Arte Povera has hit top gear with a show of works by Gianni Piacentino at Michael Werner gallery in London (Gianni Piacentino: Works 1965-2006, until 20 June).
The Turin-born artist’s streamlined sculptures are inspired by cars and planes, but his approach owes most to his real love: motorbikes. Piacentino told ArtForum last year that, after breaking with the Arte Povera group in 1967, he “took a rest and started restoring a motorbike – a stunning Indian from the 1930s. While I was restoring it, I had an epiphany”. Out went art-historical works; in came the first prototypes for his early Minimal sculptures.
And Piacentino is not afraid to go full throttle. “Motorbikes are an important part of my life,” he said. “From 1967 until now, I have driven very fast motorcycles. Illegal speed is normal for me.”