Magazzino Italian Art is pleased to announce its six-year anniversary on June 25, 2023, marked by the unveiling of a special project dedicated to the renowned artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. This date coincides with Maestro Pistoletto's 90th birthday, making it a truly momentous occasion for both the artist and the museum.
Pistoletto's presence in the Olnick Spanu Collection and his significant contributions to the history of Magazzino resonate throughout the galleries of the museum. For the inaugural opening of Magazzino, the museum unveiled Stracci italiani (Italian Rags, 2007), a work that was commissioned to commemorate the anniversary of Italy's unification. The tricolor Italian flag made of discarded fabric greets visitors upon entering the lobby. In 2017, Magazzino acquired Sfera di giornali (Newspaper Sphere), a sculpture composed during a reinvention of Pistoletto’s performance Scultura da passeggio (Walking Sculpture) staged throughout the entire Cold Spring community.
Beginning with Michelangelo Pistoletto’s works from the Olnick Spanu Collection, Magazzino is launching an annual project that will focus on each of the twelve artists associated with the Arte Povera movement. To inaugurate this project, Magazzino is thrilled to present Welcome to New York!, whose title is derived from a 1979 work by Pistoletto. Welcome to New York (1979) will be displayed for the first time in Gallery 8, alongside seven representative mirror works spanning from the 1960s to the 2000s. This immersive experience offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the evolution of the artist's visionary works.
Welcome to New York draws inspiration from the Statue of Liberty with its metal crown and multicolored rags cascading towards the ground—encapsulating and embracing the concept of multiculturalism and diversity. These elements symbolize the possibilities of growth and evolution, embodying the values of welcome and inclusivity associated with the United States.
Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the birth of Pistoletto’s manifesto Terzo paradiso (Third Paradise, 2003),Magazzino will also unveil the monumental permanent installation, Terzo paradiso, situated on the museum’s grounds. Realized with 46 stones excavated during the construction of the new Robert Olnick Pavillon, this installation reflects the deep commitment of Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu, the Co-founders of Magazzino Italian Art, to act as ambassadors of Third Paradise.
About Michelangelo Pistoletto
Beginning as a painter in the mid-1950s, Michelangelo Pistoletto entered a new phase in his work in 1962 with the creation of his internationally celebrated Quadri specchianti (Mirror Paintings): his ongoing series of highly polished, stainless steel panels, upon which he transferred photographic life size pictures of everyday figures or objects, first pasting on the reflecting surface pictures painted on tissue paper obtained from the photographicsource, later through serigraphy. With his Mirror Paintings, Pistoletto went beyond traditional conventions of painting, setting in motion an exploration of the boundaries of art and experience. This approach gave rise to his experimentation in creative collaborations, which Pistoletto first pursued with his street theater group, Lo Zoo (TheZoo). Pistoletto’s work continues to investigate the relationship between art and life, the nature of time, ethics and aesthetics, and art as a platform for social transformation. This vision inspired Pistoletto to found Cittadellarte in Biella in 1998, a foundation whose name means both “city of art” and “art citadel,” with the aim of inspiring andproducing responsible change in society through ideas and creative projects.