Arte Povera Collection Gets New York Home

A new space housing the impressive Arte Povera and contemporary art collection of Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu is under construction. Bloomberg’s James Tarmy reported on the plans for what is being called a museum in Cold Spring, a small town in New York’s Hudson Valley, in a story published 14 September 2016.

It is not clear whether the building will be open to the public or if the Olnick-Spanu collection of more than 400 items has grown too large to be accommodated in the couple’s well-known Alberto Campo Baeza-designed home in nearby Garrison, N.Y., where it is currently housed. Olnick and Spanu own work by Arte Povera luminaries such as Alighiero Boetti as well as contemporary monumentals by Paolo Canevari in addition to a collection of 500 Murano glass wares.

Curator and critic Germano Celant came up with the term “Arte Povera” in 1967 to describe the movement in which  art was made from everyday materials such as concrete, bark, or paper, in deliberate contrast to traditional sculptural materials such as marble and bronze.

Reference: Michael Clarke and Deborah Clarke. “Arte Povera.” In The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Giuseppe Penone, Rovesciare i propri occhi (Reverse Your Eyes), 1970. Action by the artist, reflecting contact lenses, recorded by Claudio Basso. Photo: IKON Gallery, Birmingham.

Murano glass from the Olnick Spanu Collection. Photo: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

Alighiero Boetti, Zig Zag, 1967. Photo: The Gladstone Gallery, New York City.

Ercole Barovier, A murrine, 1927. Photo: Olnick Spanu.

Giuseppe Penone. Holding Back 17 Years of Growth (It Will Continue to Grow Except at that Point), [Trattenere diciasette anni di crescita (Continuera a crescere tranne che in quel punto)], trunk of an ash tree worked over time, 1968-85. Photo: University of California, San Diego.

Paolo Canevari, Souvenir, 2014–2015. Photo: Olnick Spanu.

Further Reading:

Friedemann Malsch, Christine Meyer Stoll, and Valentina Pro (eds.). Che fare?: Arte Povera : The Historic Years. Heidelberg: Kehrer Verlag, 2011.

Paul Schimmel (ed.). Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962. Milan: Skira, 2012.

Posted by Jean Marie Carey

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