New York

Michelangelo Pistoletto

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

Conditioned by the lapidary mandates of Pop art and Minimalism, American audiences may be slow to adjust entrenched and chauvinistic canons to accommodate the multivalent art of Michelangelo Pistoletto. Anticipating this reluctance, Germano Celant argues in his catalogue essay accompanying this 25-year retrospective that it is precisely Pistoletto’s stylistic “equivocation” that lends his vision its characteristic breadth.

Anxious to rescue the artist’s early achievement from Pop art’s shadow, Celant suggestively contrasts Pistoletto’s “mirror paintings” from 1962 with Andy Warhol’s soup cans and Marilyns from the same year. In this work, painted figures affixed to or sandwiched between mirrored surfaces mingle with viewers’ reflections. Accommodating this unstable element within the perceived frame, the pieces inject the variable dimensions of time and motion into a customarily static

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