The Alan Koppel Gallery is pleased to present a selection of mirror paintings by the renowned Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. This series of works form the foundation of Pistoletto's oeuvre, inviting the viewer to immerse themselves in his thoughtful, often delicate scenes. His artistic process accounts for the singular dimensionality of these pieces- after years of experimentation with different materials, Pistoletto perfected his style by printing silkscreen images directly onto polished stainless steel mirrors. The effect is a painting that is intimate and captivating, the realization of a space at once otherworldly and reflective of our immediate reality.
"The mirror paintings could not live without an audience. They were created and re-created according to the movement and to the interventions they reproduced... It is less a matter of involving the audience, of letting it participate, as to act on its freedom and on its imagination, to trigger similar liberation mechanisms in people"
(Michelangelo Pistoletto, interview with G. Boursier, in Sipario, Milan, April 1969, 17.)
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. (www.artnet.com)