ConTatto — SPIRITUALITY - Lévy Gorvy
Installation view of Michelangelo Pistoletto's exhibition at Lévy Gorvy New York

ConTatto — SPIRITUALITY

2017

At the beginning of our century [twentieth century], the avant-garde made art again autonomous. Art ceased to be a symbol of religious and political power, but it is still far from the people, because its autonomy regards only its aesthetic side. Now art must find autonomy for its factual side as well.

—Michelangelo Pistoletto

ConTatto is made with two panels of polished stainless steel joined to form an angle. On one panel, Pistoletto silkscreened a hand with its index finger outstretched as if to touch the other panel. The hand reflects in the second mirror, creating an image reminiscent of The Creation of Adam, the fresco painted by Michelangelo Buonarroti for the Sistine Chapel in Rome. In the Renaissance masterpiece, Adam’s hand is outstretched towards God’s hand, representing the creation of the human being. In Pistoletto’s work, however, creation is no longer generated by contact with God, but through the process of the Division and Multiplication of the Mirror, a concept Pistoletto began exploring in the 1970s. The artist realized that a mirror can reflect anything except itself, and subsequently split the mirror in two, placing the two resulting panels at different angles along the axis of division. As the angle is divided, the reflected result is multiplied, just as in society, each person taking less leads to a more equitable society.

MICHELANGELO PISTOLETTO
ConTatto
2017
Silkscreen on mirror-polished stainless steel
Sculpture: 8 11/16 x 6 5/16 x 9 1/16 inches
(22 x 16 x 23 cm)
Sculpture and glass vitrine: 15 1/2 x 19 11/16 x 11 13/16 inches (39.4 x 50 x 30 cm)

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