The Twenty SS20 Issue

Modern: Piero Manzoni

By Jo Phillips

unspecified

Photograph of Piero Manzoni with his “nuclear” works, Milan, 1957Photo by ©Uliano LucasCourtesy Fondazione Piero Manzoni, Milan

Piero Manzoni is an Italian self-taught artist who died at the age of 29. Manzoni was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He is best known for his ironic and playful approach to avant-garde art. Marcel Duchamp, French artist whose work is associated with conceptual art and Dada, Ben Vautier, French artist interested in Dada, Yves Klein, French artist who is considered an important figure in post-war European art, are among those who have influenced Manzoni and his artworks. His work is widely seen as a critique of the mass production and consumerism.

marcel-duchamp_portraot-of-chess-payers

Marcel Duchamp, Portrait of Chess Players

ben art3

Ben Vautier

yvse clein

Yves Klein, Anthropométrie de l’époque bleue

His most famous works are Artist’s Breath (Fiato d’Artista) and Artist’s Shit (Merda d’Artista). Artist’s Breath is a series of red, white or blue balloons, inflated and attached to a wooden base. Artist’s Shit was created in 1961 and it consists of 90 small cans, sealed with the text Artist’s Shit. What is inside the cans? No one knows as opening them would destroy the value of artwork. The original price of a tin was $37 each (they were valued according to their equivalent weight in gold). In May 2007 one tin was sold for $124,000 at Sotheby’s, and in October 2015 tin 54 was sold for £182,500 at Chisties.

manzoni

Piero Manzoni, Artist’s Shit

Mazzoleni London is bringing an exhibition of Piero Manzoni’s series of work, the Achromes (1957-1963) and the Linee (1959-1963), to the capital of Great Britain. This is the first exhibition, curated by Gaspare Luigi Marcone, to focus uniquely on the relationship between these two bodies of work and will include a recently rediscovered and never before exhibited Linea. Moreover, it will include two Achromes (‘Achrome’ means ‘colorless’ or ‘neutral’) that are rarely exhibited in public. The work’s lack of color lent them the capability to be endlessly repeatable, and thus infinite, almost like atoms.

unspecified1

Installation view of ‘Piero Manzoni Achromes: Linea Infinita’ at Mazzoleni ArtPhoto by ©Luke Andrew WalkerCourtesy Mazzoleni Art

Manzoni3

Installation view of ‘Piero Manzoni Achromes: Linea Infinita’ at Mazzoleni ArtPhoto by ©Luke Andrew WalkerCourtesy Mazzoleni Art

Manzoni2

Installation view of ‘Piero Manzoni Achromes: Linea Infinita’ at Mazzoleni ArtPhoto by ©Luke Andrew WalkerCourtesy Mazzoleni Art

Manzoni1

Installation view of ‘Piero Manzoni Achromes: Linea Infinita’ at Mazzoleni ArtPhoto by ©Luke Andrew WalkerCourtesy Mazzoleni Art

The exhibition Achromes: Linea Infinita will mark the anniversary of Manzoni’s death on 6 February 1963 and will also form a part of a series of exhibitions in 2016 celebrating 30 years of Mazzoleni Art. It will be on starting from 9 February and until 9 April.