BIENALSUR ENCOUNTER Dialogue with Michelangelo Pistoletto


The prominent Italian artist will talk with the public on October 30th and visit venues for his next exhibition in Argentina. 

At the invitation of the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, one of the greatest exponents of Arte Povera (impoverished art) will be in Buenos Aires to give a lecture on October 30th at the UNTREF Rectorate (Juncal 1319, 6:30pm) and to visit the urban spaces where he will conduct interventions during the Contemporary Art Biennial of South America (BIENALSUR 2019).

The artist, who expands painting to the field of happenings and performance, is a faithful representative of the avant-garde art movement in which he participated in the 1960s, which transformed the physicality of reality into both an artwork and a democratic art with a view to producing social change through the use of organic and industrial materials that reveal the conflicts between the natural and the artificial. 

In line with his idea that heterogeneity is essential to avoid any simplistic classification, Pistoletto usually employs everyday materials, predominantly mirrors, in addition to cloth, wood, corrugated cardboard. 

A piece by this artist, who will visit Buenos Aires for the first time, had previously been exhibited in Argentina: the installation “Division and Multiplication of the Mirror”, consisting of seven large size sculptures included in a series that he started in 1973.

With regard to his recurrent use of mirrors, he recently said: “We are going through really tragic times for human evolution. Things are said through mirrors. Mirrors keep things, some of which concern the reality of what is going on, though not in a premeditated way. It is necessary to analyse our past to place ourselves in the present and to be able to imagine or envisage our future. In the mirror, humanity looks at itself with the perspective of a rear-view mirror, as though it were examining all the things it did throughout time and history. Someone has written that in my work the mirror is a metaphor of history, which reveals what lies behind us and forces us to reflect upon the space and the time behind our back”.

Pistoletto has uninterruptedly exhibited and been in the spotlight since 1955. One of his most memorable moments was his participation in the 2009 Venice Biennale, where, with a large mallet, he smashed a series of huge mirrors framed like museum paintings. This performance, entitled “Twenty-two less two”, was one of the few works to capture the essence of the title of the 53rd International Art Exhibition of Venice: Fare Mondi (Making Worlds). Another exceptional event took place in 2013 at the Louvre, the most visited museum in the world. He was the first artist to be invited to work on the museum’s glass pyramid, designed by architect I.M. Pei. One of his hallmarks was installed in the Napoleon courtyard: an enormous allegory made of mirrors resembling the infinity symbol with three loops entitled “The Third Paradise”. On the same occasion and in the hall where Da Vinci’s most renowned painting is exhibited, he displayed his “Ragazza che fotógrafa”, one of his famous mirror-paintings of the 1960s, in which a tourist is shooting a photograph, a tongue in cheek reference to the thousands of tourists that every day immortalize the Mona Lisa 

In 1998 the Italian creator, who is now 85 years old, established in Biella - his hometown - the Pistoletto Cittadelarte Foundation, whose mission is to produce responsible change in society. 

His works are included in the collections of the most important modern and contemporary art museums such as the MoMA and the Guggenheim of New York, the Tate Modern of London, the Reina Sofia of Madrid, the MACBA of Barcelona, the Beaubourg in Paris, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea of Seoul, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of Washington and the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea of Rivoli, among many others.


Km: 2.6

Dirección: Juncal 1319

City: Buenos Aires


30/10, 18:30hs Sede Rectorado - Juncal 1319, CABA