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P1030784In the early sixties, the Swiss publisher Editions du Griffon published a series of books on sculpture in a collection edited by Marcel Joray. The book, above, is about the life and work of the Sicilian/Italian sculptor Pietro Consagra (1920-2005 ) written by the art critic Giulio Carlo Argan and published in 1962.

This numbered edition contained an original etching and aquatint, signed by Consagra, limited to 75 copies in a German/English edition, numbered 76 to 150, and 75 copies in a French/Italian edition, numbered 1 through 75.

This folio size hardbound book has 105 numbered pages and 79 mostly black and white photographs and an extensive biography. Five photographs are by the Italian photographer Ugo Mulas who documented a large number of artists and their work in the fifties and sixties in their studios and at the various Biennales.

P1030785Looking at the etching one recognizes immediately the type of thin, flat sculpture with the many voids and the suspended planes characteristic of Consagra’s inventive early work.

P1030787Sculpture is very hard physical work, as we see in this photo (also in the book) by Ugo Mulas, but taken from the Consagra Archives website. If you live in the United States, then you can see some of his sculpture in the following museums:

Clipboard01Consagra has a vision totally his own, as we can surmise from looking at some of the later works on the Consagra Archive site. In 1952 Consagra wrote an important and controversial piece titled. “The Necessity of Sculpture” defending sculpture against Arturo Martini’s earlier statement which pronounced sculpture dead.

Artist, sculptor, innovator and poet in steel, Consagra deserves his rightful place among the great sculptors of the Twentieth Century.

In a ten minute Italian television program from the late 1980’s we discover something about Consagra’s vision, shown below.

 

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