Ignazio Fresu

Ignazio Fresu

Ignazio Fresu (born 1957) is an Italian contemporary sculptor. He creates his artworks using waste products such as pieces of old metal, polystyrene and packaging collected from bins, dumps and scrap metal yards.


Ignazio Fresu was born in Cagliari (Sardinia), in 1957. In 1975 he went to live in Florence where he attended the Academy of the Fine Arts and where his career started. He shows his works regularly in many towns in Italy and abroad.

The work

The poor materials used by Ignazio Fresu represent "the process through which beauty is revealed, the world of appearance and impermanency. A world in which reality is shown daily, suspended between birth and death, thereby constituting a space for a possible experience of being." Through its fragility, precariousness and perishability, Ignazio Fresu seeks the intrinsic beauty which permeates transitoriness, thereby recognising its aesthetic value.

By using openly vulnerable materials and through the medium of oxidisation, rusting, opaqueness, fading, and other forms of deterioration through which objects are tired and worn out, dehydrated and about to crumble, Fresu is returning to authentic values, in open contrast with the varnished or plastic-coated world around us.

Ignazio Fresu's art was influenced by some artistic movements of the 20th century, but also by some philosophers, mainly by Heraclitus (ancient philosophers) and by Gianni Vattimo (contemporary philosophers).

Main exhibitions


September: 28th September and 26th October the artist’s work "Simulacri" (Simulacrums) is exhibited at “Kunst im Klimawandel” (Art in Climate Change) : the international art exhibition organised at Heidelberg in Germany,

July From 21st July to 4th August the work FALSE PORTE (FALSE GATES) is exhibited at Francavilla al Mare at the Premio Spazi Evasi Re-Use 07 award event.

June The installation "NOTHING LASTS EXCEPT CHANGE" is exhibited in Venice at one of the side events of the 52nd VENICE BIENNALE 2007 for the entire duration of the Biennale at the venue Spazio Eventi – Libreria Mondadori (Mondadori Bookshop). In Florence, from June 15th in conjunction with the international art exhibition entitled "rivivere il chiOstrO" (let the clOister relive), curated by the architect Del Fungo in collaboration with the Florence City Council in the history museum "Firenze com’era" ("Florence as it used to be") situated at n°24 via Dell’Oriuolo, Fresu presents his new installation entitled "DIVENIRE E MEMORIA" ("BECOMING AND MEMORY"). On 16th June at the Parco di Cormano outside Milan, at the third annual festival of music and other events known as AltroVolume (OtherVolume) organised by the Cormano Town Council, the section "Vieni, arriva il suono del mare!"("Come on, the sound of the sea is coming"), features a concert by SIMONA SALIS and IGNAZIO FRESU’S installation entitled "False Porte" ("False Gates"). In conjunction with the creative workshop LineaDarte – Officina Creativa, Fresu shows his work "Impermanenze" ("Impermanency") at the Rassegna d’arte contemporanea "VentiPerVenti" contemporary art exhibition in Naples from 20th June to 9th July. From 30th June to 15th July his installation "who.what.where." is on show at the second BIENNALE DI ARTE CONTEMPORANEA "Industria & Arte – Oggetti di produzione industriale geneticamente e artisticamente modificati" (BIENNIAL FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY ART entitled "Industry & Art – genetically- and artistically-modified industrially manufactured items) at the Factory Dream in the tiny town of Balangero near Turin, sponsored by the local Town Council and by the provincial CNA (Confederazione Nazionale dell’Artigianato or Artisan’s Confederation) of Turin. May: Solo exhibition from 12th May to 15th June at the Cultural Centre Circolo Culturale Corte Manlio di Cormano at Cormano, just north of Milan. 5th and 6th May Fresu exhibits his installation created from sand and resin: "With the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread; until you shall return to the earth because that is where you came from: dust you are and dust you shall become" (Genesis 3:19) at Studio 149 in the exhibition organised in the Tuscan town of Cascina with the theme "Il pane, ovvero l’arte di vivere" ("Bread, or the art of living"). From 9th-13th May the artist exhibits his installation Frammenti di de-composizione (Fragments of de-composition) in Seoul in Korea at the KIAF (KOREA INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR). March: From 1st –5th March the artist exhibits at ARTEXPO in New York. January: From 5th-8th there is a preview of the new works entitled "Dissolvenze" ("Fade-outs") at Art Miami in the USA at the Miami Beach Convention Center Hall. From 22nd January to 18th February a solo exhibition of "Dissolvenze" at the "Giardino del Thé" teashop in Prato, near Florence.


