The term Arte Povera (Italian for "Poor Art") was introduced by the Italian art critic and curator, Germano Celant, in 1967. His pioneering texts and a series of key exhibitions provided a collective identity for a number of young Italian artists based in Turin, Milan, Genoa and Rome. Their works were characterized by the use of extremely inexpensive media. Common materials included sticks, rocks, slate, rope and iron. The term "Poor Art" was not an attack on the artists, but rather a reference to the fact that any poor man or woman could get involved in the movement.
The movement was particularly influential during the early 1970s in countries with large Italian migrant populations, such as Australia where major local practitioners included John Davis and Domenico De clario.