ROME -- Pietro Consagra, an Italian abstract sculptor known for his works in iron and bronze, died Saturday at his home in Milan. He was 84.
Gabriella di Milia, the sculptor's wife, said he died in his sleep.
Mr. Consagra was best known for his metal or bronze sculptures in abstract shapes, often reliefs suggesting the encounter of several figures. He also worked with wood and stone.
He was among ''those great artists who successfully sought to modernize Italian art," Gianni Borgna, Rome's top culture official, told the ANSA news agency.
Born in Mazara del Vallo, a small town in western Sicily, Mr. Consagra moved to Rome in the mid-1940s and cofounded a group named ''Forma," or ''Shape," which promoted abstract art. He gained international fame in the mid-1950s.
Mr. Consagra's sculptures can be seen in many European plazas, including in Rome and Strasbourg, France.
His works have been bought by museums and art collectors across the world, his wife said.
Mr. Consagra returned to his Sicilian homeland for a series of works in the 1980s, including gates and iron doors that symbolized the artist's conception of a flat, ''two-dimensional" sculpture favoring a frontal point of view.
Mr. Consagra was also an essayist and art critic. In 1952 he published ''La Necessita della Scultura," or ''The Need for Sculpture."
In 1980 he published an autobiography, ''Vita Mia," or ''My Life."