Emilio Isgrò, born at Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (Province of Messina) in 1937, has lived and worked in Milan since 1956. After making his literary debut with the book of poetry Fiere del Sud (published by Arturo Schwarz, 1956), in 1964 he began to produce his first “cancellature” (deletions) exhibited in Italian and international galleries and museums. The theme of deletion, a recurrent concept in twentieth-century art, is the authentic and systematic foundation of his aesthetics, to the point of making him the leading figure in this practice. “I delete words to safeguard them, it is a gesture of salvation. My techniques of expressive language allow me to disappear, only to re-emerge again”, Isgrò has declared in an interview.

In 1977 he was awarded first prize at the Sao Paolo Biennale. In 1985 he presented the multimedia installation La Veglia di Bach in Milan, commissioned by La Scala Theatre for the European Year of Music, while in 1998 Seme d’arancia was installed at Barcellona in Sicily. In the years 1972, 1978, 1986, and 1993 he was invited to the Venice Biennale. His activity in the theatre and as author is also important, as demonstrated by “L’Orestea di Gibellina” (1983/84/85) as well as by novels and books of poetry, among them “L’avventurosa vita di Emilio Isgrò” (Il Formichiere, 1975), “Marta de Rogatiis Johnson” (Feltrinelli, 1977), “Polifemo” (Mondadori, 1989) and “L’asta delle ceneri” (Camunia, 1994).


artista: Emilio Isgrò


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