Media: Michelangelo Pistoletto

story by Lee StabertOn November 2, the Philadelphia Museum of Art debuted Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956–1974, a survey of the Italian artist’s varied and complex oeuvre, and Michelangelo Pistoletto: Cittadellarte, an exhibition of the artist’s current work at his interdisciplinary laboratory. Pistoletto has long used his work as a lens 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. He is also intent on engaging his audience—his mirror paintings (painted tissue paper on polished stainless steel) incorporate viewers in an intimate and affecting way.