Michelangelo Pistoletto

Galerie Xavier Hufkens | 107 rue St-Georges

In 1961, two paintings by Michelangelo Pistoletto were entitled, Uomo di fronte—il presente (Man seen from the front—the present) and Uomo di schiena—il presente (Man seen from the back—the present). Both are self-portraits. In the former, the artist/subject is facing forward, toward the viewer/painter; in the latter, his back is turned to us. Both works are covered with a reflective, varnished surface, creating a field that seems to be in a state of flux. Description of the resultant images is difficult to fix. The works are, in effect, prototypes of mirrors. These two paintings, in which the viewer is physically reflected, become part of a generative chain of perception.

Appropriately enough, the spectator’s first impression upon entering this recent exhibition of works by Pistoletto is of a space turned in upon itself, a space with parameters that shift around us. In Cane che se guarda

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