Paolo Icaro

Paolo Icaro
Appunti di viaggio, 1967-2014

27 November 2014 – 7 February 2015


Peep-Hole presents Appunti di Viaggio, 1967-2014, a solo show by Paolo Icaro.

A leading figure on the Italian art scene since the late 1950s, Paolo Icaro has conducted rigorous theoretical and formal research, investigating the language of sculpture, stretching its envelope and challenging the dimension of the work as object.

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A constant dialogue with space, which in his work becomes the material par excellence to be explored, shaped, measured. Ranging freely through different forms of expression, from writing to installation, performance to photography, Icaro has been a part of crucial moments of foundation of Arte Povera in Italy, while coming to terms with what was happening in the same period overseas.

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His sculpture takes form from a material treated with light, minimal gestures, the study and measuring of a body and a space as physical and mental locations. The thinking he translates into work contains recurring thematic areas such as measurement, autobiography and memory, investigations that often refer to one body – his own – and one space – or one time – in which to act.

“This is the essence of my action in sculpture, uniting the intellectual part and the emotional part of me through the material and the action of the hands” (Paolo Icaro).

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The exhibition Appunti di Viaggio, 1967-2014, produced in collaboration with Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp, where it will be seen in 2015, consists of a selection that draws on various families of the works produced by Icaro, representing and reconstructing most of the basic nuclei of his research and the recurring paradigms of his career, from the late 1960s to the present.
Certain key works from his output are included, such as Black Gate (1967), Cumulo rete (1968), and the Esercizi della mano destra sulla mano sinistra (1974-1975), joined by other pieces never shown before, like the photographic cycle Foto, nicchie (1974), Clear Peace (1977-2014) and Stella Sirio, a re-enactment of the action documented in 1969, as well as a project conceived for the spaces of Peep-Hole.

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Rather than a chronological organization, the exhibition opts for a dialogic presentation that underscores the tensions generated between the works, apices of an invisible force field activated inside the host space. Retracing the various moments in Icaro’s output in a transverse way, the exhibition coherently conveys the timeliness of research that is opened up to new, unexpected interpretations.

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Paolo Icaro (Turin, 1936. Lives and works in Tavullia, Pesaro) in 1960 moved to Rome, where in 1962 he held his first solo show at the Galleria Schneider and in 1965 he was invited to the IX Quadriennale.
Between 1966 and 1968 he lived in New York. During these years he kept in close contact with the Italian art scene: he took part in the most important exhibitions of those years, like Arte Povera – Im Spazio, Galleria La Bertesca, Genoa (1967); Teatro delle mostre, Galleria La Tartaruga, Rome (1968); Arte Povera più Azioni Povere, Amalfi (1968). He held a solo show at the Galleria La Tartaruga in Rome (1967) and at Galleria La Bertesca in Genoa (1968). He also participated in the main exhibitions of the international avant-garde such as Op Losse Schroeven. Situaties en cryptostructuren, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1969); When Attitudes Become Form, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern (1969). In 1971 he moved back to the United States, to Connecticut, where he remained for ten years. During the 1970s and 1980s he held numerous solo shows in important European and American galleries, including: Verna, Zurich (1972, 1974, 1978, 1985); Françoise Lambert, Milan (1976); Marilena Bonomo, Bari (1976); Massimo Minini, Brescia (1977, 1982, 1989); Paul Maenz, Cologne (1978); Hal Bromm, New York (1978, 1979); Jack Tilton, New York (1985, 1986, 1989). At the beginning of the 1980s he moved back to Italy for good. During these years he held solo shows in institutions such as PAC – Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan (1982); Palazzina dei Giardini, Modena (1987); Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Trento (1995). In October 2007 he was invited to create a permanent work for the Italian Department of UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). Thereafter he took part in numerous group shows including: Time & Place: Milano – Torino. 1958-1968, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2008); Italics. Arte italiana fra tradizione e rivoluzione 1968-2008, Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2008-2009); When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013, Fondazione Prada, Ca’ Corner della Regina, Venice (2013); Trame – Le forme del rame tra arte contemporanea, design, tecnologia e architettura, Triennale di Milano, Milan (2014). Some of his most significant solo shows of the last few years are: Biografia ideale, Centro Arti Visive Pescheria, Pesaro (2009); Su misura, Galleria Il Ponte, Florence (2011); I do as I did, Lorenzelli Arte, Milan (2011); You, Space, CAMeC, La Spezia (2011-2012); Paolo Icaro 1967-1977, Galleria P420, Bologna (2012); Paolo Icaro. Living in America: sculptural events in Woodbridge, Galleria Studio G7, Bologna (2012).

Ph: Michele Alberto Sereni, 2014

Peep-Hole would like to thank: Galleria P420, Bologna.
Special thanks to Lara Conte for curatorial consulting.

Paolo Icaro
Appunti di Viaggio (Travel Notes), 1967-2014
Opening 27 November, 6.30 pm
On view from 28 November 2014 to 7 February 2015

Via Stilicone 10 – 20154 Milan
Wednesday – Saturday
2.30 pm – 7.00 pm
or by appointment
T. +39(0)287067410
T. +393450774884
Press info
Stefania Scarpini


During the exhibition a workshop will be organized with the artist as part of the Effetto Venturi program at the Museo del Novecento, and indepth analysis of his modus operandi will be provided in the next issue of Peep-Hole Sheet #23 to be released in January 2015, ed. Mousse Publishing.

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