Italian Artist Piero Gilardi’s Radical Carved-Foam ‘Nature Carpets’ Have been Many years Forward of the Curve. His First Solo U.S. Present Demonstrates Why

One Sunday circa 1965, whereas strolling alongside the Sangone river in his hometown of Turin, Italy, the artist Piero Gilardi stumbled upon one thing all too bizarre that will encourage a unprecedented new route in his apply: a pile of trash. This was just some years after the publication Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, however a couple of many years earlier than “sustainability” grew to become a world buzzword—and the ensuing collection of works was nothing wanting radical.

Believing that “artwork is life,” Gilardi hoped to catalyze a cultural “re-enchantment” with nature in its ideally suited state. For his Tappeto-Natura, or “Nature-Carpets,” the artist used intaglio carving methods to sculpt the likes of cornstalks, snow cabbages, fallen sunflowers, papaya and pitaya, and unspoiled river beds into extremely pigmented, high-pile rolls of polyurethane foam. They have been, he defined, “aesthetic objects of sensible use,” collapsing the boundaries between nature and the man-made, and between artwork and design.

Piero Gilardi in his studio in Turin, 1967. Courtesy of the artist.

Piero Gilardi in his studio in Turin, 1967. Courtesy of the artist.

Gilardi first exhibited his “Nature-Carpets” in 1967 at avant-garde galleries of the period, comparable to New York’s Fischbach and Paris’s Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, in addition to various areas like Turin’s Piper Membership, the place he hung them on the partitions as a backdrop for experimental performances that includes his Vestiti-Natura (that will be “Nature-Clothes”). Within the Nineteen Eighties, Italian gallerist and artwork collector Margherita Stein adorned her Turin home-gallery with a Gilardi rug that appeared like a mattress of enormous pebbles.

Now, you’ll discover the artist’s carpets and attire on show collectively at Magazzino Italian Artwork in Chilly Spring, New York, as the topic of “Gilardi: Tappeto-Natura” (by way of January 9, 2023). Whereas Gilardi is called a protagonist of the Arte Povera motion and as a founding father of the Worldwide Affiliation Ars Technica, in addition to Turin’s Parco Arte Vivente (PAV), an experimental middle for modern artwork in nature, that is his solo debut within the U.S.

A Gilardi carpet inside Margherita Stein’s home-gallery in Piazza San Carlo, Turin, ca. 1980. Photo: Antonia Mulas.

A Gilardi carpet inside Margherita Stein’s home-gallery in Piazza San Carlo, Turin, circa 1980. Picture: Antonia Mulas.

Gilardi has lengthy aimed to take away the “body of creative illustration.” At Magazzino, there are 29 works of his sculpted flora protecting partitions and flooring with out frames. You possibly can sit on his rock-shaped cushions within the foyer, even play catch with them.

To have fun the opening, dancers from the native Chilly Spring Dance Firm engaged with the carpets whereas activating the artist’s stone-like Vestito-Natura (Sassi), considered one of his two wearable “Nature-Clothes” on show, nodding to early exhibitions the place guests have been invited to stroll atop and lie down on his rug creations. As curator Elena Re stated in a press release, “Overcoming the aesthetic dimension of the product, the artwork known as its viewers into play, or, higher, individuals grew to become an enduring a part of the creative course of.”

Under, see a number of the works on show in “Gilardi: Tappeto-Natura.”

Gilardi's dresses on display at Magazzino. Photo: Marco Anelli/Tommaso Sacconi.

Gilardi’s attire on show at Magazzino. Picture: Marco Anelli/Tommaso Sacconi ©.

Piero Gilardi, <i data-recalc-dims=Papaya e pitaja (2018). © Piero Gilardi. Magazzino Italian Artwork Basis, Chilly Spring, New York. Picture: Marco Anelli.” width=”1024″ peak=”1019″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/04.-Papaya-e-pitaia-1024×1019.jpg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/04.-Papaya-e-pitaia-300×300.jpg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/04.-Papaya-e-pitaia-150×150.jpg 150w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/04.-Papaya-e-pitaia-1536×1529.jpg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/04.-Papaya-e-pitaia-2048×2039.jpg 2048w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/04.-Papaya-e-pitaia-50×50.jpg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/04.-Papaya-e-pitaia-256×256.jpg 256w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/04.-Papaya-e-pitaia-1920×1911.jpg 1920w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/04.-Papaya-e-pitaia-96×96.jpg 96w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Piero Gilardi, Papaya e pitaja (2018). © Piero Gilardi. Magazzino Italian Artwork Basis, Chilly Spring, New York. Picture: Marco Anelli.

