arte povera

ar·​te po·​ve·​ra | \ ˈär-tā-pō-ˈver-ə How to pronounce arte povera (audio) \
variants: or Arte Povera

Definition of 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

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First Known Use of arte povera

1969, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arte povera

borrowed from Italian, literally, “impoverished art”

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The first known use of arte povera was in 1969

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Cite this Entry

“Arte povera.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2021.

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