Sculpture in Action: Eliseo Mattiacci in Rome is a fresh examination of the developments in Mattiacci’s sculpture from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, dates that embrace the two decades he spent living and working in Italy’s vibrant capital. New research by the contributors to this book reveal how the exceptional constellation of studios, galleries and institutional spaces as well as the architectural and landscape settings Rome offered were the crucial factor in Mattiacci’s rapid development as an artist. In the mid-1960s the city was already a major centre for art, literature, theatre and cinema, and the setting for numerous avant-garde performative ‘actions’ and ‘happenings’. The Piazza del Popolo district, crowded with galleries and bars, was the volcanic heart for transatlantic exchanges and the latest movements, and Mattiacci soon became warmly acquainted with various gallerists and artists, including the Arte Povera practitioners Jannis Kounellis and Pino Pascali.
In this challenging and competitive environment Mattiacci sought to establish his own distinctive exploratory style, investigating materials, forms, sounds, presentations and actions in endlessly novel and inventive ways. Sculpture in Action is the illustrated account of Mattiacci’s artistic creativity in those decades.
This book, edited by Lara Conte and supported by the Italian Council, a programme to promote Italian contemporary art internationally, run by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture, is the result of research undertaken in dialogue with Studio Eliseo Mattiacci, which led to the inclusion of unpublished photographic and documentary material.