Serpentine Gallery 12 Jul — 17 Sep 2011 Free

One of the pre-eminent contemporary artists working today, Michelangelo Pistoletto created a new, site-specific installation using a form that he often returns to: the labyrinth.

Pistoletto’s exhibition drew visitors through the galleries, leading them via a winding maze to hidden installations and sculptures.

In 1965, Pistoletto created his Minus Objects, a series of sculptural pieces that investigated how objects can be transformed into art works through the ideas they express. This was an act of independence against the prevailing art system; the Minus Objects were non-representational anti-commodities constructed out of ‘poor’ materials. As the artist stated at the time: “These are objects through which I free myself from something – not constructions but liberations […] not pluses but minuses.”

In the late 1960s, Pistoletto established The Zoo, a workshop open to artists, filmmakers, intellectuals, poets and the public that centred on collaboration and performance. The projects he worked on with The Zoo were closely entwined with his individual studio practice, with both combining material form, pictorial space and theatrical gesture.

In 1998, the artist invented Cittadellarte: Fondazione Pistoletto, a centre for the study and promotion of creativity of all kinds. This interdisciplinary approach is an intrinsic part of his goal to unite the diverse strands of human civilisation through art. Pistoletto has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2003.

Responding to the architecture of the Serpentine’s galleries and using an economy of materials, this exhibition manipulated visitors’ perceptions of space, making them an integral part of the work itself.

Archive

Discover 50 years of the Serpentine

From the architecture pavilion and digital commissions to the ideas marathon and the General Ecology programme, explore 50 years of artists, projects and exhibitions.

View archive