“Una visione globale”: Arte Povera’s Worlds

March 21 - May 2, 2020
Alighiero Boetti, 'Mappa,' 1983, embroidered tapestry, on view in Gallery 1 at Magazzino Italian Art Foundation.

As part of its spring season, Magazzino Italian Art Foundation presents "Una visione globale": Arte Povera's Worlds, a four-part lecture series exploring new insights into Arte Povera. The series embodies Magazzino’s enduring commitment to creating new opportunities for scholarly research and critical assessment of Italian Postwar and Contemporary Art. Organized by 2019-20 Scholar-in-Residence Tenley Bick, the series convenes leading scholars and curators in the field to explore the work of Arte Povera artists, its critical reception, and relevance to contemporary art—both in Italy and the United States.

In February 1968, on the eve of May ’68 and the associated Italian “hot autumn” of 1969, in his catalog essay for an exhibition at the Galleria de’ Foscherari in Bologna, Italian art critic and curator Germano Celant wrote of “una visione globale” (a global vision) and “rapporto globale” (global relationship) as distinguishing characteristics of Arte Povera, the primarily Italian avant-garde of the late 1960s and early 1970s he first named in the fall of 1967. A largely forgotten element of Celant’s theorization of the movement, Arte Povera’s “global vision” is readily apparent in the work of many its artists: Alighiero Boetti’s world maps, embroidered by Afghani and Pakistani women; Mario Merz’s iconographic references to nomadism in his igloo structures; Michelangelo Pistoletto’s sculptural Mappamondo or globe, made of papier-mâché and wire; Jannis Kounellis’s assemblages of ship parts and materials associated with transit and migration; Giovanni Anselmo’s Direzione (Direction) stone sculptures embedded with compass elements; and Pino Pascali’s material and iconographic references to the sea and earth, among others. Arte Povera’s “global vision” was also evident in Celant’s curatorial agenda for the movement. From 1968 to 1970, Celant mounted large exhibitions and publications that included American and non-Italian European artists alongside Arte Povera’s Italian contingency, internationalizing Arte Povera and positioning the movement in a global artistic context.

While this “global vision” was fundamental to the theorization of Arte Povera and many of its artists’ works, Arte Povera has for the most part been regarded as a national, Italian phenomenon. With an eye to these lesser-known “global” elements of Celant’s text, this lecture series revisits Arte Povera’s “worlds,” and those of related Italian artists in the late 1960s and 1970s in Italy. With specific attention to cultural geopolitics of the period, the lecture series addresses models of internationalism and globalism in and around Arte Povera, including but not limited to: its engagement with trans-geographical sociopolitical movements such as terzomondismo, Marxism, and socialist humanism; models of artistic nomadism and migration; Arte Povera’s many natural, planetary, and cartographic references; and international exhibitions such as Arte Povera + Azioni Povere (Amalfi, 1968).

Each lecture will last approximately 45 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A session.

Tickets will be made available free-of-charge on Eventbrite in the coming days.

Coffee and biscotti will be served between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., with the lecture beginning promptly at 3:00 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to explore the galleries following the lectures.

Additional details on each program and lecturer follow below:


Ezio Gribaudo and Arte Povera: Parallel Tracks from Turin to the World (1966–1972)   

Victoria Surliuga, Associate Professor of Italian Studies, Italian Program Coordinator, and World Cinema Coordinator, Texas Tech University

March 21, 3:00-5:00 p.m.


Pino Pascali: Between Arte Povera and the Mediterranean

Valérie Da Costa, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History, University of Strasbourg

April 4, 3:00-5:00 p.m.


Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Comizi (1965­–1966): Pop, Protest, and Politics in Early Arte Povera

Tenley Bick, 2019–20 Scholar in Residence, Magazzino Italian Art; Assistant Professor of Global Contemporary Art, Florida State University

April 18, 3:00-5:00 p.m.


Salt and Copper: Stratified Questions and Replies from an Interview with Jannis Kounellis

Chris Bennett, Assistant Professor of Art History/Contemporary Art, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

May 2, 3:00-5:00 p.m.


How to get there: 

Ticketed guests are encouraged to take the 12:32 p.m. MetroNorth train from Grand Central, arriving to Cold Spring at 1:57 p.m. The Magazzino shuttle vans will be stationed in the parking lot of the Cold Spring train station at 2:00 p.m.

