Following the success of Ai Weiwei in 2014 and Lawrence Weiner: Within a Realm of Distance in 2015, Blenheim Palace presents Michelangelo Pistoletto, an exhibition running until 31st December 2016. Blenheim Palace recently hosted the Dior Cruise collection show.
Spanning the full spectrum of media, including sculpture, site-specific installation and painting, the exhibition explores Pistoletto’s favourite themes referencing Renaissance, Classical Antiquity, and post-war consumerism.
Highlights include Venus of the Rags, which sees the Classical goddess facing a large pile of waste material from textile factories and turning its back to the visitors. This work, a masterpiece from the Arte Povera period of 1960s-70s Italy, highlights Pistoletto’s anti-establishment use of cheap and unconventional materials to make high art; a provocative move which elevated him as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth-century.
As well as celebrating the breadth of Pistoletto’s materials and techniques, the exhibition also introduces Pistoletto as a pacifist thinker calling for freedom, peace and unity. Following the footsteps of other Arte Povera artists such as Boetti, Mappamondo, a globe made of burnished newspaper, is specifically remade for Blenheim Palace using material from British trash journalism. The breathtaking Third Paradise symbol, wrapped in Pistoletto’s signature rags, hovers above the Great Hall, calling for a reassessment of current society. Love Difference, a table in the shape of the Mediterranean basin around which its bordering countries are gathered, represented by chairs in different styles and sizes is also on view in the exhibition. The work enhances cultural differences, and resonates as an anti-Brexit message in the current political times.