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Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970) “…a poetic recycling ofurban, industrial and advertisingreality…" -Pierre RestanyThe Nouveau Réalisme Manifesto, signed by all of the original members in Yves Kleins apartment, 27 October 1960.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Nouveau Réalisme or New Realism• As a movement, Nouveau Réalisme had its origins amidst the abstraction of Europe’s L’Art Informel.• Artistic movement founded by art critic Pierre Restany and painter Yves Klein during the first collective exposition in the Apollinaire gallery in Milan.• Officially founded in Klein’s apartment Oct. 27, 1960.• The first exposition of the nouveaux réalistes took place in November 1960 at the Paris "Festival davant-garde."• Pierre Restany wrote the original manifesto for the group, titled the "Constitutive Declaration of New Realism," in April 1960, proclaiming, – "Nouveau Réalisme - new ways of perceiving the real.” – This joint declaration was signed by nine original members: Yves Klein, Arman, Martial Raysse, Pierre Restany, Daniel Spoerri, Jean Tinguely and the Ultra- Lettrists, Francois Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Jacques de The Nouveau Réalisme la Villeglé. Manifesto, signed by all of – In 1961 they were joined by César, Mimmo Rotella, then Niki de Saint Phalle and Gérard the original members in Deschamps. Yves Kleins apartment, 27 – Artist Christo joined the group in 1963. October 1960.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Characteristics of Nouveau Réalisme• Nouveau Réalistes confront the materialism and consumerism of postwar society.• Nouveau Réalistes do not practice any one particular brand of style, like many movements before it, Nouveau Réalisme is more an ideological approach to making art than a stylistic one. – The one connection would be the overarching use of irony and humor.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)• Nouveau Réalistes make use of mass-produced commercial objects. – This often draws comparison between their work and the work of Pop Art artists in America.• Maintains close affiliation with the spirit of Dada.• Nouveau Réalistes make considerable use of collage and assemblage. – They employ found objects in the tradition of Marcel Duchamp. – Their use of found objects is part of their process in making their art part of the reality of the time. – The second Nouveau Réalisme manifesto, titled "40° above Dada" (40° au-dessus de Dada) was written between 17 May and 10 June 1961.• Nouveau Réalistes sought to bring art and life closer together.• Advocated a return to "reality" in opposition to the lyricism of Abstract Expressionism.• Expressed desire to avoid the figurative tradition.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Yves Klein (1928-1962)• Founder of the Zero Group and Nouveau Réalisme.• Dominant personality of Nouveau Réalisme.• Born to artist parents. – Exposed to Paris’ avant-garde artists as a child through mother’s salons.• Did not complete school and spent his life trying to prove he was intellectual.• Very theatrical and hyperbolic personality. – He was very religious and and devoted to St. Rita the patron saint of lost causes. He was also very interested in Zen Buddhism, the occult sciences, and the late 19th century Cosmogonie des Rose-Croix. – His interest in mysticism set him apart from his collegeaues in Europe and America.• His work had a performative nature and would set the stage for performance art, Minimalism, and Pop art. Yves Klein during the work on the Gelsenkirchen Opera, 1959.
International Klein Blue and the "Epoca blu"Yves Klein (1928-1962)• During the 1950s Klein develops the color, with the help of a chemist, called International Klein Blue (IKB).• IKB is outside the range of computer displays and is therefore very hard to see and represent accurately on a website or computer screen.• Made from pure color pigment and a binding medium.• He used this hue as a means of evoking the immateriality and boundlessness of his own particular utopian vision of the Synthetic ultramarine, similar to that used in IKB world. pigment. The formula for the pigment was first mixed by Klein in 1958.
