Purple Art

[April 2 2014]

Piero Manzoni “1933-1963” exhibition at Palazzo Reale, Milan

Fifty years after his death at the premature age of 30, Italian artist Piero Manzoni is regarded as a pivotal player in Italy’s postwar avant-garde. A key artist in the creation of Arte Povera, alongside Lucio Fontana who also has a show opening this month in Paris, this retrospective “1933-1963” at Palazzo Reale features over 100 works of art from Manzoni’s short but intense career. Manzoni mocked values and commercial art while embracing mystery in his work. In 1961, he canned what could be his own feces. Ninety small containers each sealed with the text “Merda d’Artista” (Artist’s Shit) were priced to sell at the market value of the same weight in gold. The substance inside the sealed cans has been the subject of intense debate and provocatation. Also featured are his “Corpi d’Aria”, rubber balloons he introduced in 1959 which the buyer could inflate or have Manzoni do it, with an extra charge for his “artist’s breath”. Piero Manzoni “1933-1963” is on view until June 2nd at Palazzo Reale, Milan. Photo Marta Galli

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