luciano FABRO
Italian, b. 1936

This unusual work by Luciano Fabro is made from marble and flour. If you take a closer look you'll see that there is an image of a man on it. How did it get there? Fabro made this figure come alive in the flour by first carving the image into the large marble cylinder and then rolling the marble over the flour.

But there's more. How this figure is made is also important in explaining the title and meaning of this sculpture. Sisyphus, who is the central figure of an ancient Greek myth, was banished to the underworld and condemned by the gods to forever roll an enormous boulder up a steep hill, only to have it plummet downward each time it reached the top. As in the legend, this action must be repeated in order for this sculpture to be made. But Fabro has added a twist. The figure in the flour is actually a self-portrait of the artist, and so Fabro has linked the ongoing work of an artist to the eternal labors of Sisyphus.

Luciano Fabro explains the nature of Arte Povera "In my case, when I produce a work, even today, my ambition is to do something very complex, but presented in a very simple way. Within this simplicity, you must be aware of the complexity. This is what arte povera is about."

Luciano Fabro,
Sisyphus, 1994
marble, gold leaf, flour (flour may be substituted with other rolling materials)
23 x 37-3/4 x 23"
Gift of the Norwest Foundation on behalf of Norwest Bank Minnesota, 1995

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