This catalogue documents an exhibition that examines the work of 14 Italian artists who explored a wide range of common materials to create extraordinary works. The term “arte povera,” literally “poor art,” has led to the use of cardboard and other “cheap” materials for other books on the subject. The challenge was to avoid this pattern, which we did by looking to the spirit of Italian design in the 1960s and its inventive use of materials. Drawing inspiration from the ten-year period bracketed by the exhibition, the book deploys a range of graphic devices without mimicking specific historical styles. The tactile nature of the artists works is referenced, for example, in the range of papers used throughout the book; each delineating a different section (essays, timeline, artworks, backmatter). The materiality of the book was enhanced by using several different papers to define particular sections and by flush trimming the book and not using a dust jacket. Large horizontal images were turned on edge to save space, which in turn enhanced the physicality of the book by shifting its orientation. Devices such as a shifting red bar that overprints the text and moves through the essays and timeline and the oversized endnotes numbers are details that enhance the graphic image of the book.
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