Marianne Boesky Gallery and The Pace Gallery
Pier Paolo Calzolari, like Arte Povera (the movement with which he is associated), is insufficiently valued in the U.S. Some critics deem the Italian movement—with its emphasis on base materials and their interactions—hokey and pompous, a preferably forgotten chapter in the history of postwar art. But at its best, Arte Povera has produced some of the most gripping art of the past half-century, and Calzolari’s strongest works would stand their ground in the finest collections of contemporary art. If you embrace the cold, cerebral, and doctrinaire aesthetic of Judd at the expense of all else, then Arte Povera will seem both rhetorical and lacking in purity. If you have a taste for Rauschenberg’s image-riddled “Combines” and their progeny, Arte Povera will seem inadequate to the task of handling contemporary life, and, therefore, inauthentic. However, Rauschenberg’s magical handling of materials, his seemingly boundless powers of invention, and his early monochrome pictures inspired Calzolari, as did, I would argue, the work of Alberto Burri and of Joseph Beuys. …see the entire review in the print version of March’s Sculpture magazine.