Synthetic ultramarine, similar to that used in IKB pigment. The formula for the pigment was first mixed by Klein in 1958."First there is nothing, nextthere is a depth ofnothingness, then aprofundity of blue..." -Yves KleinYves Klein, Blue Monochrome, 1961. Dry pigment in synthetic polymer medium on cotton over plywood, 6’4 ⅞” x 4’ 7 ⅛” Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
International Klein Blue and the "Epoca blu”"Blue has no dimension, it is outsidedimension, while the other coloursdo have one. They are pre-psychological spaces... All thecolours bring associations ofconcrete ideas... while blue at themost brings to mind the sea and thesky, what is anyway most abstract intangible and visible nature". -Yves Klein Yves Klein, Monochrome bleu (Monochrome Blue) (IKB 3), 1960. Pure pigment and synthetic resin on canvas mounted on wood, 78” x 60”. Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
International Klein Blue and the "Epoca blu"Yves Klein (1928-1962)• Monochrome bleu was produced during Klein’s Blue Epoch period.• Like artists before him, Klein used monochromatic abstraction (painting an entire canvas one color) as a strategy to challenge conventional expectations of painting.• Historically, monochromatic paintings have been used to reduce painting to its most essential elements and provide the possibility for pure experience. Yves Klein, Monochrome bleu (Monochrome Blue) (IKB 3), 1960.• Klein likened monochrome painting Pure pigment and synthetic resin to an "open window to freedom.” on canvas mounted on wood, 78” x 60”. Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
International Klein Blue and the "Epoca blu" • Klein joins a list of artists including Malevich and Robert Rauschenberg in creating monochromatic canvases. Yves Klein, Monochrome bleu Robert (Monochrome Blue) (IKB Rauschenberg, White Black Square, Kazimir 3), 1960. Pure pigment and Painting, (Three Malevich, 1913. Oil on synthetic resin on canvas Panels), 1951. Oil oncanvas, 41 ¾” x 41 7/8”. The mounted on wood, 78” x 60”. canvas, 72” x 108” . State Tretyakov Museum of Modern Art, NYC. San Francisco Museum
International Klein Blue and the "Epoca blu"Yves Klein (1928-1962)• Monochrome bleu was first shown in a the Proposte Monochrome, Epoca Blu exhibition at Milan’s , Gallery Apollinaire in 1957. – The canvases were hung on 20 poles around the gallery and not on the wall (to increase spatial effect). – The show was a success and traveled to London, Paris, and Düsseldorf.• For Klein, the color represented unity, serenity, and “the supreme representation of the immaterial, the sovereign liberation of the spirit.”• Unlike Abstract Expressionism and gestural movements before it, Klein’s monochromatic paintings display no evidence of the artist’s hand. Yves Klein, Monochrome bleu• By pricing each monochrome differently, he (Monochrome Blue) (IKB 3), 1960. addresses the commodification of art Pure pigment and synthetic resin challenging the art world’s practice of putting on canvas mounted on wood, 78” x monetary value on the aesthetic experience. 60”. Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
Le Vide"Recently my work withcolor has led me, in spite ofmyself, to search little bylittle, with some assistance(from the observer, from thetranslator), for therealization of matter, and Ihave decided to end thebattle. My paintings are nowinvisible and I would like toshow them in a clear andpositive manner, in my nextParisian exhibition at IrisClerts.” Yves Klein, La spécialisation de la sensibilité à l’état matière première en sensibilité picturale stabilisée, Le -Yves Klein Vide (The Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State into Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility, The Void) or Le Vide (The Void) displayed at the Iris Clert Gallery, Paris, France, 1958.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Yves Klein (1928-1962)• When exhibited in 1958, Le Vide consisted of an empty gallery of naked walls.• Works like Le Vide bring a conceptualist element to Klein’s work and would influence future Conceptualist artists and works including Happenings and today’s contemporary version- Flash Mobs. Yves Klein, La spécialisation de la sensibilité à l’état matière première en – One can draw parallels to Klein’s sensibilité picturale stabilisée, Le Vide exhibition and that of Marcel (The Specialization of Sensibility in the Duchamp who barred the doors Raw Material State into Stabilized to his exhibition disallowing Pictorial Sensibility, The Void) or Le Vide gallery-goers from entering. (The Void) displayed at the Iris Clert Gallery, Paris, France, 1958.
