This volume, published on the occasion of the exhibition Pietro Consagra: La materia poteva non esserci, curated by Alberto Salvadori at Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati in Lugano, celebrates the work of the great artist and the centenary of his birth. Developed in collaboration with Archivio Consagra, it investigates Consagra's multifaceted work: from his passionate relation with architecture, to his intellectual exchanges with the Italian art critic and feminist activist Carla Lonzi, to his crucial role in postwar Italian art, to the lightness of his paintings on fabric, titled Lenzuoli.
Pietro Consagra (1920-2005) explored all aspects of artistic creation. He created sculptures, made paintings, drew, experimented with new media, and wrote poetry and prose with tireless energy and a polemical attitude. He also created tiny jewelry and erected buildings and monumental urban installations.
Ever since 1948 he established his conception of frontal sculpture, in which location has the value of a plastic element, and abstraction takes on a strongly psychological connotation.
Consagra obtained international recognition with his exhibitions at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice in 1949, the São Paulo Biennial in 1955 and 1959, Documenta in Kassel in 1959 and 1964, the Venice Biennale in 1956 and in 1960, the year in which he received the prize for sculpture.