Piero Gilardi died, the irregular artist of the Nature Carpets who anticipated the alarm for the environment

Piero Gilardi died, the irregular artist of the Nature Carpets who anticipated the alarm for the environment

Piero Gilardi, one of the most internationally known Italian artists of his generation, has died. He has been able to interpret some of the epochal changes that have invested the company since the 1960s. Master of Arte Povera, he was one of the forerunners of environmental themes. Among the first works of his, and also among the best known, there are the Carpets-Nature, made of polyurethane foam to denounce the commodification and degradation of the environment. «He Not only a great artist leaves us, but a great critic, a great theorist and a great movement promoter. A dreamer who tried to bring attention to environmental issues ahead of the times, and therefore a great visionary», comments Enrico Carlo Bonanate, director of the Pav (Parco d’arte vivo), an experimental center of contemporary art integrated into nature, created by Gilardi in Turin. «The Pav will organize an exhibition in November on his figure. It will be an opportunity to remember him in the place he founded, in his dream. The Pav, opened in 2008, was his last work, but the greatest of all because it is a living place, a museum, a community asset. He fully embodies his whole journey both in person and as an artist », explains Bonanate.

Son of the painter and model Cecilia Lavelli, Gilardi made his debut in 1963 with the neo-Dadaist work Machines for the future at the Galleria L’Immagine in Turin, participating in the birth of Arte Povera and Land Art. In the politicized climate of the late 1960s, he decided to interrupt his artistic production and seek new life experiences in the peripheral areas of the planet, participating in theoretical elaboration of new artistic trends, Land Art, Antiform Art, Microemotional Art.

Close to the “new left” (extra-parliamentary left), it embraces the artistic movements of collective and spontaneous creativity, living creative experiences not only in Italy, but also in Nicaragua, in various African countries and in the Native American territories in the United States. He returned to full artistic production in 1981, the year in which he also began an interactive and multimedia research aimed at the full and dynamic involvement of the public in the installations he created (Pulsations, Absolut, Shared emotion). Among the numerous personal ones, those at the Castello di Rivoli (2012), at the Pav in Turin (2013), at the Maxxi in Rome (2017) and at the Michel Rein in Paris (2020). In May 2022, the Magazzino Italian Art in Cold Spring, in the state of New York, opened an exhibition dedicated to Gilardi and the Nature-Rugs to the public.

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