Yves Klein, Le Saut dans le Vide (Leap into the Void), 1960. Photomontage by Harry Shunk of a performance by Yves Klein at Rue Gentil-Bernard, Fontenay-aux-Roses, October 1960.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Yves Klein (1928-1962)• Klein’s Leap into the Void published in 1960, testifies to the theatrical nature of Klein’s work.• Amongst many things, Klein was fixated with the possibility of flight and levitation.• That interest is the subject of his Leap into the Void, altered to look as if the event of Klein leaping into the air was real when in actuality there were martial arts experts assisting him holding a tarp to Yves Klein, Le Saut dans le Vide (Leap catch him. into the Void), 1960. Photomontage by Harry Shunk of a performance by Yves Klein at Rue Gentil- Bernard, Fontenay-aux-
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Yves Klein (1928-1962)• Klein is probably best known for a group of paintings called, The Anthropometries.• Conceived in 1960, The Anthropometries were paintings created after nude female models, referred to as “living brushes” applied IKB to their bodies and moved around the canvas, placed sometimes on the floor and sometimes on the wall, as per instructed by Klein.• Klein does not take part in the act of painting, he merely choreographs the act.• These paintings were performances and Klein would often invite an audience and provide an orchestra for the show.• The result, as seen to the right, is a Yves Klein, Anthropometries, 1960. stamp in IKB of the women’s bodies. IKB pigment on canvas applied like a stamp with the female body.
Still from Anthropometry performance, Kleins 1949 The Monotone Symphony (a single 20- minute sustained chord followed by a 20-minute silence).Yves Klein, Shroud Anthropometry 20, “Vampire,” c. 1960. Pigment on canvas, 43” x 30”. Private Collection.
Yves Klein, Anthropometries, 1960. IKB pigment on canvas applied like a stamp with the female body. Centre Pompisou.• His Anthropometries resemble prehistoric figures of the female form and interestingly, reinsert the figure into his paintings Venus of Lespugue. This picture is a replica of one dated c. 6,000 BCE. Ivory, 6.” Discovered, 1922.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Yves Klein (1928-1962)• Another method the artist used to create his paintings was to fire.• To realize these works, Klein covered the canvas with flame retardant material, sometimes added colored paint, and then took a torch to burn away at the surface. Yves Klein, Making of Fire Paintings at the testing plant of Gaz de France, La Plaine Saint- Denis, 1961.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Yves Klein (1928-1962)• Klein’s fire paintings, like his Anthropometries, had a performative element.• Ahead of his time, Klein was testing the boundaries of what would be accepted as art in the modern art world.• By turning his creative act into a performative space beyond Pollock’s canvas, he introduced the spectator into the act.• By introducing fire, he starts to deconstruct the necessity of pigment in the medium of painting. Yves Klein, Fire Painting, 1960. Flame burned into asbestos with pigment, dimensions unpublished.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970) • Klein’s fire paintings draw interesting parallel to Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning, 1953. Robert Rauschenberg, Erased de Kooning, 1953.Traces of ink and crayon on paper, with mount and Yves Klein, Fire Painting, 1960. Flame hand-lettered ink by Jasper Johns, 25.5” x 21.8” x burned into asbestos with 0.5”. San Francisco Museum of Art. pigment, dimensions unpublished.
Janine Antoni, Loving Care, 1992- 1994. Performance, US-London.• Klein’s Anthropometries have inspired numerous artists in their own investigation into the nature of art- its history, authenticity of the art object and artist, as well as the identity of the artist. Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, A Void, One out of 11 re-enactments,2007: Anthropometries of the Blue Period. Galerie Internationale Yves Klein, 1960, Dárte Contemporaine, Paris,.
Rachel Lachowicz, Red Not Blue, 1992. Documentation from performance, Los Angeles, CA. Photograph, 8” x 10”.
