Giovanni Anselmo (Borgofranco d’Ivrea, 1934)
Anselmo approached art in the late 1950s as a self-taught painter. In about the mid-1960s, he began creating multi-material sculptural works born of juxtapositions of components of different, almost contradictory natures (organic and inorganic, naturally-occurring and industrial), attempting to exalt the energy contained within the materials themselves. In 1967 he associated his name with the Arte Povera movement and participated in its major exhibitions.
His research aims to highlight the dialogue between the tangible and the intangible, to evincing the potential presence of the invisible in the visible. His sculptures take form as structures with simple volumes that explore the fundamental principles of physics and illustrate the natural laws, such as gravity and terrestrial magnetism, that regulate existence (subjects on which he concentrated heavily in many early works, including Direzione). In some compositions, the objects and the materials lose their specific values and are perceived as part of a broader process, involving energy in various manners, on which the artist seeks to confer visual form.
In the early 1970s, Anselmo embarked on a cycle of works, addressing language and light, using slide projectors. In this case as well, the artist relates the sphere of the visible (the tangible Particolare) to that of the invisible, the macrocosm that contains the visible but which can never be represented in its entirety.
The concept of the infinite and of the possibility of reaching it are themes developed by Anselmo again and again in many cycles of works (among which, Verso l’infinito). His pieces tend toward that which cannot be seen but which can be evoked, conjured, through the potentials for representation offered by art.