A tribute to Gianni Piacentino's art and to his sense of independence with works spanning 1966 to the present.
Published on the occasion of the exibition “Gianni Piacentino – A retrospective” at the Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva, from June to August, 2013.
Born 1945 in Coazze (Turin), Italy, Gianni Piacentino lives and works
in Turin. One of the founding members of the Arte
group, Piacentino's practice evolved from early Minimalist
structures to works influenced by modern industrial design. In the 1970s he
became an advisor to the laboratory of an auto-body paint factory and began
decorating custom-made motorcycles (many of which he himself raced, as he
proudly states in his biography). His early minimal sculptures transformed
themselves into new shapes that celebrate the idea of dynamism and speed,
recalling the vehicles that inspired his projects—motorcycles,
, and planes. Creating these works with the same
degree of care and attention to detail as industry puts into the production
of these machines, Piacentino brings the highest level of handcrafted
technique to his perfectly finished forms. He has resisted trends and
fashion for almost 40 years, and defies categorization.
His work has been shown extensively in Europe in museums such as the Palais
des Beaux Arts, Brussels; the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; the
Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Bologna and Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome;
the National Galerie in Berlin; and PS1 in New York. In 1977 he was invited
to participate in Documenta 6, Kassel, Germany, and in 1993 exhibited at the
XLV Biennale of Venice, Italy.