Luciano Fabro (Turin, 1936 – Milan, 2007)
In the late 1950s, Fabro moved to Milan where he entered into contact with Dadamaino, Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani and took an interest in the Spatialist research of Lucio Fontana, a point of reference for many young artists of the time.
Beginning with his first works of the 1960s, Fabro launched a personal enquiry into the notion of ‘inhabiting’ space – conceived as a living field of action – and into the relationship between artwork, the spectator and their surroundings. In 1967, he moved toward the Arte Povera movement and in his works began experimenting with a certain variety of techniques, mediums, and dimensions, always paying great attention to rehabilitating the artisan techniques of the best Italian tradition in sculpture.
Using materials both traditional – such as bronze and marble – and innovative – such as glass and silk – Fabro concentrated on analysis of the technical specificities of the plastic mediums once freed from the constraints of ‘having to’ represent in order to investigate form.
In many of his cycles, such as in the Italia series begun in 1968, the artist adopted familiar silhouettes and forms, zeroing out the collective symbolic function of each with the intent of inducing, in the spectator, a new perception of space and of objects.
Over the course of his career, Fabro also devoted much energy to teaching activities (first founding the Casa degli Artisti and later teaching at the academies) and to theory, becoming one of the leading figures in contemporary cultural debate.