Mutually Impressed and Distanced: Luciano Fabro’s Creative Collaborations with Women

April 3, 2021
Magazzino Da Casa

Magazzino Italian Art presents a four-part lecture series Arte Povera: Art of Collaboration curated by 2020-21 Magazzino Scholar-in-Residence Teresa Kittler.

In the second lecture, Mutually Impressed and Distanced: Luciano Fabro’s Creative Collaborations with Women, Dr. Sharon Hecker, Independent Scholar and Curator, Milan, examines Luciano Fabro’s creative collaborations with women through photographs, videos and unpublished letters related to his art. Spanning from Fabro’s early collaborations with Carla Lonzi and Marinella Pirelli on the experimental performance video Indumenti (1966), to his sustained but less visible collaboration with his daughter, Silvia, and wife, Carla, throughout his career, Hecker will explore Fabro’s engagement with these individuals as both creative partners and subjects. Fabro’s imaginary alliances with mythical female figures such as Penelope and historical subjects like Nadezhda Mandelstam will provide further insight. All these collaborations relate to the idea of fidelity in a relationship, a theme that occupies an important place in Fabro’s art. Subsequently, this leads to Fabro’s notion of “commitment” as associated to memory, artistic expression, and one’s own creative process. According to Fabro, this involves the need for a productive separateness and distance that is necessary for differentiation. The lecture will underscore the complex dynamics at play between artist, artwork, critics, family members, and society at large.

About Sharon Hecker

Sharon Hecker (BA Yale, PhD U.C. Berkeley), is an art historian and curator specializing in modern and contemporary Italian art. She is a leading authority on Medardo Rosso and has published extensively on Luciano Fabro, whose theoretical writings she translated for his retrospective at San Francisco MoMA. She has published on Lucio Fontana, Marisa Merz and Francesco Lo Savio. Hecker’s books include A Moment's Monument: Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture, awarded CAA’s Millard Meiss Publication Prize and translated into Italian. She co-edited with Marin Sullivan Postwar Italian Art History Today: Untying ‘The Knot’, with Silvia Bottinelli Lead in Modern and Contemporary Art, and edited Finding Lost Wax: The Disappearance and Rediscovery of an Ancient Casting Technique and the Experiments of Medardo Rosso. For her research, Hecker received awards from the Getty, Fulbright, and Mellon Foundations. She co-curated exhibitions at Harvard University Art Museums and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, and is currently preparing an exhibition on Fontana’s ceramics at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (2025).