Born in Bologna, Italy, Pier Paolo Calzolari (b. 1943) was originally associated with “Arte Povera” and included in the seminal 1960’s exhibitions curated by Germano Celant. The artist’s youth was spent in Venice where he was influenced by the city’s particular light and its reflection on the marble of the buildings. These observations lead him to work with one of his most unique and defining materials in the form of frost to illustrate the perfect white, as it only can exist in nature. His other materials are also elemental and frequently organic: fire, salt, lead, tobacco, moss, burnt wood, oyster shells, tobacco leaves, felt neon, and on occasion butter. While Calzolari may be classified as an installation artist, his practice also includes painting, sculpture and performance. He created “happenings” as early as 1966, drawing viewers into his artwork as performers in what he termed "an activation of space." Over the subsequent decades Calzolari has continued to experiment, exploring his ongoing interest in light, matter, and time within these media. The artist currently lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal.
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