Italy's Arte Povera modern art movement is the subject of a new retrospective at the MAXXI museum in Rome that opened Friday, featuring works by Jannis Kounellis, Giuseppe Penone and Gilberto Zorio.
"These three artists' research stems from the same reflections on materials and natural elements," MAXXI director Anna Mattirolo said at a presentation of the show.
"The movement remains a key point of reference for young generations of Italian artists," she said.
Arte Povera -- a radical movement that challenged the status quo -- was started in the 1960s during a period of social upheaval in Italy.
A large installation from 1988 by Kounellis entitled "Nameless" greets visitors to the museum -- a metal structure against a wall decorated with empty coffee sacks and a burning kerosene lamp that fills the space with a pungent odour.
Giuseppe Penone's "Sap Sculptures", which combine leather, wood, resin and Carrara marble in a blend of natural elements, can be found on the first floor.
The walls are covered in leather patches reminiscent of tree bark and the veined marble floor wraps around a wooden totem covered in resin representing sap.
In another space, Gilberto Zorio, a key figure in Arte Povera, has suspended the figure of a bird from a glass wall of the museum. This spectral work, entitled "Rome Canoe", is made of stainless steel tubes and a black canoe.
Milan, Naples, Turin, Bologna and Bari are also hosting Arte Povera exhibitions this year and more information can be found at: www.artepovera2011.org