*1936 in Torino, Italy, lives and works in Tavullia, Italy
FORMA DI SPAZIO, ZIG – ZAG / 1967 / installation
DISTANZA / 1976 / installation
RACCONTO, OLTREMARE, FROM 1969 / 2005 / installation
SCOLPIRE / 1983 / installation
INNESTO, BOSSO / 2008-2009 / installation
SPAZI DI SPAZIO, 65-35-15 / 2011 / installation
SPAZI DI SPAZIO, 543 / 2011 / installation
all works courtesy of the artist and P420 Gallery, Bologna
The artistic practice of Paolo Icaro (*1936, Italy) has its roots in the 60s and 70s. After an initial approach to sculpture in the studio of Umberto Mastroianni in Turin, in the early 1960s he moved to Rome, then departing in 1966 for New York, where he resided until 1968. While in America, he developed the “Forme di spazio” (Forms of Space, 1967), later renamed “Gabbie” (Cages), structures of metal sections in which sculpture, rather than occupying space, became a site, the origin of space. In the 1960s and 1970s Icaro took part in major events of the international art avant-garde, like the first exhibitions of Arte Povera, and he was invited by Harald Szeemann to participate in the legendary exhibition “When Attitudes Become Form”,held at Kunsthalle Bern in 1969.
Icaro explores the material language by questioning, building and deconstructing it. He pushes his works to the limits of sculpture, in search of a new creative grammar. “By studying this kind of ‘cages’,” he says, “that imprisoned air, sky and clouds, I noticed the way in which few lines in space were enough to create a primary structure. From this experience came the idea of building ‘traps’ that would capture space and distinguish it from the atmospheric structure.”
On the occasion of the Biennale Gherdëina 7, Paolo Icaro presents his iconic “space traps” sculptures, which, in a unique and disturbing way, express the essence of this very particular moment of a forced social distance, of a seclusion in the private spaces of one‘s own home, highlighting the reduced movements and meetings that happen in such spaces.