new-york

Piero Manzoni

Hirschl & Adler Modern

Acting out in ways that were simultaneously infantile and sublime, Piero Manzoni consistently transformed his intensity and self-destructive passion into rigorous and elegant work. It is fitting that he packaged his feces in tidy little canisters labeled, aptly enough, "Merda d’artista’ (Artist’s shit, 1961). These little obscenities are gifts to the world—packaged rage.

Reexamining his oeuvre today, 28 years after his death at the age of 30, it becomes clear that the integrity of Manzoni’s practice lies in his passionate engagement with form. Form is the site of all esthetic radicality, and, in his “Achromes” Manzoni literally sent a ripple through the picture plane.

He also understood the line as material. For him, the line was the physical manifestation of thought, and it was at the same time the borderline between realms: the real and the symbolic, the inside and the outside, good and

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