Michelangelo Pistoletto (Italian, b.1933) is a painter, sculptor, and Conceptual artist. Born in Biella, Italy, Pistoletto began exhibiting his work in 1955, and in 1960 the Galleria Galatea in Turin presented his first solo exhibition. During the early years of his career, Pistoletto experimented frequently with self-portraiture. He gained international attention and praise in the early 1960s with the first of his Mirror Paintings, created in 1961 and 1962, which changed the traditional style of artistic perspective by reflecting the viewer as part of the image. Just a few years later, Pistoletto created a series of sculptural works called Minus Objects (1965–1966). Made from inexpensive materials, these works are a liberating, almost rebellious expression against the commodification of art. They explore the reciprocative relationship between objects and art, and contributed significantly to the emergence of the Arte Povera movement. In the late 1960s, Pistoletto instituted The Zoo, a workshop accessible to artists and the public that focused on performance and collaboration. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he began making sculptural works using polyurethane and marble, and presented performance pieces in Atlanta, GA and San Francisco, CA. In 1998, Pistoletto founded Cittadellarte: Fondazione Pistoletto, a center for the study and advancement of creativity. Pistoletto’s art has been displayed at Palazzo Grassi in Venice, Italy, the Palacio de Cristal in Madrid, Spain, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, Italy, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among other institutions. He was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2003 Venice Biennale. Pistoletto currently works and lives in Biella and Turin.

Timeline

1933
Born: Biella, Italy
1960
First solo show at Galleria Galatea in Turin, Italy
1961–1962
Made the first Mirror Paintings
1965–1966
Produced a set of works entitled Minus Objects, considered fundamental to the birth of Arte Povera
1967
Began to work outside traditional exhibition spaces
1978
Defined two main directions his future artwork would take: Division and Multiplication of the Mirror and Art Takes On Religion
2003
Won the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifelong Achievement
2007
Received the Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts, Jerusalem
Lives and works in Torino, Italy

Exhibitions

2011
Ileana Sonnabend: An Italian Portrait, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice, Italy
2011
Gran Torino: Italian Contemporary Art, Frost Art Museum, Miami, US
2011
16 artisti per TVS, Bologna Fiere, Italy
2011
Mappa Mundi, Berardo Museum, Lisbon, Portugal
2011
Passagi: Dalla collezione private di Ernesto Esposito, Belvedere di San Leuco, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Caserta, Italy
2011
Contemporaneamente5, Galleria Brera, Corbetta, Italy
2011
Collezione Christian Stein: Una storia dell’arte italiana, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano, Italy
2011
Donne d’Italia: La meta dell’unita, Palazzo Blu, Pisa, Italy
2011
La classe non e acqua. Maestri contemporanei VS giovani d’oggi, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy
2011
Regioni e testimonianze d’Italia. Percorso dell’Arte in Italia attraverso le sue regioni, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome,Italy
2011
Heroes, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Turin, Italy
2011
The Sculpture Show, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, UK
2011
Haas, Nunzio, Pistoletto, Pommeureulle, Reimondo, Tirelli, Zorio, Galerie Di Meo, Paris, France
2011
Achtung! Achtung!, Spazio ex-GIL, Rome,Italy
2011
Artist’s box: il luogo dell’anima, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Open Space, Catanzaro, Italy
2011
Campagni di viaggio, Mestna Galeerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2011
Il giardino segreto, ex-Monastero di Santa Scolastica, Bari, Italy
2011
Lavoro, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (solo)
2011
Cittadellarte, MAXXI, Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome, Italy (solo)
2011
Michelangelo Pistoletto, The Mirror of Judgement, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (solo)
2011
Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956-1974, curated by Carlos Basualdo, MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome, Italy (solo)
2010
Michelangelo Pistoletto-Buco Nero, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy (solo)
2010
Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956-1974, Philadelphia Museum of Art together with the Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo (MAXXI) in Rome, Philadelphia. (solo)
2010
Pistoletto: My Art in My Art, Galleria Christian Stein, Milan, Italy (solo)
2010
Michelangelo Pistoletto: Mirror Paintings, Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2010
Diego Paccagnella – Michelangelo Pistoletto: Calcetto Love Difference, Appartemento Lago, Milan, Italy (solo)
2010
Michelangelo Pistoletto: Stracci d’Italia,Castello di Salemi, Salemi, Italy (solo)
2010
Luogo multiconfessionale e laico, MACRO Future, Rome, Italy (solo)
2010
Alta Roma Valentino, Palazzo Mignanell - Maison Valentino, Rome, Italy (solo)
2010
Michelangelo Pistoletto: Il DNA del Terzo Paradiso, MARCA, Parco Archeologico di Scolacium, Catanzaro, Italy (solo)
2010
Suoni dello Spazio Architettonico, Arsenale, Venice ,Italy (solo)
2010
Michelangelo Pistoletto – Love Difference: Arte e calcio per la pace nel mondo, Stadio Olimpico, Rome (solo)
2010
Michelangelo Pistoletto-Buco Nero, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy (solo)
2010
Michelangelo Pistoletto: Grande Cubo specchiante. Luogo di riflessione e meditazione, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy (solo)
2009
Stutter, Tate Modern, London, UK
2009
Weltanschauung Visione Del Mondo, Art Forum Würth Capena, Capena
2009
Incontri d'Aria, Galleria Oredaria Arti Contemporanee, Rome
2009
Hommage a Picasso,Villa Manin. Centro d'arte contemporanea, Codroipo
2009
The Irreverent Object - Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York City, NY
Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution 1968–2008 - Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago - MCA Chicago, Chicago, IL
53nd International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale / Biennale di Venezia - La Biennale di Venezia, Venice
2009
Rebuilding With Art, Fondazione Pierluigi e Natalina Remotti, Camogli (solo)
2009
1988: VENT‟ANNI PRIMA VENT‟ANNI DOPO, Centro per l‟Art Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato (solo)
2009
Viaggio in Italia – Italienische Kunst 1960-1990, Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz (solo)
2009
Michelangelo Pistoletto: Il Tempo del Giudizio, Galleriacontinua, San Gimignano, Italy (solo)
2008
Ettore e Michelangelo, I Coetanei, Galleria Giorgio Persano, Turin, Italy (solo)
2008
Michelangelo Pistoletto, Galleria Continua, Beijing (solo)
2008
Selections from the collection of Helga and Walther Lauffs - Zwirner & Wirth, New York City, NY (solo)
Not So Subtle Subtitle - Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York City, NY (solo)
Italics. Arte Italiana fra Tradizione e Rivoluzione, 1968-2008 - Palazzo Grassi - Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice (solo)
2007
Michelangelo Pistoletto, MAMAC-Musée d'Art Moderne et Art Contemporain, NIce, France (solo)
2007
Suono e forma. Il Terzo paradiso, (with Gianna Nannini), BunKerart, Milan, Italy (solo)
2007
Michelangelo Pistoletto-Amare-Salvagente, Cat., textes : B. Cora, Fabio Tiboni Arte Contemporanea, Bologna, Italy (solo)
2007
Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (solo)
2007
Musse d‟Art Moderne et Contemporain de Nice, Nice, France (solo)
2006
Ferrari Presentation, Ferrari HQ, Maranello, Italy. Cat. Pistoletto textes : M. Pistoletto, L. Cordero di Montezemolo, J.Todt, M. Schumacher, N.Setari ed. Artestampa, Modena, Italy (solo)
2006
Michelangelo Pistoletto. Multipli su acciaio e disegni, Gian Piero Menziani Arte Contemporanea, Galliata, Italy (solo)
2006
Galerie of Marseille, Marseille, France (solo)
2006
AMARE, Galleria Fabjbasaglia, Rimini, Italy (solo)
2006
Pistoletto. La giuria, Christian Stein, Milano, Italy (solo)
2005
Michelangelo Pistoletto. Lo specchio parlante, RAM-Radioartemobile, Roma, Italy (solo)
2004
Reflection Part 1: Michelangelo Pistoletto/Franz West, Sutton Lane, London, UK
2003
Michelangelo Pistoletto. Superfici Specchianti 1962-2000, Galleria Il Ponte, Florence, Italy (solo)
2001
Pistoletto, Galleria Marchetti, Roma, Italy (solo)
2000
Michelangelo Pistoletto, MACBA- Museu d'art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain, (solo)
1999
Michelangelo Pistoletto. Shifting Perspective, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK, (solo)
1998
Michelangelo Pistoletto. Segno Arte Unlimited, Xavier Hufkens, Bruxelles, Belgium (solo)
1996
Michelangelo Pistoletto. C‘è Dio? Sì ci sono, Trinitatiskirche, Koln, Germany (solo)

