Piero Gilardi: CV

Piero Gilardi (b. 1942 – d. 2023 Turin, Italy) embodied the core belief of “art is life” and during his existence continued to evolve his artistic practice with the emerging artistic movements and concerns of the environment. With his focus on art experiences, he was one of the protagonists of the Arte Povera movement, and – by entering a real debate at the heart of the avant-garde that defined the 1960s – he arrived at theorizing “Microemotive Art” in his writings, which also appeared in Arts Magazine in 1968. “Micro” because it is an art that digs into the intimate to discover the mystery of energy. “Emotive” because it is an art that makes subjectivity reemerge.

His first solo exhibition, Machines for the future, was held in 1963. He created his first pieces in polyurethane foam in 1964, and in 1965 began working on his Tappeto-Natura (Nature-Carpet) series which became a central part of his oeuvre. He has exhibited internationally in Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Hamburg, Amsterdam, and New York, presenting innovative and immersive ecological works. He pivoted his art practice to engage with the new artistic trends of the late 1960s, including Arte Povera, Land Art, and Antiform Art, bringing these trends to the international stage. He collaborated on shows for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands and the Bern Kunsthalle in Bern, Switzerland.

In 1969, he recommitted to the “art is life” maxim, conceptually analyzing and promoting that belief around the world as a political activist. He began exhibiting his work again in 1981, with his installations accompanied by public workshops. With a continued emphasis on the individual’s unique experience with his art, Gilardi began the artistic research project IXIANA in 1985, presented at Parc de la Villette in Paris, France, where he invited the public to artistically experiment with new digital technologies.

During the 1990s he developed a series of multimedia installations with a deep focus on the immersive quality and international consciousness of the work. Along with Claude Faure and Piotr Kowalski, he formed the International Association Ars Technica, promoting international exhibitions and study days on new media art.

He conceived Parco Arte Vivente (PAV), an experimental center for contemporary art and a testament to his commitment to art in nature, which opened in 2008 in his hometown of Turin. He directed PAV’s art programs, including indoor and outdoor contemporary art installations and exhibitions, notably investigating Living Art. These experimentations included living and nonliving materials, stimulating life through biotechnological expression, with bioethical reflections on the use of certain materials and practices.

Gilardi’s research included three books of theoretical reflections, exploring the variety of his interests: Dall’arte alla vita, dalla vita all’arte (From art to life, from life to art), 1981; Not for sale, 2000; and La mia Biopolitica, 2016. He was a contributor to many different art magazines, including Juliet and Flash Art.

Biasutti & Biasutti Arte moderna e contemporanea s.r.l. P.IVA 07850810016 - Capitale sociale €10.000,00 i.v. - Iscritta al R.I. di Torino al n. 165421/99 R.E.A. della C.C.I.A. N 926697

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