• Klein’s Anthropometries have even inspired high end advertisements.• Here the Gaultier ad references Klein’s “living brushes”. Jean-Paul Gaultier advertisement, c. 1999
“The machine allows me aboveanything ,to reach poetry.” -Jean TinguelyJean Tinguely, Homage to New York, 1960. Mixed media; self- destructing installation in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Jean Tinguely (1925-1994)• Tinguely is best known for his metamechanics, mechanized machines in the tradition of Dada.• These kinetic works were parodic commentary on American conformity, commodity, and consumerism.• Tinguely’s pieces were self-destructive and relied on “metamatics” or the allowance of chance and sound into his machines-sometimes to signal their demise or assist in the process or obliteration. Jean Tinguely, Homage to New• He introduced his metamechanic York, 1960. Mixed media; self- pieces in 1955, as part of the Nouveau destructing installation in the Réaliste objection to Abstract garden of the Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Jean Tinguely (1925-1994)• Homage to New York, the best known of his works, was to self-destruct before a live audience near New York’s Museum of Modern Art.• The machine was designed with refuse from the city and would begin to breakdown after some musical component was played. – The stunt did not go as planned, the work broke and caught on fire and needed to be put out with the help of the NYC Fire Department. Jean Tinguely, Homage to New – The piece did not behave as hoped but York, 1960. Mixed media; self- the final outcome was what the artist destructing installation in the ultimately intended-destruction. garden of the Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970) Niki de Saint-Phalle (1930-2002) • Exhibited with Nouveau Réalistes from 1961-1963. • Known for her “drip” paintings seen here. – The technique applied to create these works had the artist firing a gun at balloons filled with pigment and fixed to the canvas. – The bags would then “drip” paint onto the canvas creating her brand of drip paintings. • Her work, like her colleagues, was satirical commentary on the process of action painting and introduced a performative component to her process. Niki de Saint-Phalle, Shooting Picture, 1961.Plaster, paint, string, polythene, and wire on wood, 56 ¼” x 30 ¾”. Tate, London.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Niki de Saint-Phalle (1930-2002)• Saint-Phalle is best known for her iconic Nana sculptures.• Her figures are exaggerated forms of the female body decorated with bright colorful patterns.• She uses papier-mâché or plaster in their construction.• Nana has been duplicated countless times and the artist place one in each of the cities de Saint-Phalle, Black Venus, 1965- Niki she visits. 67. Painted polyester, 9’ 2 ¼” x 2’ 11” x 2’. Whitney Museum of Art, NY.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Niki de Saint-Phalle (1930-2002)• Her work, She, was a collaborative piece with partner Tinguely and Swedish sculptor Per-Olof Ultvedt• Originally exhibited in Stockholm in 1966, She has become a symbol for feminists worldwide and has earned Saint-Phalle a special position amongst feminist artists.• The work was a 82’ high installation and exhibition space. – Visitors entered her vagina from a ramp to see various installations.• Only the original head of the piece survives but the work was re-created for MoMA’s 2007 exhibition “Wack!” which focused on the Women’s Art Niki de Saint-Phalle, She-A Cathedral, 1966. Movement. Mixed-media sculpted environment, 20’ x 82’ x 30’. No longer extant.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Armand Fernández (1928-2005)Arman• Known for abandoning the paintbrush as brush and instead employing it as the painting itself.• Arman became known for his “accumulation” pieces-works that re-appropriate objects and place them within the function of art.• Mama Mia takes a smashed violin and places it on a wood panel, commentary against a wasteful society that takes Arman, Mama Mia, 1961. Collection of culture for granted. debris including wood, string, and metal, 36.6”x 26.4” x 4.7”.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Armand Fernández (1928-2005)Arman• His La Couleur de mon amour, 1966 takes paint tubes and inserts them into a clear female torso for display.• The tubes empty into the stomach and lower portion of the mannequin creating a colorful stream of paint. Arman, La Couleur de mon amour, 1966. Polyester with imbedded object, 35” x 12”. Collection Philippe Durand- Ruel, Paris.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Arman (1928-2005)• Arman took inspiration from German Dada artist, Kurt Schwitters in the creation of his poubelles, works that collect the waste of the community and turn it into art in an attack on the mindless consumerism of Americans.