ISGRO' Emilio, Libro del Consiglio d'Egitto, 2017, Serigrafia originale firmata - EmporiumArt
Emilio Isgrò




Emilio Isgrò ARTIST

Emilio Isgrò is an italian artist born on October 6, 1937 in Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, in Sicily. Known for the artistic language of erasure, Emilio Isgrò left a significant mark on the Italian and international art scene between the 20th and 21st centuries. In addition to being a conceptual artist and painter, he is also a poet, writer, playwright and director.

Emilio Isgrò's beginnings date back to 1956, when he published his first collection of poems entitled Fiere del Sud. Already in this period, he showed a predilection for experimenting with and subverting traditional artistic conventions. In 1964, he made his first erasures on encyclopaedias and books, contributing to the birth and development of visual poetry and conceptual art. After having lived in Venice as head of the cultural pages of the Gazzettino from 1960 to 1967, Emilio Isgrò moved to Milan, where he still lives and works today. In the following years, his artistic career took a significant turn. In 1966 he held his first solo exhibition at the 1+1 Gallery in Padua and published the Declaration 1, in which he defined his conception of poetry as a general art of the sign. He exhibits in important Milanese galleries such as the Apollinaire Gallery, the Naviglio Gallery and the Schwarz Gallery. Starting in the 1970s, Emilio Isgrò obtained increasingly important recognitions. In 1972 he was invited to the Venice Biennale, where he too exhibited in the following years of 1978, 1986 and 1993. He took part in the 1973 Contemporary exhibition in Rome and in 1977 he won first prize at the São Paulo Art Biennale in Brazil. In the same year he published the novel Marta de Rogatiis Johnson with Feltrinelli. Emilio Isgrò is known for his installations and monumental works. In 1979, he presented the Chopin installation for 15 pianos at the Rotonda della Besana in Milan, which was revived in 2001 by the American pianist Ophra Yerushalmi at the Guild Hall in East Hampton in the United States. In 1982, he represents Gibella del Martirio and San Rocco reads the list of miracles and horrors in Gibellina. In the three-year period 1983-1985 he published the Sicilian trilogy L'Orestea di Gibellina. Emilio Isgrò's works are characterized by the use of erasures, a gesture of overwriting or covering which brings to light the concept of cancellation as a creative act. Through the erasure of words, sentences or images, Emilio Isgrò explores themes such as memory, oblivion, power and censorship. His works have a deep conceptual depth, inviting viewers to reflect on the meaning of words and their power to influence society. During his career, Emilio Isgrò has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in important national and international art institutions. In 2001, he was the subject of a large retrospective at the City of Palermo and in 2013 the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome staged a significant retrospective entitled Model Italy. In 2019, the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice promoted an important retrospective on the artist curated by the critic Germano Celant. Emilio Isgrò has received numerous awards and prizes throughout his career. In 2018, he was awarded the Ambrogino d'oro by the city of Milan. His works are present in important public and private collections, including the George Pompidou Center in Paris and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Emilio Isgrò has contributed significantly to the evolution of conceptual and visual art in Italy and in the world. His artistic research, characterized by erasure as a creative gesture, has influenced generations of artists and continues to be the object of study and admiration in the context of contemporary art.



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