The Fondazione Piero Manzoni in Milan has announced that Hauser & Wirth gallery will represent the estate of the late Italian conceptual artist Piero Manzoni, who is best known for projects that challenged the nature of the art object, such as “Artist's Shit (Merda d'artista),” 1961, a series of works for which he filled tins with his own excrement, dried naturally and “canned with no added preservatives.”
Manzoni had a brief but influential career, which ended with his untimely death from a heart attack in 1963, at the age of twenty-nine. In the May 1998 issue of Artforum, Barry Schwabsky reviewed the artist’s exhibition at Serpentine Gallery, writing that Manzoni “covered more territory—not without false steps—in six years than most do in sixty, and artists are still sorting out the implications of his work.” He continued: “Manzoni never wanted to address any but the most fundamental questions of art—in the first instance, its material condition, and thereafter the object’s function as a locus of exchange between artist and public, an exchange whose objective, economic appearance is as important as its subjective essence.”
“We are honored and thrilled to begin working with the Fondazione Piero Manzoni,” Marc Payot, Hauser & Wirth partner and vice president, said. “He was a master of innovation whose intrepid pursuit of new forms of creative expression and fierce intelligence continue to exert influence now. Together with the foundation’s director, Rosalia Pasqualino di Marineo, we look forward to further advancing understanding of the artist’s contributions to the evolution of modern and contemporary art, through new exhibitions, publications, and special projects focused on Manzoni’s rigorous and exquisitely original oeuvre.”
Hauser & Wirth will exhibit an iconic work from Manzoni’s “Achromes” series, 1957–59, in their booth at Art Basel, opening June 15. A major survey exhibition of the artist’s work will take place in late 2018 at the gallery’s Twenty-Second Street location in New York. The gallery will also collaborate with the foundation on a new catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work, which is expected to be completed within the next two years.