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24 Michelangelo Pistoletto Follow 4 Gabbie signed, titled, and dated 'Michelangelo Pistoletto "4 gabbie
Provenance Galleria Giorgio Persano, Turin Private Collection, Turin (acquired from the above in the late 1970s) Exhibited New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Michelangelo Pistoletto , 1974, n.p. (29 panels illustrated) Venice, Palazzo Grassi, Pistoletto , 16 June - 28 July 1976, p. 71 and p. 106 (29 panels illustrated and listed) Geneva, Galerie Marie-Louise Jeanneret, Michelangelo Pistoletto 16 ans a l’interieur du miroir , 1977, front and back cover pages (4 of 29 panels illustrated) New York, MoMA P.S.1, Pistoletto Division and Multiplication of the Mirror , 1988, p. 153 (2 of 29 panels illustrated) Florence, Forte del Belvedere, Michelangelo Pistoletto , 1984, no. 100, p. 100 and p. 193 (29 panels illustrated) Rome, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Michelangelo Pistoletto , 1990, p. 118 and p. 156 (2 of 29 panels illustrated and listed) Barcelona, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Turin, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea; Lyon, Musée d’Art Contemporain; Barcelona, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona y Actar, Michelangelo Pistoletto 27 January 2000 - 6 May 2001, pp. 52-53 (2 of 29 panels illustrated) Venice, Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, Mapping the Studio. Artists from the François Pinault Collection , 6 June 2009 - 6 June 2010, p. 347 and p. 380 (9 of 29 panels illustrated and listed) London, Serpentine Gallery, Michelangelo Pistoletto the Mirror of Judgement , 12 July 2011 to 17 September 2011, p. 49 (4 of 29 panels illustrated) London, Luxembourg & Dayan, Pistoletto Politico: Works by Michelangelo Pistoletto , 12 February - 12 April 2013, n.p (4 of 29 panels illustrated) Literature Bruno Cora, Pistoletto , Ravenna, 1986, no. 149, n.p (2 of 29 panels illustrated) Germano Celant, Pistoletto , 1988, p. 153 (2 of 29 panels illustrated) Germano Celant, Pistoletto , 1989, p. 152 (2 of 29 panels illustrated) Catalogue Essay In 1970 Michelangelo Pistoletto established The Zoo, a theatre group that collectively performed in unconventional spaces throughout Italy and other European cities. The group’s name was first suggested by Carlo Colnaghi, a friend of Pistoletto. In reference to modern civilisation’s organisation of the social body politic, Colnaghi allegedly expressed how he felt like a lion trapped in a cage. Society creates cages that confine every kind of animal, for example, public housing, factories, football stadiums or, in the case of the 'artist' species, biennials, public institutions and private galleries. The concept of La Gabbia , the cage, was already present in Pistoletto's visual vocabulary in 1962 when he conceived his mirrored works which included cages for birds, monkeys and eventually, in its most evocative variation, a cage for the viewer. Between 1962 and 1974, Pistoletto produced 29 panels, each comprised of a cage section. Viewed as a unified whole the works produce the effect of trapping the viewer inside. Read individually or as in this case a group of four, the work succeeds in creating a profoundly disconcerting environment. La Gabbia , while maintaining a very slick and abstract dimension, is a highly political work with a philosophical line of enquiry. In a minimal and subtle manner Pistoletto questions the human psyche and the foundations of our freedom. Oscillating between abstraction and figuration, architecture and decoration La Gabbia opens up multiple layers of spatial perception. Similar to the creative output of Daniel Buren Pistoletto’s bars reflect the space in which they are installed. The stripe, like the bar, is an archetypal element which is immediate and direct. Furthermore, like Jasper Johns Flags and Targets the viewer is immediately aware of the universal imagery and the connotations the cage provides. La Gabbia is very similar in concept to Warhol’s Electric Chair . However, while Warhol was mutating horror in beauty, death into ecstasy, Pistoletto emptied his own symbol of human aberration in order to make physical space for the viewer. In front
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