Urgent Museum Notice

Elisabetta Gut

Wearing a black turtleneck sweater, a light skinned woman leans on her jacked with her chin resting on her arm. She has straight, dark hair that is pulled back by a headband, and stares directly at the viewer.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Born in 1934

Born in Rome to a Swiss father and Italian mother, Gut has lived in Italy most of her life. During World War II, to protect her from the horrors of war, her parents sent her to Switzerland. The trauma of separation gravely affected her behavior, and after returning to Rome in 1945, she had difficulty communicating with people.

In 1964 she created her first book-object, Diario, an assemblage. Since then, book-objects, object-poems, and artists’ books that reflect beauty, sadness, and the fragility of life have become her focus. Many of Gut’s work are visual representations of poetry, music, and art.

A uniqueness and tactile physicality define Gut’s book-objects. The artist frequently incorporates organic matter such as leaves, seeds, and wood. “The vein of a leaf, flowers following the journey of the sun, thin blades of grass blown by the wind are for me the ancient alphabets of unknown languages,” she says.

She is the recipient of many Italian and international prizes and her work can be found in major museums, archives, and public collections throughout Europe and the Americas.

Artist Details

  • Name

    Elisabetta Gut
  • Birth

    Rome, 1934
  • Phonetic Spelling

    ay-LEEZ-ah-BEH-tah goot

Works by Elisabetta Gut

The Firebird (From Stravinsky)

This unique artist’s book, like many of Elisabetta Gut’s works, is a visual representation of music and dance.

The Firebird evokes the lightness and plumage of a beautiful bird, a figure that animates the flowing music of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s famous ballet, first performed in Paris in 1910. Stravinsky’s Firebird is based on Russian folk tales of a magical, glowing bird that is both...

A three-dimensional collage explodes into space with cut-out shapes of black, red, white and blue. Concentrated in the center, the piece dissipates towards the edges, with a bird's head peeking out of the morass towards the top. The canvas floats within a larger, white frame.