Pietro Consagra, Mazara del Vallo 1920 - 2005 Milan
Pietro Consagra was one of Europe’s most renowned sculptors of the postwar era. Born in Mazara del Vallo in Sicily, Consagra attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Palermo before moving in 1944 to Rome, just as the city was starting to commence its reconstruction in the wake of World War II. Consagra’s distinctive vision for a new form of abstract sculpture began to coalesce following a formative visit to Paris in 1946, which moreover marked the beginning of an active dialogue with the international avant-garde. Consagra rejected the traditions of three-dimensional sculpture with the aim of fostering a more direct mode of interaction between the work of art and its viewer. Working in bronze and iron, the artist created radical sculptures that flattened their materials almost to the point of two-dimensionality. Consagra quickly garnered international acclaim. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale for the first time in 1950 and participated in ten further iterations, winning the Grand Prize for sculpture in 1960. He received prizes at the Biennale in Sao Paolo in 1955 and the Carnegie International in 1958, as well as the Prix de la Critique in Brussels in 1959. In 1967 he spent a year in Minneapolis, where he also created large scale sculptures, and exhibited at the Marlborough Gerson Gallery in New York. In 2001, he was awarded the Golden Medal for Art and Culture from the President of the Italian Republic. His large-scale sculptures grace important urban landscapes, with one standing at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
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