Autoritratto con Quaderno — ART - Lévy Gorvy
Installation view of Michelangelo Pistoletto's exhibition at Lévy Gorvy New York

Autoritratto con Quaderno — ART


In Autoritratto con Quaderno, Pistoletto revisits the primary subject of his earliest mature paintings: himself. Moving from his expressionist self-portraits of the late 1950s, by 1960 Pistoletto began representing his own figure foregrounded before gleaming monochrome grounds of gold, silver, and polished, reflective black. As the artist has explained: “That was the beginning of the change from pigment to mirrors. The mirror didn’t enter my work as a found object, but through painting. In fact, it was a necessary progression after the shiny black pigments, which began to reflect like mirrors.”

These aesthetic investigations in turn led Pistoletto by 1962 to develop his foundational Quadri specchianti (Mirror Paintings), establishing the formal and conceptual concerns that he has continued to investigate through the present. He initially traced enlarged photographs of his subjects on tissue paper using the tip of a brush and affixed these life-size images to mirror-polished stainless steel. After 1971, he replaced the tissue paper with a silkscreened image, opening up new potentials for illusion and engagement. The mirror paintings incorporate the viewer and their surroundings into their pictorial space, breaking down the boundaries between the infinite and definite, such that the picture is, in the artist’s words, “penetrated by the rules of objective reality.”

Autoritratto con quaderno
Silkscreen on mirror-polished stainless steel
98 7/16 x 49 3/16 inches (250 x 125 cm)
Olnick Spanu Collection, New York

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