“Art is the primary expression of human creativity, thus the constant reference for every structural, technical, economic, and behavioral activity of society.”
A central figure of the radical Arte Povera movement, Michelangelo Pistoletto has for six decades forged a career that defies categorization. Working across mediums, he mobilizes the notion of the “open work” to explore the dynamics between self and community, space and duration, and reality and representation. Pistoletto was born in 1933 in Biella, Italy, where he lives and works today. In 1963, at Turin’s Galleria Galatea, he first presented his foundational Quadri specchianti (Mirror Paintings), which include the viewer and their surroundings in the pictorial space of the work, breaking down the infinite and the definite. The series brought Pistoletto international recognition, leading to his inclusion in major exhibitions of Pop art and Nouveau Réalisme. In the mid ’60s, he responded to the socio-political turmoil in Italy by employing quotidian and ephemeral materials; his sculpture series Gli oggetti in meno (The Minus Objects, 1965–66) is considered integral to the emergence of Arte Povera. He founded the interdisciplinary theater troupe Lo Zoo (The Zoo) in 1968, bringing performance art into the streets. In the ’90s, Pistoletto placed social change at the heart of his practice. His most recent artistic phase, Terzo Paradiso (Third Paradise), is dedicated to encouraging artifice—science, technology, art, culture, and politics—to reinvest in nature.
Pistoletto’s artwork has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, including those at Palazzo Grassi, Venice (1976); Palacio de Cristal, Madrid (1983); Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome (1990); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2000); Philadelphia Museum of Art (2010); and Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England (2016). He has participated thirteen times in the Venice Biennale and four times in Documenta, Kassel. His work resides in numerous collections worldwide, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Tate, London; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Pistoletto was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale (2003), and in 2013, he received the Praemium Imperiale for Painting from the Japan Art Association.
- Michelangelo Pistoletto
- Lévy Gorvy, New York
October 14, 2020 - February 27, 2021
Michelangelo Pistoletto (2020–21) was the first US presentation in a decade to feature multiple installations by the renowned Italian artist, presented in collaboration with Galleria Continua. The exhibition, which the artist specifically designed for Lévy Gorvy’s New York space, resonated with the themes that have animated Pistoletto’s body of work for over six decades: perception, time, history, tradition, and the relationship between art, artist, and viewer.
The exhibition featured an installation inspired by a pairing from One and One Makes Three, Pistoletto’s 2017 ...Read More
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