Arrigo Lora-Totino was among the most prominent interpreters of Italian concrete and sound poetry. After initially focusing on painting in the late 1950s, he then turned to phonetic experimentation affiliated with poetry, visual art, and electronic music. Lora-Totino was committed to promoting the circulation of international poetic experimentation by patronizing many projects and activities. He was founder and editor of the journal Antipiugiù, published in four issues in Turin between 1961 and 1966. Initially devoted to traditional linear writing, the periodical opened progressively to concrete poetry. Collaborating with international authors such as Franz Mon and Ugo Carrera, the magazine published collective poems created through the intermingling of the writings of all correspondents. In 1966, he founded the monographic magazine Modulo, which featured painting, photography, and theater. A single issue was devoted to poerty, now acknowledged as the first anthology of international concrete poetry printed in Italy. With the composer Enore Zaffiri and the analytical painter Sandro de Alexandris, Lora-Totino co-founded Studio di Informazioni Estetica, which operated between 1966 and 1975. The association promoted conferences, events, and artists close to the field of poetry and electronic music. Works such as the book-object Logogrammi (1966) and the curious Liquimophone, an innovative tool used to compose “liquid poems,” are known for onomatopoeic play blended with sounds, movements, gestures, words, and typography. With the collaboration of the German curator Dietrich Mahlow, he presented the first exhibition of experimental poetry at the Biennale di Venezia in 1967. In 1978, he published Futura, a comprehensive historical anthology of phonetic and sound texts recorded on seven LPs, for Cramp Records. The collection includes recordings of pieces ranging from Futurism to Dada, from Lettrism to concretism. Similarly, in 1980, he edited a series of radiophonic episodes devoted to the history of sound poetry, broadcast weekly by Rai Radio 1, Italy’s first public radio station. Throughout his artistic career, Lora-Totino has taken part in numerous international exhibitions and published countless limited-edition books. Major retrospectives were held in 1996 at the Circolo degli Artisti and in 2015 at the Associazione Barriera, both in Turin. His works are included in numerous private and public collections, including the Donna Regina Museum in Naples and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Artworks (70)