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Art Index: Michelangelo Pistoletto

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Self Portrait, 1970’s (couresy of the net)

Artist biography

Michelangelo Pistoletto is an Italian painter, action and object artist, and art theorist born in Biella in 1933. His artistic training began in the studio of his father, a painter and restorer, where he went to work at the age of fourteen.

In 1961 he created the series of works entitled The Present, painting his own image on a black background to which a layer of transparent varnish gave a mirror gloss. In 1962 he perfected the technique of his Mirror Paintings: shown for the first time in March 1963 at Galleria Galatea, they quickly brought Pistoletto international acclaim and led to his inclusion in major exhibitions of Pop Art and Nouveau Realisme.Pistoletto's Mirror Paintings are artworks made of human size mirrors. Using these mirrors as basic material, he paints figures or prints photographic images on them. The Mirror Paintings are the foundation of Pistoletto’s subsequent artistic output and of the theoretical thought that consistently parallels it.A central role is given to the spectator. His mirrored picture seems to get in interaction with the printed motive. In some way the viewer becomes part of the artwork.

During the sixties the artist had solo shows in important galleries and museums in Europe and the United States. In 1965/1966, he produced the series of works Oggetti in meno (Minus Objects), which belongs to Pistoletto's early sculptural works and are considered fundamental to the birth of Arte Povera, of which Pistoletto was a an animating force and a leading figure.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Experiment, 1959 (courtesy of the net)

In 1976 he published One Hundred Exhibitions in the Month of October, a booklet that describes a hundred ideas for works conceived over a month, many of which he carried out in the following years. In March 1978, in a show at Galleria Persano in Turin, Pistoletto defined two main directions his future artwork would take: Division and Multiplication of the Mirror and Art Takes On Religion. At the beginning of the 1980s, he presented theatre works, such as Anno Uno (March 1981) in the Teatro Quirino in Rome. In 1998 Pistoletto established Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto in a former mill in Biella, Italy, acquired by the artist in 1991. Here the goals expressed in Project Art are still being developed and accomplished. Since 1990, Pistoletto has been living and working in Turin.

Auctions results According to the website, the turnover of Pistoletto's artworks in 2018 (88 lots sold) worths 7.6 million dollars, and the price evolution in 2018 is -6.1%: $100 invested in a work by Michelangelo Pistoletto in 2000 would be worth an average of $149 (+ 49%) in December 2018.

From the beginning of the century, Pistoletto's biggest buyer is the UK with a rank of 56.6 millions dollars (13% of lots sold), while in his native country 724 lots have been sold (58%), and for the US is 22.2 millions (9% of lots sold). There are no artworks by Michelangelo Pistoletto currently listed in upcoming public auctions.

Selected artworks currently on sale

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Miroir Noir, Print-Multiple Silkscreen,

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Frattali,

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