An Italian term applied by art critic Germano Celant in 1967 to a group of Italian artists active in Rome, Genoa, Milan and Turin in the 1960s and 1970s.
They were perceived as radical because they used everyday materials they could acquire easily and cheaply such as rope, iron, sticks, cement, twigs, and newspapers.
However, the term was not intended by Celant to be a value judgment of their artwork, but instead was a reference to the fact that any low-income person could get involved because the method required little or no financial investment.
Metaphorical images were characteristic of â€œArte Poveraâ€, especially opposites suggesting the â€œredemptive power of history and art with a solid grounding in the material worldâ€.
Although many 20th and 21st century artists in western countries use found objects in their artwork, the term â€œArte Poveraâ€ applies almost exclusively to Italian artists including Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Giulio Paolini and Gilbert Zorio.