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View of “Paolo Icaro,” 2014–15. Foreground: Cumulo rete (Aggregation Net), 1968. Background: Foto, nicchie (Photos, Niches), 1974.

Paolo Icaro

Peep-Hole

View of “Paolo Icaro,” 2014–15. Foreground: Cumulo rete (Aggregation Net), 1968. Background: Foto, nicchie (Photos, Niches), 1974.

The work of Paolo Icaro, who was born in Turin in 1936, has long been marked by his radical investigations of form, language, and meaning. “Appunti di Viaggio,1967–2014” (Travel Notes, 1967–2014), the artist’s recent retrospective at Peep-Hole, brought together a selection of his anti-monumental volumes rendered with unfinished plaster and postindustrial materials. Although these works elegantly pose questions about the objective form of sculpture, the role of images and words in the evocation of a spatial-temporal gesture, and the emotional value of an idea, the most surprising element of this generous exhibition was neither the persistent relevance of Icaro’s forms nor the freshness of their content. Instead, the show’s most important revelation concerned the artist’s method—namely, the rigor and constancy with which he has transformed his practice to reassess the fundamental

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