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A work made of tobacco leaves, neon, and lead.

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  • A work made of tobacco leaves, neon, and lead.




Pier Paolo Calzolari
Italian, born 1943

About this artwork

Pier Paolo Calzolari was initially affiliated with the Arte Povera (Poor or Impoverished Art) movement in Italy, which, was comprised of artists who aligned themselves with the socio-political and artistic upheavals of 1967–69. Refusing a defined, static style, stressing the need for art to be involved in real life with living substances, and demonstrating a commitment to constant change and experimentation, these artists used unconventional materials in an attempt to make the experience of art more immediately real. Calzolari’s early sculptural work often combines ephemeral organic materials—tobacco leaves, rose petals, feathers, moss, ice, and even flames—with technological ones, such as metal and neon, to reveal the conflict between the natural and the man-made. Here the Italian phrase, which translates as “In my 25th year,” adds an open-ended statement about the artist’s age to the spiral shape and tobacco leaves, which intimate a state of transformation.


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Pier Paolo Calzolari




Italy (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Tobacco leaves, neon, and lead


152.4 × 147.4 cm (60 × 58 in.)

Credit Line

Wilson L. Mead Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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