Paola Pivi

Luciano Fabro

23.04.2024 | 04.05.2024
Pièce Unique

MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique presents: Italie by Paola Pivi and Luciano Fabro. What brings these two artists together in Paris? Whilst Paola Pivi is perhaps best known for her lighthearted – albeit poignant whimsical creations, Luciano Fabro is most commonly associated to the artistic current of arte povera, and his experimentations with representation.


Paola Pivi’s sculpture is entitled Do you know why Italy is shaped like a boot? Because so much shit couldn’t fit in a shoe. Its unapologetic irony is both an ode to Italy, and a subtle jeering of Italy’s charming defaults. Playing with the viewer’s expectations, Pivi presents an elegant, black leather left boot meticulously adorned with 48 vintage pins reproducing Italy’s geography. Paola Pivi transforms the boot as a national emblem into a symbol of Italy’s absurd beauty.

Luciano Fabro’s De italia is a work from the distant 1970’s, yet the notion of national representation reveals itself just as poignant. Soft, tanned caramel-colored leather cut out in the iconic boot shape is folded in an accordion-like pattern and hung horizontally on the wall. Both graceful and flimsy, the leather is a reminder of Italy’s notorious savoir-faire. Folded upon itself like an unraveling scroll, was Fabro giving form to the multiple chapters of Italy’s history, or perhaps showing its multiple, gently balanced disorder hanging by a thread?

The shape of Italy,” in Fabro’s words, “is static, immobile; I measure the mobility of my hands against a motionless thing. Italy is like an album of sketches, memoranda, which I continue to make through the years: if I study something new, I sketch it into an Italy.”

Both these works are witness to artists across generations grapling with their country’s complex identity. Perhaps particularly fitting, this exhibition will coincide with Italy’s WWII liberation on April 25th 1945.