Pier Paolo Calzolari

(Bologna, Italy, 1943)

Pier Paolo Calzolari is one of the most significant Italian artists of the post-war period and an active member of the Arte Povera movement. Calzolari distinguished himself from other Arte Povera artists by his rejection of the past by the avant-garde. His work seeks an equal and horizontal relationship between past, present, and future, looking at elements of Renaissance painting and the Romantic movement. Calzolari’s ephemeral sculptural installations use elementary materials such as ice, fire, salt, lead, water, and copper. In 1965 he opened his studio in Palazzo Bentivoglio in Bologna. His seminal works are the result of his stay at Palazzo Bentivoglio, where he also hosted other artists and exhibited their works. Between 1966 and 1967 he worked on his first performance entitled Il filtro e benvenuto all’angelo. In 1969 Calzolari participated in the historic exhibition “Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form”, curated by Harald Szeemann at the Kunsthalle Bern. In 1972 he participated in documenta 5 in Kassel. Calzolari’s works were exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, at MoMA PS1 in New York, and at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. His latest retrospective, entitled “Painting as a Butterfly”, was held at the Madre – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina in Naples in 2019.