For guests who are traveling by train on Metro-North, Magazzino shuttle vans will run between Magazzino and the Cold Spring train station before and after the event. Carpooling is recommended, as parking is limited.

About Tenley Bick

Tenley Bick is Assistant Professor of Global Contemporary Art at Florida State University and the 2019–20 Scholar in Residence at Magazzino Italian Art Foundation in New York. In addition to her work on Arte Povera and Italian art of the 1960s and 1970s, her research addresses postcoloniality, interventionist practices, and the legacy of countercultural aesthetics in contemporary Italian art. Her book in preparation, entitled Where There’s Everything: Michelangelo Pistoletto and World-Building in Arte Povera, examines models of world-building in Pistoletto's work and Arte Povera within the politicized cultural contexts of post-WWII Italy and Europe, and against the geopolitical horizon for art of the 1960s. Her publications have appeared in Third TextAfrican Arts, and in the volume Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline (eds. J. Elkins and K. McGuire, et al.). Her translation work has also been published, appearing in the catalog for the internationally traveling exhibition, Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 (eds. M. Kwon and P. Kaiser). She has received major fellowships from Magazzino Italian Art and the Institute of International Education, and has recently presented her work on Pistoletto at the Center for Italian Modern Art (New York) and the Bibliotheca Hertziana–Max Planck Institute in Rome. She holds an MA and PhD in art history from UCLA, and a BA with Honors in Art History from Stanford University.

About Victoria Surliuga

Victoria Surliuga is Associate Professor of Italian Studies, Italian Program Coordinator and World Cinema Coordinator at Texas Tech University. She is a scholar of modern and contemporary Italian art, cinema, and literature, as well as a poet and a translator. She was awarded The 1905 Fellowship of the Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Association for her research on Peggy Guggenheim and art patronage, a grant to the Italian Program at Texas Tech University from the CH Foundation to curate the exhibition Ezio Gribaudo’s Theaters of Memory at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (2016), Scholarship Catalyst Grants from Texas Tech University, and was Humanities Fellow at the Humanities Center of Texas Tech University. She has also curated two other exhibitions on Ezio Gribaudo at Texas Tech University: Ezio Gribaudo: Life and Art (2019), Ezio Gribaudo: A Lifetime in Art (2018). Her publications on Gribaudo include five books: Ezio Gribaudo’s Seashells (Pistoia: Edizioni Gli Ori, 2019), Ezio Gribaudo: Enchanted Archaeology (Pistoia: Edizioni Gli Ori, 2018), Landscapes by Ezio Gribaudo (Torino: Archivio Gribaudo, 2018), Ezio Gribaudo: My Pinocchio (Pistoia: Edizioni Gli Ori, 2017), Ezio Gribaudo: The Man in the Middle of Modernism (New York and London: Glitterati, 2016; First Place President’s Faculty Book Award, Texas Tech University, for 2017–2018). www.victoriasurliuga.com.

About Valérie Da Costa

Valérie Da Costa is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History at the University of Strasbourg. Her research focuses in particular on Italian art. She is the author of numerous texts and books including: Ecrits de Lucio Fontana (Paris: Les presses du réel, 2013), Pino Pascali: retour à la Méditerranée (Les presses du réel, 2015), Fabio Mauri: le passé en actes / The Past in Acts (Les presses du réel, 2018), “Arte Povera, hier et aujourd’hui,” Les Cahiers du Musée national d’art moderne, n. 143, ed. Valérie Da Costa (Spring 2018). In 2019, she received the Research Travel Grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art for her new research on Paul Thek in Italy (1962–1975).

About Chris Bennett

Chris Bennett is Assistant Professor of Art History/Contemporary Art at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He completed his Ph.D. with a focus on the production of Boetti and Pascali and art since 1945, more broadly, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2008. He has held research fellowships at the American Academy in Rome and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Now working on an ongoing book project on the Italian Arte Povera group—he has recently published essay chapters in the peer-reviewed edited volumes Postwar Italian Art History Today: Untyingthe Knotand Breaking with Convention in Italian Art, and, in collaboration with the Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana, the exhibition catalog Sandra Eula Lee Make of/Make Do, Yun-Fei Ji Looking for Lehman Brothers (2017–18). He presented research at the CAA National Conference in New York in February 2019 focused on the art of Franco Angeli as part of the panel “Public Monuments and Sculpture in Postwar Europe.”