Arte povera

Dieter Roth / Heimo Zobernig – Artist books and samples of copy book titles

Dieter Roth who was born in 1930 and passed away in 1998, was- among lots of others –  very well known for his artist books (–> see Wikipedia). The Dieter Roth Foundation mentions on its website “Beginning in the 1950s, Dieter Roth took the artist’s book in new directions. Starting with op-art and visual poetry books, he then experimented with all aspects of offset printing and by the 1990s was producing “copy books,” using photocopiers…”

This topic of artist books is also touched by an interesting article written by Andrew M. Goldstein, 2013 called “MoMA Curator Sarah Suzuki on HOW Dieter Roth Invented the Artist´s Book” ( where it is mentioned “…that it’s hard to believe that the medium is less than 50 years old, and more or less indebted to a single artist: Dieter Roth.”

Looking at those “samples(?)” of descriptions of D. Roth´s copy books, I am basically starting to think about, what meaning/history/sense might be behind those words. So I am now looking for the contents of those copy books … the story might be continued.


Before I forget it …The technique of photocopying by the way is something other contemporary artists use as well (even I do not know if. Mr Zobernig was influenced by D. Roth) : A nice example at least would be Heimo Zobering´s book project “Galerie Stadtpark” from 1996 where Zobernig creates copies of the pages of the guest book which was filled by the spectators at the gallery opening. One page in each copied edition is always one original page of the original guestbook.

Zobernig_Stadtpark3 Zobernig_Stadtpark2





Ileana Sonnabend – a selection of artist catalogues mostly from the “arte povera” movement

This time I can show an interesting selection of small catalogues of the gallery Sonnabend.

I was very amazed about this small little catalogues which I could acquire at a nice book shop in Vienna and I felt they have a kind of “special”. I like the small & little ones because the description to read is not too much and – for me – to the point.

ANSELMO, MERZ, ZORIO – important artists of the arte povera movement.


The Columbia university of New York describes the following about Ileana Sonnabend on one of their websites ( “Ileana Sonnabend’s pioneering efforts in the promotion and dissemination art have long been celebrated. Less known is Sonnabend’s early and unceasing dedication to European art of the sixities and senventies, particularly to the art of Italy.

Late in 1962 Michael and Ileana Sonnabend opened the Galerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris, where they exhibited the work of American artists but also the work of several young Italians, beginning with Mario Schifano (1963) and Michelangelo Pistoletto (1964). In addition to Pistoletto, Ileana Sonnabend showed the work of Giovanni Anselmo, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Giulio Paolini and Gilberto Zorio, both in Paris and in the New York gallery that she had opened in 1970. In this way, Sonnabend played a seminal role not only in introducing American art to Europe but also in bringing contemporary European art to America.

The “Arte Povera” was a group of twelve artists: Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Luciano Fabro, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Guiseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gilberto Zorio. They produced one of the most authentic and independent European artistic interventions of the late 1960s. Pitted in certain ways against the hegemony of American art, specifically that of minimalist sculpture, it was also an artistic movement that recuperated the contradictory legacy of Italian avant&garde culture from the beginning of the century as defined in the dialectics of Futurism and Giorgio De Chirico’s Pittura Metafisica.”

If you look at those covers of those catalogues  – they are all produced around end of the 60-ies – they still look so modern after more than 50 years of their production.


Arte Poveri