Reflections: Pistoletto Exhibit Opens

Today, the Philadelphia Museum of Art debuts Michelangelo Pistoletto: Cittadellarte, an exhibition of the artist’s current work at his interdisciplinary laboratory, and Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956–1974, a survey of the Italian artist’s varied and complex oeuvre. Pistoletto has long used his work as a lense for contemporary society—this includes issues of waste and ecology. One of the artist’s most famous works, Venere degli stracci (Venus of the Rags), contrasts the pristine beauty of antiquity with the detritus of modern life.

I got to check out the exhibit yesterday (and interview the artist), and it's wonderful. Many of the works in the survey are presented on polished stainless steel. The mirrored surfaces engage the viewer in an intense and memorable way.

I met with Pistoletto in the Cittadellarte exhibit around one of his mirrored tables—they're shaped like various seas (this one was the Caribbean) and designed as places for disparate cultures to gather—and we discussed community, the power of art and the meaning of sustainability. Look for a full report in an upcoming Grid, and get yourself to this exhibit.

November 2 - January 16, 2011 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art