arte povera


ar·​te po·​ve·​ra ˈär-tā-pō-ˈver-ə How to pronounce arte povera (audio)
variants or Arte Povera
: an art movement originating in Italy in the 1960s characterized by experimentation with simple, everyday materials (such as paper, rags, or twigs) and concerned with challenging conventional elitism in the mainstream art tradition
… the metaphysical yearnings of the Surrealists and the material curiosity of Arte Povera.New York Times, 6 June 2008
also : art associated with this movement
Some of the sculpture she produced showed the "getting back to essentials" that characterizes work known as Arte Povera. Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune, 27 Oct. 1988
… an exhibition of over 140 works by young, relatively unknown European artists that will concentrate heavily on arte povera, conceptual art and all the other latest attempts to make news. New York Magazine, 11 Sept. 1972
Once again, this ageing master of arte povera is seeking to fashion some fragile poetry out of the meetings of inglorious factory substances. Jannis Kounellis, Sunday Times (London), 2 May 2010

Word History


borrowed from Italian, literally, "impoverished art"

First Known Use

1969, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of arte povera was in 1969

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Dictionary Entries Near arte povera

Cite this Entry

“Arte povera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

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