Reimagined Reality with Piero Gilardi

Examples of Gilardi's Tappeto-Natura, inspired by his childhood, and carved with the intention of portraying pure emotion

Gilardi Installation with vestitoMagazzino Italian Art

For Tappeto-Natura, Gilardi conveys a natural landscape through an artificial material like polyurethane foam; however, the power of these works is such that the artificiality of this same material seems to disappear in order to transform itself in pure emotion.

Cavoli sotto la neve (Cabbages under the snow) (1974) by Piero GilardiMagazzino Italian Art

Cavoli (Cabbages)

When Piero Gilardi was just a few months old, his family moved from their home in Turin to a rental home in the countryside due to World War II. Images of the rustic environment of his childhood remained engrained in the artist’s subconscious. 

Mais (Corn) (1966) by Piero GilardiMagazzino Italian Art

Mais (Corn)

Mais speaks of the work in the countryside: corn on the cob, grain, and raking.

Girasoli caduti (Fallen sunflowers) (1967) by Piero GilardiMagazzino Italian Art

Girasoli caduti (Sunflowers)

Girasoli caduti evokes the image of a field after a storm, where the sunflowers that have fallen on the ground rise again with the arrival of the sun.

Artwork WallMagazzino Italian Art

Food as Symbols

Uva e mais (Grape and corn), Piero Gilardi, 1992, From the collection of: Magazzino Italian Art
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Il passaggio del Minotauro (The passage of the Minotaur), PIero Gilardi, 1968, From the collection of: Magazzino Italian Art
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One such example of Gilardi's use of symbols is Uva e mais, left, where the grapes recall wine. This is a symbol rich with significance, expressing the well-being and joy of living. Il passaggio del Minotauro, right, proposes a mythological figure, the Minotaur—half man and half bull. This figure corresponds to our psyche: half rational and half governed by emotions.

Mele cadute (Fallen apples), Piero Gilardi, 1967, From the collection of: Magazzino Italian Art
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Zucche (Pumpkin), Piero Gilardi, 1966, From the collection of: Magazzino Italian Art
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 Mele cadute, left, depicts a ladder and recalls the labor in the countryside and orchard; however, at the same time, the ladder is an object full of meaning: it is the connection between earth and sky. Zucche, right, evokes the idea of fertility and abundance while, at the same time, they are the end of the old and the beginning of a new cycle of seasons.

D’autunno (In autumn) (2020) by Piero GilardiMagazzino Italian Art

D’autunno (In autumn)

Gilardi was interested in recreating the world around him, a reflection of nature, in his carpets. This work is one inspired by his upbringing, a theme in his work, featuring an autumnal composition with corn and purple turnips—vegetables traditionally used as side dishes.

Gilardi Installation, VestitoMagazzino Italian Art

Vestito-Natura Sassi and Vestito-Natura Betulle

Vestito-Natura, a polyurethane foam carpet that is intended to be worn, has multifaceted functions.The individual wears it and becomes part of nature – merging art and life. Both of these works from 1967 were presented by Gilardi at the Piper Club in Turin along with his carpets.

Mariscos (Seafood)

Mariscos is an homage to nature. Gilardi observed nature, giving form to the polyurethane foam: he rough-hewed it, colored it, and composed the scene, articulating the enchantment of nature through an artificial material.

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