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Johannesburg: “Arte povera” lands in South Africa

Johannesburg per la prima volta l’Arte povera sbarca in Sud Africa
Johannesburg per la prima volta l'Arte povera sbarca in Sud Africa

The Italian Consulate General in Johannesburg launched the exhibition “Arte Povera and South African Art: In Conversation”, designed to further strengthen the cultural bridges between Italy and South Africa by fostering intercultural dialogue and the exchange of experiences between the two regions through the universal language of Art.

The initiative, organised at the Wits Art Museum of Johannesburg until 9 December, comprises two exhibitions: “Arte Povera 1967 – 1971”, curated by Ilaria Bernardi, and “South African Innovations, 1980s – 2020s”, curated by Thembinkosi Goniwe. Arte povera is an internationally recognised Italian artistic research that spread in the post-war period. The movement, which developed in Italy in the late Sixties, was named Arte Povera in 1967 by Germano Celant. This name reflects the artistic process conducted by some Italian artists, consisting of “taking away, eliminating, reducing to a minimum, depleting the artistic signs to reach their inner archetypes”.

“Arte Povera 1967 – 1971” is the first Arte Povera exhibition on the African Continent and includes the works of 13 artists considered to be the canonical representatives of Arte povera: Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Emilio Prini, and Gilberto Zorio. The show includes historical artworks realised between 1967 and 1971 and exhibited during group exhibitions in the late Sixties. “South African Innovations, 1980s – 2020s” narrates the work of 13 South African artists who developed artistic practices combined with international artistic movements such as Arte Povera. The exhibition features artworks by Jane Alexander, Willem Boshoff, Bongiwe Dhlomo, Kay Hassan, David Thubu Koloane, Moshekwa Langa, Billy Mandindi, Senzeni Marasela, Kagiso Pat Mautloa, Thokozani Mthiyane, Lucas Seage, Usha Seejarim, and Kemang Wa Lehulere.



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