Art Theory: Arte Povera, Anti-form and the Unfinished Painting

14 - 28 March 2018

Wednesday 14, 21 and 28 March, 6.30 – 9.00pm

Using the current exhibition A Continuous Becoming by Giorgio Griffa as a case study, artist and curator Stephen Nelson will lead a three week course examining the history of the Arte Povera movement, its precedents, influences and legacy.

Arte Povera, literally meaning ‘poor art’, was a movement that centred in and around Italy, but had wide reaching influences on conceptual, anti-form and minimalist art movements. During the late 1960s and through the 1970s, Arte Povera artists sought to challenge the confines of traditional art making practices, incorporating everyday or throwaway materials into their work.

Week One
Week one seeks to situate the Arte Povera movement within art history, considering post-war Italian art and other precedents of the movement. This session will include a critical examination of art critic Germano Celant’s ideas, to reflect on the political and artistic influences that led to Arte Povera.

Week Two
This session will examine the historical influences to Giorgio Griffa’s work, paying particular attention to the ways in which Italian painting and the Golden Ratio have influenced Griffa. This will be a chance to examine and discuss Griffa’s work on display in the galleries.

Week Three
In this final session, participants will consider the influence of Arte Povera in Europe and beyond, examining iconic shows that still have an impact today with contemporary artists and on Stephen’s own work as an artist.

Artist and curator Stephen Nelson will lead this course. In 2017 he co-curated and exhibited in the exhibition Poor Art | Arte Povera: Italian Influences, British Responses at the Estorick Collection, London which showed British artists such as Mona Hatoum, Richard Long and Anya Gallaccio alongside leading Arte Povera artists including Mario Merz, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Gilberto Zorio. Recent exhibitions include Walls Have Ears at Man & Eve Gallery, London, which he also curated, showing artists such as Simon Callery, Clem Crosby, Brian Griffiths and Brighid Lowe; It’s a Soft Hard World a solo show at Space Station 65, London; and Skin Falls Apart a series of watercolours at Francesco Panteleone Gallery, Palermo. 2013 saw him selected as the first solo artist to exhibit in the Projects at the Contemporary Art Society. His most recent venture is the establishment of a museum in a bus shelter in Basilicata Italy. Read more.

Read More

Eligible Concessions
Concessionary fees are available to attendees who are in receipt of housing and council tax benefits, income support, jobseeker’s allowance or a state pension, full time students with NUS cards or those who are registered as disabled.

Terms and Conditions

  • Booking on a course at Camden Arts Centre signifies your agreement to our terms and conditions as stated in our Learning Agreement. These are available to read on our website and at the Bookshop.
  • As part of the enrolment procedure, all participants must complete a registration form.
  • Bookings are non-refundable and non-transferable, unless the course is cancelled by the Centre.
  • Evidence of concessionary status must be shown on the first day of the course.
  • 5 week courses run twice. Please only book a single place on one of the two courses to ensure as many people as possible are able to participate.
  • All materials are provided