December: From 23rd December to 13th January 2007 the artist takes part in the exhibition curated by Paolo Marzano entitled "Preghiere – Approdi minoritari dell’anima" ("Prayers – minatory landing places of the soul" at the Bistrot Garden Grove Art Gallery in Rome. November: From 15th –20th November the artist is represented at the Shanghai Art Fair in China with the new work entitled "False Porte" ("False Gates"). On 19th November he exhibits his installations "who.what.where" and "i Fiumi" (Rivers) in the exhibition curated by Sara Paradisi entitled "H2O Espressioni liquide" ("H2O Liquid Expressions") at the AUDITORIUM-DISCOTECA ESSENZA at Berardenga near SIENA. From 4th – 12th November the new installation "who.what.where." is shown at Pistoia in Tuscany at the exhibition entitled "PASSAGES prima che sia altro" in the former Oratory of San Giovanni Battista. October: 28th and 29th October the artist takes part in the "METROPOLIS" project in the third contemporary art show ARTE LANTERNA –3° incontro artisti contemporanei at Pontedera near Pisa, with the project DIVENIRE E MEMORIA (BECOMING AND MEMORY) and the installation "LA GINESTRA" ("BROOM" – the shrub). From 22nd October he shows "ECTIPI" ("ECTYPES") in Florence at the "LIBERA | MENTE" Exhibition. The "Simulacri" ("Simulacrums") sculptures are shown at the OPEN GALLERY exhibition in Ravenna.

September: Presentation of a new installation entitled "La Ginestra" ("Broom" – the shrub – by Giacomo Leopardi) in the Palaggio di Parte Guelfa building in Florence as part of the exhibition "Uno sguardo insolito" ("A Different View") organised by the Florence Council. July: From 14th July, LIBRO D’ARTISTA (ARTIST’S BOOK), held in conjunction with the "Premio Bancarella" literary prize at Potremoli. From 22nd July, ARTE IN FABBRICA ("ART IN THE FACTORY") at the Factory Dream, Turin. June: From 31st March to 30th June, the series of works entitled "Simulacri" (Simulacrums) exhibited in Nairobi, Kenya as part of an official UNESCO project with RE-ART One.

May: Exhibits in Tokyo at the International Convention Centre "Tokyo Big Sight".

April: From 1st to 10th with the patronage of the Florence city council, the council of the Fourth District of Florence (Quartiere 4) and the Cultural Commission the artist mounts an installation at the Cappellina di Villa Vogel (Chapel of Villa Vogel) in Florence.

March: The artist accepts the invitation to take part in the VITARTE 2006 show held at the Trade Fair Centre (Centro Fieristico) of Viterbo with an installation on show from 2nd to 5th March.

From 10th to 26th of the same month a solo exhibition entitled "Frammenti di de-composizione" ("Fragments of de-composition") at "Il Pruneto" in the Chianti town of Impruneta.

Over March and April the artist exhibits at the former railway station, the Complesso ex Leopoldine in Florence as part of the exposition organised by the town council entitled "PERCORSI D’AUTORE" (ARTISTS’ JOURNEYS) organised by the architect, Maria Anna Montone.

February: A number of the artist’s works are shown at the Bergamo art fair (Bergamo Arte Fiera) from 17th to 29th of the month and at the ART International Fair for Contemporary Art in Innsbruck from 24th to 27th. January: From 1st to 15th the artist holds a solo exhibition entitled "Impermanenze" (Impermanency) at the Giardino del Thé cafe in Prato. From 11th to 23rd January he shows his "asTRA-TRAzioni" in the exhibition area belonging to the Gruppo Donatello in Florence. Again in Florence from 12th to 31st January in the "La Rotonda" building the artist mounts the installation entitled "ECTIPI" ("ECTYPES"), models which have been derived from something whose origin has been cancelled and forgotten. From 26th January to 5th February 2006, an exhibition entitled "Oltre la forma" ("Beyond the Form") organised by Dr. Vittoria Colpi at the cultural centre "L’Isola d’Arte" is arranged by the contemporary art centre, Sassetti Cultura in Milan.


December: An installation entitled "Tutte le cose che abbiamo visto e preso, le lasciamo; quelle che non abbiamo visto né preso, le portiamo con noi" ("All the things that we have seen and taken, we leave; those that we have neither seen nor taken, we take with us") is mounted under the wide portico at the entrance of the Melos music centre in Pistoia as part of the "CODEC O.1" event. From 17th December to 31st January 2006 the artist presents his new installation entitled "àpeiron" ("unlimited"/"without end") at the Net Gallery in Florence in the "RELEASE the instant never ends" exhibition.

November: (until February 2006) the artist’s work "Simulacri" (Simulacrums) is exhibited at "ReArt One" at the Bismarckplatz in Berlin. In the Province of Pisa at Fornacette at the Sala Geloni centre the artist shows an installation as part of the show "Opera a Fronte" ("Facing Art"). This work is a new variation of the "Nulla perdura se non il mutamento" ("Nothing lasts except change").

October: The artist takes part in the second year of the "FUORI LUOGO" ("OUT OF PLACE") event in Pontedera with his sculpture "Negli stessi fiumi scendiamo e non scendiamo, siamo e non siamo" ("In the same rivers we go down and we don’t go down, we are and we aren’t").

July: Inside the Hotel Imperial Palace at Santa Margherita Ligure, from July 1st the artist exhibits his installation entitled "L’armonia nascosta è più forte di quella manifesta" ("Hidden harmony is stronger than that which is evident") at the ARTOUR-O contemporary art exhibition.

