Judgement Time Michelangelo Pistoletto
Judgement Time by Michelangelo Pistoletto
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Until 20 February 2024, Galleria Continua in Dubai is holding Judgement Time, a solo show by famed Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. It finishes a project involving the eight Galleria Continua locations across the world; each of them has housed an exhibition by the artist throughout the whole of 2023. The show in Dubai celebrates his distinct body of work, displaying Mirror Paintings which delve into time and the interconnectedness of art and life. 

Originating from Pistoletto’s exhibition at the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2022, the Mirror Paintings series comprises 11 mirrors produced in collaboration with the museum. They portray museum visitors looking up at ancient works of art; in each of the mirrored works, the viewer also comes face-to-face with their reflection. The show explores these artworks’ essential characteristics and emphasises their capacity to unite spectators with their surroundings. Thus, a symbiotic relationship between still images and their dynamic reflections is created.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Judgement Time (exhibition view). Galleria Continua, Dubai, 2023. Photo: Musthafa Aboobaker.

Pistoletto’s Il Tempo del Giudizio (The Time of Judgment) uses mirrors as a recurring motif, merging Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, and Buddhism. Pistoletto states that art engages with religion to present alternative interpretative systems. The Time of Judgment intertwines Art, Spirituality, and Politics, emphasising their interconnectedness.

About the artist

Michelangelo Pistoletto (b. 1933, Biella, Italy) is an artist and art theorist based in his hometown. He is considered to be a founding father of Arte Povera, an Italian avant-garde movement whose artists explored unconventional processes and non-traditional materials. Pistoletto started his artistic training in the studio of his father, a painter and restorer, and later studied at Italian artist Armando Testa’s advertising design school. 

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Il telefono, 1970. Silkscreen on polished stainless steel. 70 × 100 cm

In his work, Pistoletto deals with the subject matter of reflection and seeks to unite art and daily life. His practice deploys sculptural installations, performances, and mirror paintings (photo-silkscreen images on steel). Developed in 1962, they represent the artist’s interest in conceptualism and figuration. Interacting with a reflective surface, the spectator becomes a part of the piece while its subject is focused on the activity of the gallery space. Each mirror painting brings together the past, the present, the pictorial space, and the physical one.

Pistoletto has showcased his artworks in a plethora of solo and group exhibitions: Michelangelo Pistoletto (Simon Lee, London, England, 2022); Michelangelo Pistoletto (Galleria Christian Stein, Milan, Italy, 2021-2022); Michelangelo Pistoletto (Lévy Gorvy, New York, NY, USA, 2020); Michelangelo Pistoletto: Do It (YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2018); 12th Havana Biennial: Between the Idea and Experience (Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, Cuba, 2015); and many others. The artist’s creations can be found in multiple museums and institutions across the globe: the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Tate Modern (London), and the Centre Pompidou (Paris), to mention a few.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Frattali, 1999-2000. Acrylic on shaped mirror. 58 × 79 cm

He has been granted several awards such as the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement (the Venice Biennale, 2003), the Wolf Foundation Prize for the Arts (2007), and the Praemium Imperiale Award for Painting (2013). 

To get more information about Judgement Time, please visit the exhibition’s official web page.

You might also be interested in attending Introspection as Resistance by Mehdi Moutashar.

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