Soncino, 1933 – Milan, 1963
Piero Manzoni was one of the most controversial and innovative Italian artists.
In 1957 he joined the nuclear movement and signed the Manifesto. In these years he began working on canvases with chalk and glue entitled Ipotesi and in 1958 he made his first Achromes which appear as canvases or other surfaces covered with rough plaster, kaolin, squares of fabric, felt, fiber of cotton, plush or other materials.
In 1959 he left the Nuclear group, and forged ties with Bonalumi and Castellani. With this latter he founded the Azimuth magazine, where writings by Nanni Balestrini and Edoardo Sanguineti and illustrations by Yves Klein, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Piero Dorazio, Gastone Novelli and Franco Angeli appear.
Influenced by Fontana, Manzoni develops his research in the direction of a neo-Dadaism prefiguring subsequent experiences of the Italian avant-garde of the sixties and seventies (poor people, conceptual artists etc.). He begins to create conceptual objects such as Linee, hundreds of meters of paper lines enclosed in cylinders and plans to sign living bodies as if they were works of art, issuing certificates of authenticity.
His interventions are characterized by a strong irreverent and polemical element with which he ironically addresses the issues related to the consumption of art and the sacredness of artistic work. In 1960, during one of his exhibitions in Milan, he made one of his most famous performances: he leaves fingerprints on some hard-boiled eggs inviting the public to eat them and participate in the consumption of art. In 1961, he made another of his most irreverent interventions, producing and boxing the Merda d’artista.
© Fondazione Piero Manzoni, Milano
Utopia. Italian Art & Design
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art Paris. Texts by Charles Zana and Flavia Frigeri. B/w and colored illustrations, 72 pages, 6,6×9,6 in, English, 2019.
Il Dado è tratto. Arte contemporanea italiana oltre la tradizione
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Arte. Text by Sergio Risaliti. B/w and colored illustrations, 240 pages, 9,4×11,8 in, Italian/English, 2015.
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art Paris and Dominique Stella. B/w and colored illustrations, 184 pages, 9,4×11,8 in, French/English and Italian/English, 2013.