Pistoletto

Celant, Author, Germano Celant, Author Rizzoli International Publications $45 (228p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1022-2
Imaginative, energy-giving, chameleon-like in his constant changes, Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto came to prominence in the 1960s with his ``arte povera'' pieces, which wed scraps of wood, string and cardboard into objects of forlorn, mysterious beauty. This monograph profiles a practitioner of inner monologues, visual tricks, enigmatic installations, conceptual sculptures. Pistoletto turns a lava-like spray of bronze into an ocean wave. He launches witty assaults on art history and erects marble figures that strive for weightless monumentality. The pensive men and women in his ``mirror paintings''--tissue-paper cutouts fixed onto polished stainless-steel surfaces--are eerie, ghostlike presences. Just when you think you've begun to take the measure of this polymath, he takes a different tack, inventing an archaic-looking temple or meditating on illusion versus reality in photo-collages and mirror installations. The running commentary by Celant, a contributing editor of Artforum , is marred by pedantic use of obscure academic terms. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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