Biography

Born on 1937 at Barcellona di Pozzo, Sicily, Emilio Isgrò lives and works in Milan. Conceptual artist and painter, but also poet, writer, dramaturge and director, Isgrò is considered one of the most internationally renewed and prestigious names of the Italian art scene. His work can be considered among the most revolutionary and original within the so called Vanguardias of the 60s. The artist is the undisputed author of the “Cancellation (erasure technique)” – the act of striking out the words of a printed book – something he began to explore in the early 1960s; Emilio Isgrò has it his poetic, although erasing is not to be considered as a metaphor in his practice, but as an actual action. He works on texts of real covers, transforming and renewing the meaning, without annihilating or destroying the value of the word or the image. As a pioneer of the “erasure” of texts, encyclopedias, manuscripts, books, maps and even movies, Emilio Isgrò has made his technique the essence of his research. He looks towards a sort of reverse reading and re-­interpretation of the language which, through various manipulations, goes from being verbal to being visual. As the artist says: ”Erasures is not a simple negation, but instead it is the statement of new meanings: it is the transformation of a negative sign into a positive gesture”. The Artist was invited to participate to the Venice Biennal in 1972, 1978, 1986 and 1993. In 1977 he was awarded first place at the Biennial of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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