In Turin from 2nd to 31st July, at the international art exhibition entitled "Arte e Industria" ("Art and Industry") the artist mounts the installation "Nulla perdura se non il mutamento" ("Nothing lasts except change") for which he wins the prize for the best work. From 15th to 31st July in the town of Pontremoli at the Castello del Piagnaro in the Museo delle Stele (Stela museum) as part of the events associated with the Premio Bancarella literary prize, the artist shows his installation "Ectipi" ("Ectypes") at the "libro d’artista" ("artist’s book") exhibition.

June: On 12th June in the exhibition , held in via Milanesi, Florence, the artist re-shows his installation intitled "Frammenti di de-composizione" ("Fragments of de-composition") and on 24th at San Giovanni Valdarno mounts his installation "Stele & Stelle" ("Stelas & Stars") at the contemporary art exhibition "La strada dell’arte" ("The road of art").

May: The international art exhibition inspired by recycling is transferred to the United States to San Francisco, after which it is moved to Berlin from November until February 2006.

The artists realises a permanent installation entitled "Colonna sospesa" ("Suspended Column") in Florence. He is involved in the Chianti Life exhibition at Villa Corsini in Impruneta. From 15th to 30th September 2005 the artist holds a solo exhibition entitled "Impermanenze, una retrospettiva" ("Impermanency, a retrospective exhibition") at the "Dolce Vita" restaurant in Prato.

April: Mounts the installation "Nulla perdura se non il mutamento" ("Nothing lasts except change") at the Net Gallery in the historic centre of Florence. February: exhibits "Maremoto Arte" ("Seaquake Art") in support of the populations hit by the tsunami. Shows "Metropolitana 57" ("Metropolitan 57") on imprisonment at the Magazzino del Sale centre at Cervia near Ravenna.

January: Exhibits "Frammenti di decomposizione" ("Fragments of decomposition") in Prato at the "Giardino del Thé" café with a presentation by Tiziana Presi


November: Shows "Arte e Formazione" ("Art and Training") at the Faculty of Education at Florence University. Has works at the Vineart 2004 event at Bolzano.

October: Exhibits in Milan at the "Columbus Day 2004. Bandiere, bandierine, stendardi" (Flags, pennants and ensigns) at the Studio D’Ars and is involved in the Prima Biennale d’arte di Impruneta (First Art Biennial at Impruneta) in the Chianti district.

September: Has works shown at the first exhibition of the Accademia d’Arte (Art Academy) at Montecatini Terme. July: Is involved in the show organised at Cuxaven in north Germany, the first international art exhibition inspired by recycling, among whose sponsors the Federal Environmental Fund of Germany and the Environmental Fund of Lower Saxony. May: The artist shows his work at the exhibition "In balia dell’Arte" ("In the Hands of Art") organised by Cristina Trivellin and Alberto Mattia Martini in the Palazzo Pretorio building at Certaldo.

April: The artist has a permanent sculpture installed in the Council Room of the Fifth District (Quartiere 5) of Florence.

February: Permanent installation of a sculpture in the foyer of the Rifredi Theatre (Teatro di Rifredi), Florence.

January: A solo exhibition with an installation at the Teatro di Rifredi (Rifredi Theatre), Florence, organised by Florence Municipal Council entitled "Simulacri" ("Simulacrums").


In May the artist holds a solo exhibition entitled "Impermanenze" ("Impermanency") in the historic centre of Prato, organised by the Centro Studi Arti Visive (Visual Arts Centre) and sponsored by the Council, Province and tourist office (APT) of Prato.


In the month of October in occasion with the "Incontri sulle Arti Contemporanee" ("Encounters on the Contemporary Arts") organised by Florence Council in conjunction with the founding of the "Centro delle Arti Contemporanee" ("Contemporary Arts Centre"), the artist is invited to exhibit his work and hold a conference on the themes of the contemporary arts.


The artist takes part in "Giugno con l’Arte" ("June with Art") in Prato. In the month of December he is awarded fifth prize in the "Biennale Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea di Firenze" ("International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Florence").


A new performance with the group "Nem" at the summer music and theatre festival in Florence at the Cascine park.


The artist organises a "happening" and concert at the Pinocchio Club in Florence with the group "Nem", an historic Florentine band.


The artist takes part in the "Concorso Internazionale di Composizione 2 Agosto" ("International Composition Competition ‘2nd August’"), sponsored and promoted by the Comitato di Solidarietà alle Vittime delle Stragi (Solidarity Committee for Massacre Victims) and by the Bologna City Council, an event to which he is invited to take part every year.


Solo exhibition in the historic centre of Cagliari, sponsored by the Region of Sardinia.


On completing his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti (Fine Arts Academy), Fresu is granted a public space inside the Academy itself where he realises a large installation


Awarded second place at the "Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea" ("International Exhibition of Contemporary Art") in Cologne, Germany.


The artist realises a performance in the loggia of the Florence Academy (Accademia) in piazza San Marco which receives wide press coverage.

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