Tag Archives: 20th century art

RIP Germano Celant (1940 – 2020)

Germano Celant was an Italian art historian known for coining the term “arte povera” (poor art) in 1967.

The ‘poor’ of that epithet refers to the materials.

I’ve always thought of ‘arte povera’ as a bit of a non-concept.

It is exemplary of that 20th century mania of coining names for invented new art movements.

Think surrealism, dada, popart, post-popart, avant garde, post-avantgarde, nouveau réalisme, neomodern, remodern, metamodern, postminimal, stuckism, neoism, op art, fluxus.

Oh please stop already.

Art Povera: Conceptual, Actual or Impossible Art? (1969)

But then again, I like the cover of the 1969 book that made the term arte povera known around the world.

I wanted to check the book out, since my university has it in its library.

However, this being corona-time, the library is closed.

RIP Panamarenko (1940 – 2019)

Panamarenko was a Belgian artist famous for his cars that did not drive, his flying machines that did not fly and his submarines that did not submerge.

He was the archetypical artist, living with his mother in the Seefhoek until she died; a strange man who seemed out of place in the real world.

RIP Jean Rustin

(gallery, click for images)

Jean Rustin (1928– 2013) was a French painter, and an important figurative artist.

Beginning in the early 1970s, he created a bizarre world of human figures, where an existential dead-end is transformed into frightdarkness abhorrence, without much pity nor relief.

In his own words:

“I realize that behind my artistic creation, behind the fascination for the naked body, there are twenty centuries of painting, primarily religious, twenty centuries of dead Christstortured martyrsgory revolutions, massacres and shattered dreams […] I realize that history and maybe art history are engraved on the body and flesh of men.” (‘Jean Rustin : A corps perdu’[1], collected in Vanités contemporaines)

See also: 20th-century French art,  art horrorbleak.