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Marco Gastini

Marco Gastini’s works reflect the kind of fascination with nontraditional materials that has become synonymous with arte povera—the Italian art of his generation. Such a statement is meaningless, however, unless the question of why those materials became signifiers for an entire generation is considered. In contrast to postwar American artists who constructed a language of freedom through an innovative use of traditional materials, many Italian artists—both those who were part of arte povera and those more indirectly influenced by it—adopted “poor” materials in order to free themselves from the psychological burden of Italy’s reactionary past and to conceive of an alternate subjectivity. Made from raw and unrefined charcoal, iron, plaster, wood, canvas, and pigments, Gastini’s work, like that of many of his contemporaries, is based on a notion of expressive freedom rather than on a

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