors for the dialogue between active and passive vision.”1
Paula Cooper Gallery will present Fabro’s monumental L’Infinito (1989) at this year’s edition of Art Basel Unlimited, on view to the public from September 24–26, with previews for invited guests from September 20–23. An industrial steel cable placed directly on the floor twists to form the mathematical symbol of infinity; its arches and central axis are grounded by eight pieces of Calacatta marble. The work is a play of contrasts: between steel and marble (and all they connote), line and volume, materiality and void. “The idea of infinity is not everything [...],” Fabro said of this work, “There is more. There is something that goes beyond infinity.”
Concurrently this fall, the Margulies Collection, Miami, will present a work entitled Il giorno mi pesa sulla notte I (1994), acquired from the Paula Cooper Gallery last year. The work will be a central component of the Collection's forthcoming Arte Povera exhibition at The Warehouse in Miami, Florida, in October 2021. The work was previously featured in an exhibition curated by Luc Tuymans at the Fondazione Prada, Milan, in 2019.
In 2022, the gallery will have a one-person exhibition of Fabro’s work at 534 West 21st Street, the gallery’s original Chelsea location, which will have recently reopened.
"We are thrilled to represent the work of Luciano Fabro in collaboration with the Archivio Luciano e Carla Fabro. The gallery has a longstanding commitment to artists who push boundaries, and Fabro exemplifies this ethos. Going forward, we will engage audiences both familiar with and new to Fabro's extraordinary and radical body of work, beginning with our upcoming exhibitions in Basel and New York." — Steve Henry
Luciano Fabro (born in Turin, Italy in 1936) lived and worked in Milan until his death in 2007. A landmark figure of post-war Italian art, he was also a prolific writer, publishing numerous texts on art theory. During his lifetime, his work was the subject of numerous important one-person exhibitions including at the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam in 1981-82, the Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris in 1987, the Fundació Miró, Barcelona in 1990, the Kunstmuseum Luzern in 1990-1991, SFMOMA in 1992, the Centre Pompidou in 1996-97, the Tate Gallery in 1997, and the Musée Bourdelle, Paris in 2004. Between 1972 and 1997, Fabro participated in eight editions of the Venice Biennale as well as three editions of documenta in Kassel. In 2014 the first major, posthumous retrospective of his work was held at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. Fabro was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Sikkens Prize, awarded from Rotterdam (1987), the Antonio Feltrinelli Prize from Rome (1993); and a Coutts Contemporary Art Award from Zurich (1994).