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 Paolo Soleri  (1919 - 2013)

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Lived/Active: Arizona / Italy      Known for: wind chimes, environment based architecture, abstract sculpture

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Paolo Soleri
An example of work by Paolo Soleri
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Known internationally for his architecture and his concept of "arcology" architecture, Paolo Soleri has also been a ceramics designer, lecturer at the College of Architecture at Arizona State University, and a creator of works on paper.

In 1970 Soleri began overseeing the building "Arcosanti", a planned community of about 5,000 population. Located near Cordes Junction, Arizona, this project has involved over 6,000 people in its ongoing construction.  It is intended to be a model for his concept of architecture committed to harmony with the environment. While built from local materials, the community is also designed to minimize the use of energy, especially fossil fuels.  In 2006, Soleri received a National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Paolo Soleri was born in Turin, Italy, and earned a PhD in architecture from Politechnico di Torino.  For 18 months he studied in America with Frank Lloyd Wright at both Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Taliesin East in Spring Green, Wisconsin.  Soleri returned to Italy after this study and supervised the construction of a major ceramics factory at Vietri on the Amalfi Coast.  It was during this time in Italy that he began creating wind chimes, which are constructed with ceramics and bronze and built in accordance with his commitment to arcology. 

In 1947, he moved to the U.S., settling in 1956 in Paradise Valley, Arizona. There at their home and his studio named Cosanti, they have maintained Soleri archives and generated money for Arcosanti by selling wind chimes and holding public tours.

On December 10, 2010 at the south side of the Waterfront Development of the Scottsdale canal area, dedication was held for completion of Soleri Bridge and Plaza, funded by Scottsdale Public Art.  It is a 130 foot pedestrian bridge, and includes silt cast artwork and large bell assembly.

Among Paolo Soleri's recognitions is a Nobel Prize Nomination. His work has been exhibited at many museums throughout the world including the Whitney Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Hirshhorn Museum.

Paolo Soleri died in April, 2013 at his home in Paradise Valley.

"Paolo Soleri", Wikipedia,
The Artbook of the New West, Fall/Winter 2003
"Obituary", The New York Times, April 10, 2013

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