the rooms...

"From October 1975 to September 1976, in the new spaces of Galleria Christian Stein in Turin (three rooms connected by three doors aligned on the same axis and similar in size to the mirror paintings), Pistoletto had twelve consecutive shows. The shows opened at the pace of one a month, each announced in advance by a text by the artist, fusing the moments of ideation, realization and exhibition and lending itself to a continuous dialogue with visitors over a one-year period. It is the first of what the artist calls “time continents”, to be followed by White Year (1989) and Happy Turtle (1993)."

Michelangelo Pistoletto began painting on mirrors in 1962, connecting painting with the constantly changing realities in which the work finds itself. In the later sixties he began bringing together rags with casts of omnipresent classical statuary of Italy to break down the hierarchies of "art" and common things. An art of impoverished materials is certainly one aspect of the definition of Arte Povera. In his 1967 Muretto di straci (Rag Wall) Pistoletto makes an exotic and opulent tapestry wrapping common bricks in discarded scraps of fabric. The work received a lot of feedback: Pistoletto, who started under the American influence of "post-pop art" and photorealism, was soon listed by gallery owners and critics in the catalogues as a significant representative of the novel, mostly Italian trend of the Arte Povera. Against the background of the 1968 student riots, Pistoletto withdrew his participation in the Venice Biennale. In the following years, he dealt with conceptual ideas, which he presented in the book L'uomo nero (1970). In 1974, he nearly completely withdrew from the art scene: he took an exam as a skiing instructor and spent most of his time in the mountains of San Sicario. At the end of the 1970s, he produced sculptures, heads, and torsos using polyurethane and marble. In doing so, he was a recipient of antique artefacts and he furthermore pursued other performance and theatre projects–including those in the USA in Athens, Atlanta, and San Francisco. At the beginning of the 1980s, he presented theatre works, such as Anno Uno (March 1981) in the Teatro Quirino in Rome. Since 1990, Pistoletto has been living and working in Turin.