Michelangelo Pistoletto was born in Biella in 1933. He began to exhibit his work in 1955 and in 1960 he had his first solo show at GalleriaGalatea in Turin. An inquiry into self-portraiture characterizes his early work. In the two-year period 1961-1962 made the first Mirror Paintings, which directly include the viewerand real time in the work, and open up perspective, reversing the Renaissance perspectivethat had been closed by the twentieth-century avant-gardes. These works quickly broughtPistoletto international acclaim, leading, in the sixties, to one-man shows in importantgalleries and museums in Europe and the United States. The Mirror Paintings are thefoundation of his subsequent artistic output and theoretical thought. In 1965 and 1966 he produced a set of works entitled Minus Objects, considered fundamentalto the birth of Arte Povera, an art movement of which Pistoletto was an animating force and aprotagonist. In 1967 he began to work outside traditional exhibition spaces, with the firstinstances of that “creative collaboration” he developed over the following decades by bringingtogether artists from different disciplines and diverse sectors of society.In 1975-76 he presented a cycle of twelve consecutive exhibitions, Le Stanze, at the SteinGallery in Turin. This was the first of a series of complex, year-long works called “timecontinents”. Others are White Year (1989) and Happy Turtle (1992). In 1978, in a show in Turin, Pistoletto defined two main directions his future artworkwould take: Division and Multiplication of the Mirror and Art Takes On Religion. In theearly eighties he made a series of sculptures in rigid polyurethane, translated into marblefor his solo show in 1984 at Forte di Belvedere in Florence. From 1985 to 1989 he createdthe series of “dark” volumes called Art of Squalor. During the nineties, with Project Art and with the creation in Biella of Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto and the University of Ideas, he brought art into active relation withdiverse spheres of society with the aim of inspiring and producing responsible social change.In 2003 he won the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifelong Achievement. In 2004 the University of Turin awarded him a laurea honoris causa in Political Science.On that occasion the artist announced what has become the most recent phase of his work,Third Paradise.In 2007, in Jerusalem, he received the Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts, “for his constantlyinventive career as an artist, educator and activist whose restless intelligence has createdprescient forms of art that contribute to fresh understanding of the world.”He is the Artistic Director of Evento 2011 – L’art pour une ré-évolution urbainein Bordeaux.In 2010 he wrote the essay The Third Paradise, published in Italian, English, French andGerman. In 2011 he was the artistic director of Evento 2011 – L’art pour une ré-évolutionurbaine in Bordeaux. In 2012 he started promoting the Rebirth-day, first worldwide day of rebirth, celebratedevery year on 21st December with initiatives taking place all around the world.In 2013 the Louvre in Paris hosted his personal exhibition Michelangelo Pistoletto, annéeun – le paradis sur terre. In this same year he received the Praemium Imperiale forpainting, in Tokyo.In 2014 the symbol of the Third Paradise was installed in the hall of the headquarters ofthe Council of the European Union in Bruxelles for the period of the Italian Presidency ofthe European Council. In May 2015 he received a degree honoris causa from the Universidad de las Artes ofHavana in Cuba”.
In the same year he realizes a work of big dimensions, called Rebirth, situated in the parkof the Palais des Nations in Geneva, headquarters of the UN.