Working in 1970s Italy, a group of artists—namely Ugo La Pietra, Maurizio Nannucci, Francesco Somaini, Mauro Staccioli, Franco Summa, and Franco Vaccari—sought new spaces to create and exhibit art. Looking beyond the gallery, they generated sculptural, conceptual, and participatory interventions, called Arte Ambientale (Environmental Art), situated in the city streets. Their experiments emerged at a time of cultural crisis, when fierce domestic terrorism aggravated an already fragile political situation. To confront the malaise, these artists embraced a position of artistic autonomy and social critique, democratically connecting the city's inhabitants through direct art practices.


chapter 1|23 pages


chapter 2|39 pages

Extramural Exhibitions

Volterra ’73 and Ambiente come Sociale

chapter 3|43 pages

Redeployment of Sculpture in the City

Francesco Somaini and Mauro Staccioli

chapter 4|36 pages

Riappropriazione Dell’ambiente

Ugo La Pietra’s and Franco Summa’s Urban Interventions

chapter 5|39 pages

Vox Populi

Franco Vaccari’s and Maurizio Nannucci’s Audience Engagement

chapter 6|20 pages


The Legacy of Arte Ambientale