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The ‘Michelangelo Pistoletto. Fourth Generation’ exhibition opens in Ljubljana
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The ‘Michelangelo Pistoletto. Fourth Generation’ exhibition opens in Ljubljana

Categories: Culture and creativity -Visual Arts
The exposition project offers an insight into the work of the contemporary Italian artist, engaging the viewer in a direct dialogue with the art.
Michelangelo Pistoletto. Quarta Generazione. Immagine tratta dal sito dell'Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Lubiana
Michelangelo Pistoletto. Quarta Generazione. Immagine tratta dal sito dell’Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Lubiana

The Italian Cultural Institute of Ljubljana opens the ‘Michelangelo Pistoletto. Fourth Generation’ exhibition on the 29th September, curated by Alenka Gregorič and dedicated to the work of one of the greatest artists of the Twentieth Century. The route through the exhibition, held at the Cukrarna gallery in collaboration with the Zerynthia Association for Contemporary Art in Rome, offers an insight into the main phases of his creative work, starting from the 1960s, with a particular emphasis on his ‘dark’ period, served as a starting point in the exhibition’s conceptualization, in selecting the works and in framing the dramaturgy of the display.

The exhibition’s title, ‘Fourth Generation’, also refers to this time, which crucially determined the artist’s subsequent practice. Works from this seldom displayed period (1985-1989) – dubbed by the artist as “L’Arte dello Squallore” (The Art of Squalor) in one of his writings – can be found on the second floor of the gallery. As well as the sketches, the paintings and the sculptures, the exhibition includes an in situ black 70-metre wall painting which the students of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana produced under the supervision of the artist.

The gallery’s first floor is host to a selection of some of Pistoletto’s best known works, Mirror Paintings – which range from a 1961 self portrait to more recent works -, Minus Objects (1965-1966) – which were the first indications of the Arte Povera movement’s tendencies – and works, which today are iconic objects of this movement, such as the Venus of the Rags and his 1980s’ white sculptures.

The exhibition concludes with The Third Paradise, a project which has been at the centre of the artist’s creative focus since 2003. The project’s symbol is a reconfiguration of the mathematic sign for infinity. By placing life at the centre of infinity, the artist uses the symbol to reflect on the diversity of human relationships and to emphasize the importance of reconciliation and of the individual’s responsibility to others and to nature.

In art history, Michelangelo Pistoletto is one of the main proponents of Arte Povera. So called in 1967 by Germano Celant, theorist, critic and curator of art, Arte Povera was born as an attack against the political, economic and artistic systems of the time’s paradigms of values, and thus diverged from traditional materials and methods.

In his work Pistoletto wanted to engage the viewers in a direct dialogue with the art, actively include them in the compositions and above all, encourage them to reflect on time – on times past, represented by the figures in the mirrors, and on the present represented by our own gaze.

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