Section E Arte Povera, Concept and Pop Art


Art movements of the 1960s and 1970s such as Arte Povera, Concept Art, and Pop Art, are characterized especially by a new, material aesthetic. Artists used materials that were not yet established in art history such as lead, fat, wire and also neon. Colorful neon systems offering immensely diverse, expressive possibilities were inexpensive to purchase and easy to work with. Arte Povera presented an opposition to American Minimalism and Pop art. The artists integrated organic, ephemeral and commercially worthless materials into their works. Thus, Mario Merz used an old raincoat in "Impermeabile" (1966). The Pop artists, on the contrary, employed materials and emblems from the consumer world [Chryssa, Martial Raysse]. With this, the concrete, specific qualities of the materials and the associated sensual experiences step to the forefront, for example, in works by Fabrizio Plessi or Gilberto Zorio. Artists linked their hopes for social change with the aesthetic renewal and expansion of reception. In contrast to this materialization of art, Conceptual artists worked with de-materialization. The art context and art as a (communication) system are the focus of works by artists such as Joseph Kosuth, Stephen Antonakos, Giancarlo Zen, Bertrand Lavier, Maurizio Nannucci, and Ferdinand Kriwet. Keith Sonnier uses neon light in his search for a confrontation with architecture.