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It was a great emotion to meet Emilio in his home-studio in Milano, to have in front of me a person who created something really new in the contemporary art. The erasure can emphasize or delete a sentence, a concept, something which in his opinion can be positive or negative. Having his t-shirts in my collection for the Amazonia project is a great satisfaction. His t-shirts are unique works that have been included as first textile pieces in the archive of Emilio Isgrò.
Conceptual artist and painter – but also a poet , writer, playwright and director – Emilio Isgro ( Barcellona di Sicilia, 1937) is definitely one of the best known names in Italian and international art between IXX and XX century. Isgrò has in fact created a work of the most revolutionary and original part of the so-called second avant-garde of the sixties, which earned him several appearances at the Venice Biennale ( 1972 , 1978, 1986 , 1993) and first prize at the Sao Paulo Biennale (1997 ), in addition to other important events such as exhibitions like “The Artist and the Book in XX Century Italy” at MoMA in New York in 1992 , “The Italian artist’s books of the twentieth century” at the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation in Venice in 1994 and retrospectives at the Museo Pecci in 2008 and the National Gallery of Modern Art in 2013.
Initiator of the ” erasure ” of texts , applied to encyclopedias, manuscripts , books, maps and even on films , Isgrò has made this practice, the pin all his research , in a sort of re-reading and reinterpretation of backward language from verbal turns , through calibrated manipulations in visual language . ” The erasure ” says the artist “is not a trivial denial but rather the emergence of new meanings : it is the transformation of a negative sign in positive gesture .”
Proclaimed artist for the year 2014 , Emilio Isgrò lives and works in Milan.