Piero Gilardi, <i data-recalc-dims=Cavoli sotto la neve (1974). © Piero Gilardi. Assortment of Galleria Girardi, Livorno.” width=”1024″ peak=”1019″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/05.-Piero-Gilardi-Cavoli-sotto-la-neve-1974-1024×1019.jpg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/05.-Piero-Gilardi-Cavoli-sotto-la-neve-1974-300×300.jpg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/05.-Piero-Gilardi-Cavoli-sotto-la-neve-1974-150×150.jpg 150w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/05.-Piero-Gilardi-Cavoli-sotto-la-neve-1974-1536×1529.jpg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/05.-Piero-Gilardi-Cavoli-sotto-la-neve-1974-2048×2039.jpg 2048w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/05.-Piero-Gilardi-Cavoli-sotto-la-neve-1974-50×50.jpg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/05.-Piero-Gilardi-Cavoli-sotto-la-neve-1974-256×256.jpg 256w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/05.-Piero-Gilardi-Cavoli-sotto-la-neve-1974-1920×1911.jpg 1920w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/05.-Piero-Gilardi-Cavoli-sotto-la-neve-1974-96×96.jpg 96w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Piero Gilardi, Cavoli sotto la neve (1974). © Piero Gilardi. Assortment of Galleria Girardi, Livorno.

Piero Gilardi, <i data-recalc-dims=Greto di torrente (1967). © Piero Gilardi. Assortment of the Centre Pompidou, Paris.” width=”1024″ peak=”1020″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/11.-Piero-Gilardi-Greto-di-torrente-1967-1024×1020.jpg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/11.-Piero-Gilardi-Greto-di-torrente-1967-300×300.jpg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/11.-Piero-Gilardi-Greto-di-torrente-1967-150×150.jpg 150w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/11.-Piero-Gilardi-Greto-di-torrente-1967-1536×1530.jpg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/11.-Piero-Gilardi-Greto-di-torrente-1967-2048×2040.jpg 2048w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/11.-Piero-Gilardi-Greto-di-torrente-1967-50×50.jpg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/11.-Piero-Gilardi-Greto-di-torrente-1967-256×256.jpg 256w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/11.-Piero-Gilardi-Greto-di-torrente-1967-1920×1913.jpg 1920w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/11.-Piero-Gilardi-Greto-di-torrente-1967-96×96.jpg 96w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Piero Gilardi, Greto di torrente (1967). © Piero Gilardi. Assortment of the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Piero Gilardi, <i data-recalc-dims=Girasoli caduti (1967). © Piero Gilardi Personal Assortment. Picture: Cristina Leoncini.” width=”1024″ peak=”1010″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/44.-Piero-Gilardi-Girasoli-caduti-1967-1024×1010.jpg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/44.-Piero-Gilardi-Girasoli-caduti-1967-300×296.jpg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/44.-Piero-Gilardi-Girasoli-caduti-1967-1536×1515.jpg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/44.-Piero-Gilardi-Girasoli-caduti-1967-2048×2020.jpg 2048w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/44.-Piero-Gilardi-Girasoli-caduti-1967-50×50.jpg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/44.-Piero-Gilardi-Girasoli-caduti-1967-1920×1894.jpg 1920w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/44.-Piero-Gilardi-Girasoli-caduti-1967-96×96.jpg 96w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Piero Gilardi, Girasoli caduti (1967). © Piero Gilardi Personal Assortment. Picture: Cristina Leoncini.

Piero Gilardi, <i data-recalc-dims=Il passaggio del Minotauro (1968). © Piero Gilardi Personal Assortment.” width=”1024″ peak=”722″ srcset=”https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/45.-Piero-Gilardi-Il-passaggio-del-Minotauro-1968-1024×722.jpg 1024w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/45.-Piero-Gilardi-Il-passaggio-del-Minotauro-1968-300×212.jpg 300w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/45.-Piero-Gilardi-Il-passaggio-del-Minotauro-1968-1536×1083.jpg 1536w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/45.-Piero-Gilardi-Il-passaggio-del-Minotauro-1968-2048×1444.jpg 2048w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/45.-Piero-Gilardi-Il-passaggio-del-Minotauro-1968-50×35.jpg 50w, https://information.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/08/45.-Piero-Gilardi-Il-passaggio-del-Minotauro-1968-1920×1354.jpg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Piero Gilardi, Il passaggio del Minotauro (1968). © Piero Gilardi Personal Assortment.

An installation view of “Gilardi: Tappeto-Natura.” Photo: Marco Anelli/Tommaso Sacconi.

An set up view of “Gilardi: Tappeto-Natura.” Picture: Marco Anelli/Tommaso Sacconi ©.

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