Public Collections

Berardo Museum – Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, Lisbon, Portugal
Museu d‟Art Contemporani de Barcelona – MACBA, Barcelona, Spain
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Soffia MNCARS, Madrid, Spain
Tate Britain, London, UK
Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA, US
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX, US
Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY, US
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA, US
MACCSI Museo Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas Sofia Imber, Caracas, Venezuela
Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Zerynthia, Rome, Italy
MART – Museum d‟Art Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Rovereto, Italy
Trevi Flash Art Museum of Contemporary Art, Trevi, Italy
Museo d‟Arte Contemporanea Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy
Galleria Civica d‟Arte Moderna e Contemporanea –GAM, Turin, Italy
Ca‟la Ghironda – Museo d‟Arte Classica, Moderna e Contemporarea, Zola Predosa, Italy
Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota Aichi, Japan
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Valduz, Lichtenstein
Stedelijk Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Les Abattoirs de Toulouse, Toulouse, France
FRAC – Rhone-Alpes, IAC – Institute d‟Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France
K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein –Westfalen – im Standehause, Dusseldorf, Germany
Stadtische Galerie Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany
Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau, Munich, Germany
Stadtisches Museum Abteiberg, Monchengladbach, Germany
MUSEION – Museum fur Moderne und Zeitgenossische Kunst, Bolzano, Italy
Terrae Motus, Caserta, Italy
Museum d‟Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy
Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria
Sammlung Essl – Kunsthaus, Klosterneuburg, Austria
MuHKA Museum Voor Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium
SMAK Stedelijk Museum Voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
National Gallery/Narodni Galerie – Veletrzni Palac, Prague, Czech Republic
Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Aalborg, Denmark
FRAC – Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkerque, France
MAC Musee d‟Art Contemporain, Marseille, France
Gallerieofmarseille, Marseille, France

Literature

2000
Nike Bätzner: Arte povera. Zwischen Erinnerung und Ereignis: Giulio Paolini, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jannis Kounellis. Verlag für moderne Kunst, Nuremberg, 2000
1996
H. Friedel, M. Pistoletto, Memoria-Intelligentia-Previdenzia, Lenbachhaus Cantz Verlag, Munchen 1996