Michelangelo Pistoletto

Italy 1933

Sculpture, Conceptual Art, Arte Povera


Michelangelo Pistoletto
Michelangelo Pistoletto
December 23, 2014
Nina Karaicic is a journalist with experience in TV and radio media. Born in 1989, she had studied at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism). Interests: Photography, Art, Film, Folklore, Video Games

Michelangelo Pistoletto is an Italian  painter, sculptor, and Conceptual artist whose artistic training began in the studio of his father, a painter and restorer, where he went to work at the age of fourteen. He subsequently attended Armando Testa’s advertising design school.

Michelangelo Pistoletto was born in Biella, Italy in 1933. He began to exhibit his work in 1955 and in 1960 he had his first solo show at Galleria Galatea in Turin. An inquiry into self-portraiture characterizes his early work. In the two-year period 1961-1962 made the first Mirror Paintings, which directly include the viewer and real time in the work, and open up perspective, reversing the Renaissance perspective that had been closed by the twentieth-century avant-gardes. These works quickly brought Pistoletto international acclaim, leading, in the sixties, to one-man shows in important galleries and museums in Europe and the United States. The Mirror Paintings are the foundation of his subsequent artistic output and theoretical thought.

In 1965 and 1966 he produced a set of works entitled Minus Objects, considered fundamental to the birth of Arte Povera, an art movement of which Pistoletto was an animating force and a protagonist. In 1967 he began to work outside traditional exhibition spaces, with the first instances of that “creative collaboration” he developed over the following decades by bringing together artists from different disciplines and diverse sectors of society. In 1975-76 he presented a cycle of twelve consecutive exhibitions, Le Stanze, at the Stein Gallery in Turin. This was the first of a series of complex, year-long works called “time continents”. Others are White Year (1989) and Happy Turtle (1992).

In 1978, in a show in Turin, Pistoletto defined two main directions his future artwork would take:Division and Multiplication of the Mirror and Art Takes On Religion. In the early eighties he made a series of sculptures in rigid polyurethane, translated into marble for his solo show in 1984 at Forte di Belvedere in Florence. From 1985 to 1989 he created the series of “dark” volumes called Art of Squalor. During the nineties, with Project Art and with the creation in Biella of Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto and the University of Ideas, he brought art into active relation with diverse spheres of society with the aim of inspiring and producing responsible social change. In 2003 he won the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifelong Achievement. In 2004 the University of Turin awarded him a laurea honoris causa in Political Science. On that occasion the artist announced what has become the most recent phase of his work, Third Paradise. In 2007, in Jerusalem, he received the Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts, “for his constantly inventive career as an artist, educator and activist whose restless intelligence has created prescient forms of art that contribute to fresh understanding of the world.”

In 2010 he wrote the essay The Third Paradise, published in Italian, English, French and German. In 2011 he was the artistic director of Evento 2011 – L’art pour une ré-évolution urbaine in Bordeaux. In 2012 he started promoting the Rebirth-day, first worldwide day of rebirth, celebrated every year on 21st December with initiatives taking place all around the world.
In 2013 the Louvre in Paris hosted his personal exhibition Michelangelo Pistoletto, année un – le paradis sur terre. In this same year he received the Praemium Imperiale for painting, in Tokyo.

Michelangelo Pistoletto currently lives and works in Biella and Turin.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014Mirror paintingsGalleria Biasutti & Biasutti Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, TurinSolo
2014Lo Clásico en el ArteFundación PROA, Buenos AiresGroup
2014The Space Where I AmBlain|Southern, LondonGroup
2014Earthly DelightsMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILGroup
2014Doble direcciónCentre d’Art la Panera, LleidaGroup
2014To Meggy Weiss Lo SurdoHappy Hours - CO2, TurinGroup
2014Draw Me A SheepGalerie Gabrielle Maubrie, ParisGroup
2014Sound VisionNasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NCGroup
2014Pop! Andy Warhol and artists from the collection of the Housatonic Museum of ArtHousatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CTGroup
2014Acconci | PistolettoCentro per l´Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, POGroup
2014Italian ShowSimon C Dickinson Ltd, LondonGroup
2014The warm statues, sculpture – body – action, 1945 - 2013Museo Marino Marini, FlorenceGroup
2013Michelangelo Pistoletto - The Minus - Objects 1965-1966Luhring Augustine Bushwick, New York City, NYSolo
2013Pistoletto PoliticoLuxembourg & Dayan London, LondonSolo
2013Wall Works - Hamburger BahnhofMuseum für Gegenwart, BerlinGroup
2013I Look To You And I See NothingSharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces, SharjahGroup
20131:1 StopoverMuseum of Contemporary Art Metelkova , LjubljanaGroup
2013Arte PoveraGalerie Albert Baronian, BrusselsGroup
2013When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969Fondazione Prada, VeniceGroup
2013Mostly West: Franz West and Artist CollaborationsInverleith House, Edinburgh, ScotlandGroup
2012Cittadellarte. Divide and changeKunsthaus Graz, GrazSolo
2012Michelangelo Pistoletto - LavoroLuhring Augustine Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2012Speaking ArtistsBusan Museum of Art, BusanGroup
2012The riches of Arte PoveraKröller-Müller Museum, OtterloGroup
2012Terzo ParadisoMAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, RomeGroup
2012Collection XXXII - Personality TestMuHKA Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, AntwerpGroup
20123rd International Canakkale BiennialInternational Canakkale Biennial, CanakkaleGroup
2012Arte PoveraSammlung Goetz, MunichGroup
2012Time, After TimeRonchini Gallery, LondonGroup
2012Facing walls, Opening windowsGalleria Continua, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2012When Does Something Become Something Else?Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2012CollectedGalerie Binz & Krämer, CologneGroup
2012Remote ControlICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts London, LondonGroup
2012SuperBodiesZ33, HasseltGroup
2012Spirits Of InternationalismMuHKA Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, AntwerpGroup
2011Michelangelo Pistoletto - The Mirror of JudgementSerpentine Gallery, LondonSolo
2011Contemporary Art In ItalyGalleria Cardi, Milano, MilanGroup
2011It Won't Happen Again Galleria Continua, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2011Che Fare? Arte Povera. Die historischen JahreLentos Kunstmuseum Linz, LinzGroup
2011Without You I'm Nothing: Art and Its AudienceMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, ILGroup
2011NaturellementArtiscope, BrusselsGroup
2010Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956–1974Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PASolo
2010Michelangelo Pistoletto - ObeliskGalleria Continua - San Gimignano, San GimignanoSolo
2010Michelangelo Pistoletto - Black HoleGalleria Continua - San Gimignano, San GimignanoSolo
2010Michelangelo Pistoletto - Mirror PaintingsGalerie Mezzanin, ViennaSolo
2008BinahayatGalleria Continua - Le Moulin, Boissy-le-ChâtelSolo
2008I is an other - apolloniaEuropean art exchanges, StrasbourgSolo
2007Love differencesMuseo D'Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina - MADRE, NaplesSolo
2007Michelangelo Pistoletto - Four Seasons- Spring, Summer, Autumn, WinterXin Dong Cheng Space for Contemporary Art, BeijingSolo
2003Superfici specchianti 1962 – 2000Galleria Il Ponte, FlorenceSolo