THE SCHOOL OF PIAZZA DEL POPOLO
BEFORE AMERICAN ARTISTS
According to a historical misunderstanding, the artists of the Scuola di Piazza
del Popolo – a group that characterized the artistic experimentation of the
1960s in Italy – are considered a homegrown equivalent of what was happening
overseas in the same years with Pop Art. thesis that minimizes the pioneering
intuitions that many of the artists of the Roman current put into practice.
The School of Piazza del Popolo is an artistic movement born and developed in
Rome by aggregation and thanks to friendly relationships between a group of
young people between the ages of twenty and thirty. The name and the
definition came later, to attest and tell a reality born so spontaneously that it
was defined with the artists' meeting place: Piazza del Popolo. An evocative and
monumental space at the same time, the square was the cradle and incubator of
a group still to be rediscovered in some ways. The Piazza hosted several cafes in
the 1950s, including Rosati and Canova, which had become in Rome, as in the
best Parisian artistic tradition, the favorite meeting points for artists and
writers. You could meet Barilli, Calvesi, Moravia, Parise like a very young
Celentano and Americans passing through Rome, such as Raushenberg,
Twombly, but also Duchamp and Tristan Tzara.
From the statements of the protagonists of the time, the climate of ferment for
the postwar changes, the enthusiasm for the freedom won and the economic
boom of the 1950s stand out. This is combined with the awareness of the
exceptional nature of situations and stimuli and the strong bond that united the
artists, united by their youth and sharing of that particular historical period.