Paolo Icaro

Paolo Icaro

Italian artist

Paolo Icaro born in 1936 in Turin as Pietro Paolo Chissotti, is an Italian artist known for his sculptures and paintings and he was one of the youngest representatives of the Italian art movement Arte Povera during its beginnings. In 1955, he enrolled at the Faculty of Letters at the University of Turin, but in 1958, he decided to abandon his studies and began to practice sculpture at the studio of abstract sculptor Umberto Mastroianni.

In 1960, he moved to Rome, where a couple of years later he held his first solo exhibit at the Galleria Schneider, and in 1964, he won the Ministry for Foreign Trade Award at the 3rd Ceramic Art Biennale of Gubbio. In 1966, Paolo Icaro moved to New York and created his sculptures Forms of Space (Forme di Spazio), which he renamed Cages (Gabbie). These were metal sculptures that, instead of occupying space, were meant to be the space. Icaro returned to Italy in 1968, this time to Genova, where he held an exhibition at the Galleria La Bertesca, and coordinated his participation at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and at Bern Kunstahalle.

In 1971, Paolo Icaro moved to Connecticut, where he remained for the rest of the 1970s. During this decade, he created important works and experimented frequently, creating sculptures made out of plaster with fragments or sections of stone, lead, glass, wood, and paper. Important works emblematic of this time include Places of the Point (I luoghi del punto) and Intimate Measurements (Le misure intime). Some of his important exhibitions of this time took place with Françoise Lambert in Milan in 1976, with Marilena Bonomo in Bari in 1976, with Massimo Minini in Brescia in 1977, with Paul Maenz in Cologne in 1978, and with Hal Bromm in New York in 1978 and 1979. read more

In 1980, Icaro moved back to Italy, which has turned out to be his permanent residence. The 1980s were a prolific decade for Paolo Icaro, as he had many solo exhibitions, including those at PAC in Milan in 1982, at Palazzina dei Giardini in Modena in 1987, in Brescia with Massimo Minini in 1982 and 1989, and in New York with Jack Tilton in 1985, 1986, and 1989.

Paolo Icaro’s most important solo exhibitions over the last decade include Modalità, Galleria Lorenzelli Arte, Milan (2006- 2007); Faredisfarerifarevedere, curated by Mario Bertoni, Centro d’Arte e Cultura Chiesa di San Paolo, Modena (2008); Le pietre di marmo, as part of the XXV Gubbio Biennial of Sculture curated by Giorgio Bonomi (2008); Biografia ideale, curated by Ludovico Pratesi, Centro Arti Visive Pescheria in Pesaro (2009); 15 Stele 15, curated by Lara Conte, Galleria Niccoli, Parma (2010); Su misura, curated by Lara Conte and Mauro Panzera, Galleria Il Ponte, Florence (2011); I Do As I Did, Galleria Lorenzelli Arte, Milan (2011); retrospective on the decade from 1967 to 1977, Galleria P420, Bologna (2012); Living in America: Sculptural Events in Woodbridge, Galleria G7, Bologna (2012); Black & White. Reason and Passion, Galleria Lorenzelli Arte, Milan (2013); and Tensioni, Studio La Città, Verona (2013).

For more information on Paolo Icaro, visit the following:
Biografia Paolo Icaro at

Art Review Paolo Icaro

Last updated: October 31, 2019

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Paolo Icaro – Group Exhibitions

  • IX Quadriennale, Rome, 1965
  • “Arte Povera Più Azioni Povere,” Arsenali in Amalfi, 1968
  • “Op Losse Schroeven. Situaties en cryptostructuren,” Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1969”
  • “When Attitudes Become Form,” by Harald Szeemann at the Kunsthalle in Bern, 1969
  • 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2011
  • “L’Inarchiviabile – The Unarchivable,” by Marco Scotini, Centro per L’Arte Contemporanea, Milano, 2016

Paolo Icaro – Solo Exhibitions

  • PAC – Pavilion of Contemporary Art in Milan (1982)
  • Palazzina dei Giardini, Modena (1987)
  • Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Trento (1995)
  • “Appunti di viaggio 1967-2014,” Contemporary Art Center Peep-Hole, Milan, 2014
  • “Paolo Icaro, Un Prato in Quattro Tempi,” Università delgi Studi di Milano, Milan, 2018
  • Anthologia, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, 2019


Lara Conte

Paolo Icaro: faredisfarerifareverdere

Mousse Publishing

Milano, Italy (2017)


Mario Bertoni

Paolo Icaro

Edizioni Essegi

Villanova di Ravenna, Italy (1990)


Bruno Cora

Paolo Icaro antefatto e dialogo

Massimo Minini, Jack Tilton, Annemarie Verna



Alessandro Pasotti

Paolo Icaro 1967-1977

P420 Gallery

Bologna, Italy (1986)


Flaminio Gualdoni

Paolo Icaro

Ripartizione Cultura Civiche Raccolte d’Arte

Milano Italy (1982)