Piero Manzoni (1933-1963)
Piero Manzoni directly influenced the work of a generation of younger Italian artists with his ironic approach to the avant garde art. He grew up in Milan and after his first debut in 1956 he joined Movimento Arte Nucleare, founded by Enrico Baj.
His work changed radically after visiting Yves Klein’s exhibition ‘Epoca Blu’ in 1957 at Galleria Apollinaire, in Milan: he started creating the series Achromes (1957-1963) which consisted of a simply white textured surface covered with rough plaster or impregnated with kaolin. These works represented a true "total space"repeatable to infinity, and infinitely unresolved and would be realized with different mediums due to his continuous research on different materials.
In 1959 he founded the Gallery Azimut with Enrico Castellani and they edited the first issue of "Azimuth", the avant-garde magazine. Coming in contact with german Zero Group he presented a series of radical works such as Linee, Fiato d'artista, Uovo con impronta, living sculptures and magic bases. In 1961 he carried his most shocking gesture by selling 90 cans of artist shit each one weighting 30gr, calling into question the very nature of the art object.
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