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Michelangelo Pistoletto

Michelangelo Pistoletto is an artist widely recognized as one of the most influential contemporary artists of his generation and a prominent advocate of the Arte Povera movement.

Biography of Michelangelo Pistoletto

Michelangelo Pistoletto was born in 1933 in Biella, Italy. During his illustrious career, he received numerous prizes and awards, including San Fedele Prize, Milan (1958); Grand Prize at the Biennale of São Paolo and Belgian Art Critics’ Award (1967); Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2003); Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts, Jerusalem, Israel (2007); Roswitha Haftmann Prize, Zurich (2018), among others. 

His recent solo exhibitions include "Michelangelo Pistoletto: The Minus Objects 1965 - 1966" at Luhring Augustine Bushwick in Brooklyn, NY (2013); "Michelangelo Pistoletto: Prima dello Specchio" at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Italy (2015); "Michelangelo Pistoletto" at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Arte Universal in Havana, Cuba (2016); "Michelangelo Pistoletto: Consequences and Origins" at Mazzoleni in London, UK (2018); "Michelangelo Pistoletto" at Levy Gorvy in New York, NY (2020); "Michelangelo Pistoletto" at Simon Lee Gallery in London, UK (2022), and many more.

Moreover, the artist has participated in various group shows. Among them are "I Look to You and I see Nothing" at Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE (2013); "Elective Affinities" at Simon Lee Gallery in London, UK (2014); "On Another Scale" at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Italy (2014); "Poor Art, Rich Legacy: Arte Povera and parallel practices 1968-2015" at The Museum of Contemporary Art Oslo in Oslo, Norway (2015); "Buddha’s Life, Path to the Present" at De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2018); "Di Tutti colori" at Les Ritals in Paris, France (2021), among others. 

Currently, Michelangelo Pistoletto lives and works in Biella, Italy.

Michelangelo Pistoletto's Art Style

Since the 1960s, Pistoletto's artistic journey has unfolded along two deeply interconnected paths. One path encompasses a body of conceptual sculpture firmly rooted in the principles of Arte Povera, while the other consists of an ongoing series of Mirror Paintings. These Mirror Paintings feature figurative, graphic, or sculptural images applied to the surface of polished stainless steel. These two distinct yet harmonious bodies of work reflect Pistoletto's dual fascination with conceptualism and figurative representation, ultimately earning him enduring international acclaim.

The mirrored surface plays a pivotal role in Pistoletto's artistic practice. The reflective canvas of his paintings invites the viewer and their surroundings into the artwork, transforming the perception of the painted image as a static moment. As a fervent advocate for the performative aspect of art, Pistoletto's work highlights interactivity, spontaneity, the myriad realms of imagination, and a dynamic connection between the artwork and the observer. The mirror serves as a doorway through which the viewer can access the virtual realm within the artwork, forming a bridge between art and life.

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