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Italian sculptor, conceptual artist and writer. He was born in Turin, 1936.
He frequented artistic circles in Udine in the mid-1950s. In 1958 Fabro saw Lucio Fontanaâ€™s contribution to the Venice Biennale and the following year moved to Milan, where he discovered the work of Yves Klein and Francesco Lo Savio and was closely associated with Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani. Their investigations of matter and space influenced Fabroâ€™s idea of the artist as a facilitator of experiences without preconceived categories.
After tentative early works, he embarked upon austere pieces that encapsulated phenomenological problems, such as The Hole (1963; artist's col.). His first one-man show (1965; Milan, Gal. Vismara) combined mirror pieces with the Spatial Lines, which demarcated their environment with tubular metal.
He included the physical participation of the observer in In Cube (metal rods and canvas, 1966; artistâ€™s col.), a cubical enclosure tailored to a personâ€™s height, and in Theatrical Production (1967; see 1987 exh. cat., p. 52), a mirrored cube that reflected the expectant audience. The series culminated in the cosmic space of the photographic wall In Front, Behind, Right, Left (Sky) (1967â€“8; artistâ€™s col.). He grouped all these works together as Tautologies.
In 1967 Fabro exhibited with Paolini, Kounellis and Pino Pascali in Arte Povera/In spazio (Genoa, Gal. La Bertesca). Responding to their unorthodox materials, Fabro began to diversify into silk, molten glass and marble for the gigantic bird-like Feet (1968â€“71; artist's col.). By 1971, feeling that purely group activity was restricting, Fabro attempted (unsuccessfully) to have the Arte Povera show at the Kunstverein, Munich, retitled to a simple list of names.
By this time he had begun the series of Italys, which continued for the next two decades. Alongside these were more private themes, such as the sexual connotations of hanging cloth captured in the undulating Clothes-Hangers (1976; artist's col.), with their allusions to Apollo and the laurel-garlanded Daphne. Cloth was also used in the subsequent Habitats, which recalled the cubes of the 1960s (e.g. Habitat, 1983; artist's col.). In the late 1980s massive stone pieces such as the Double Face of the Sky (steel cable and marbled-blue rock, 1986) were made light by means of their suspension, which was typical of Fabro in its paradox and whimsy.
He died on 22 June 2007 in Milan following a heart attack.
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