170
170

PROPERTY FROM THE LILIANE AND MICHEL DURAND-DESSERT COLLECTION

Michelangelo Pistoletto
SPECCHIO BIANCO, SPECCHIO NERO
JUMP TO LOT
170

PROPERTY FROM THE LILIANE AND MICHEL DURAND-DESSERT COLLECTION

Michelangelo Pistoletto
SPECCHIO BIANCO, SPECCHIO NERO
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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London

Michelangelo Pistoletto
B. 1933
SPECCHIO BIANCO, SPECCHIO NERO
white and black mirrors with wooden frames, in two parts
each: 230 by 129cm.; 90 1/2 by 50 3/4 in.
Executed in 1975-89.
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Provenance

Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Liliane et Michel Durand-Dessert, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Specchio, 1990
Jouy-en-Josas, Fondation Cartier; Milan, Rotonda della Desena; Munich, Villa Stuck, Vraiment Faux, 1991

Catalogue Note

Specchio Bianco-Specchio Nero is an intriguing work exploring the possibility of the mirror, the artist’s preferred medium, to investigate the contrary forces governing universe and human life. “In all the mirror paintings, you see that all the opposing conditions can go together without elimination of one or another –deep and flat, nothing and everything, positive and negative, nice and horrible” (Alanna Heiss, ‘Remarks on Remarks’ in: Exhibition Catalogue, London, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Pistoletto – Division and Moltiplication of the Mirror, 1988, p. 14)

The present work falls in line with the Divisione e Moltiplicazione Dello Specchio - L'arte Assume la Religione series which stems from the assumption that a mirror can reflect anything but itself, however if the mirror is divided it can project its own reflection, multiplying itself in an infinite regression. The white mirror also interacts directly with the black mirror; situated opposite from each other they double and reflect themselves in their contrary and us such the white mirror becomes lost in the darkness of the black mirror (and vice versa), in a continuous dichotomy between light and obscurity. When a viewer stands in front of the work, as Pistoletto understood it, the resultant images do not belong to the material world, but to another dimension where man and God can exist in the same space.

One of the most distinguished representatives of Italian Arte Povera, Pistoletto was frustrated with the imitative relationship between figurative painting and reality. He started experimenting with shiny ground in 1956; from 1962 he refined his process and started working with a polished reflecting surface of stainless steel, before perfecting the technique in 1971 with his iconic Quadri Specchianti. For the artist, the mirror separated the real world from the secret world reflected on its surface, involving the beholder in a meditation on the flow and mutability of life. He discovered reflection as a way of creating a meaning, of projecting himself and the viewer through time, into the future. 

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
London