On 1 April famed Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto‘s solo exhibition, Do It, will open at Yarat Contemporary Art Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan, the non-profit organization founded by artists and established in 2011 by Aida Mahmudova
One of the contemporary art world’s biggest names, Michelangelo Pistoletto, has long been synonymous with the art movement of Art Povera, as well as his instantly recognisable mirror works. Born in Italy, in 1933, Pistoletto is heavily inspired and intrigued by the ever-growing uncertainty behind the world’s changing climate and the subsequent wellbeing of the Earth, and his extensive artistic oeuvre often plays with notions of materiality and space.
In 1998, Pistoletto founded the Cittadellarte Foundation in his hometown of Biella. It provides educational programmes and workshops for school children and artists, as well as a series of lectures for university students. These lectures and workshops educate people on the importance of being an actively engaged community member. Citadellarte currently works with a network of thousands of subjects, alongside agencies such as the United Nations.
The Cittadellarte Foundation also promotes the development of the Terzo Paradiso symbol. Pistoletto uses this symbol, which he says represents a new eventual reality, or a ‘Third Paradise’, as an infinity sign of sorts. Reconfigured, the larger circle in the centre (see main image, above) represents a ‘new humanity’, while the two outer circles represent nature and artifice.
Pistoletto has shown work around the world, and, since 1960, has been shown in venues including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tate Britain, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Pistoletto is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Leone d’Oro lifetime achievement award in 2003 at the Venice Biennale, the Wolf Foundation prize in Jerusalem in 2007 and the Premium Imperial Award from the Japan Arts Association in Tokyo, among others.
Pistoletto’s eclectic and vibrant pieces on display at Yarat include spaces filled with interwoven fabric boards as well as his reoccurring mirrored displays. Mirrors have been a constant theme in Pistoletto’s work since the 1960s and seek to remind people of the importance of being self-reflective in our society. Pistoletto believes that both science and technology should work together alongside art, to ensure the wellbeing of the Earth, focusing on creating pieces that enable this realisation to materialise. Here, we share some of the highlights from the exhibition.
The exhibition runs at YARAT Contemporary Art Space until 10 June 2018
Images courtesy of the artist