• Long-Term Parking not only comments on waste but looks for the beauty in Arman, Long-Term Parking, 1982. discarded materials. Collection 60 automobiles embedded in cement, 60’ x 20’ x 20’. Centre d’Art de Montcel Jouy-en-Josas, France.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Christo Vladimirov Javacheff (b.1935)• Although he was not an official member, Christo’s association with Nouveau Réalisme began in 1963• Prior to his association with the group Christo was known for his wrapped packages, a process he continues on large scale still today.• Christo shared Nouveau Réalisme’s interest in the everyday and the power to appropriate objects-he saw in recycled materials the ability for social transformation and aesthetic transcendence. Christo, Package, 1962. Mixed media with fabric and twine, 11.2 “ x 8 .5” x 3.7”. Collection unknown.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Christo (b.1935)• Christo first began wrapping commonplace objects in the late 1950s, early 1960s. – The items were usually something he found around the house or studio space.• Wrapped items include unidentifiable items like that in Package, a female, a Volkswagen Bug, and chair.• The process of wrapping or binding has mystical connotations in various cultures. – The binding of power, the preparation of Christo, Package, 1962. Mixed media something or someone being laid to rest. with fabric and twine, 11.2 “ x 8 .5” x 3.7”. Collection unknown.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)• His wrapped works eventually grew to large scale and include Wrapped Reichstag, 1971- 1995. Christo and Jean-Claude, Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-95.
Christo (b.1935)• Christo completely funds his projects through moneys made from selling the sketches, notes, and other ephemera from the creation of the piece.• The realization of each work is decades in the making as the artist makes applying for permit, court hearings, and community meetings a performative Christo, Wrapped Reichstag, Project for Berlin. aspect of the work. Drawing 1987 in two parts: Pencil, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon and map, 15" X 96" and 42" X 96”. Private
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Christo (b.1935) – 1958 Christo meets his future wife and collaborator, Jeanne- Claude, in Paris. • The two share a birthday. – Almost immediately, they began to collaborate on Christo’s large wrap projects. – It was not until 1994, however, that Jeanne- Claude’s name is attached retroactively to the installation pieces they created together. Portrait of Jeanne-Claude and Christo at The Gates, New York City 2005.
Nouveau Réalisme (1960-1970)Christo (b.1935)• Wall of Oil Barrels/ The Iron Curtain was created before Christo’s association with Nouveau Réalisme.• It is the first collaborative work created with his wife, Jeanne-Claude.• Both Christo and Jeanne-Claude claim the subject of their works is always and only aesthetic impact.• Still, works like Wall of Oil Barrels brings to mind the Hausmannization of Paris under Napolean III in effort to widen the streets, modernize Paris, and do away with the smaller streets that harbored revolutionaries. Christo, Wall of Oil Barrels/ The Iron• In addition, the possibilities of some Curtain, rue Visconti Paris, 27 June environmental 1962. Rolls of paper, oil statement, commentary on barrels, tarpaulin and rope. Duration: consumption, and access must be two weeks.Photograph by Jean- considered. Dominique Lajoux.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrap Projects Christo, Surrounded Islands, Project for Biscayne Bay, GreaterMiami, Florida, collage 1983. Ball-point Surrounded Islands, Biscayne pen, colored pencil, graphite, enamel Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83.paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz,and 6.5 million square feet of floating pink tape, on paper, 12 ½” x 13. Private fabric. Island perimeters extended a Collection. total of 200 feet.
Contemporary Projects-Realized Christo (b. 1935) andJeanne-Claude (1935-2009)• The Umbrellas was designed in vivid blue for the verdant environment of Japan and in bright yellow for arid southern California.• Structural components were the same: each umbrella stood more than 19 feet high, opened Christo, The Umbrellas, Joint Project for Japan and to a 28-foot diameter, and U.S.A., collage 1991, pastel, enamel weighed 448 pounds paint, graphite, colored pencil, wax crayon, aerial photograph with topographic contour map, technical data, and fabric sample, on two sheets of paperboard, in two parts: 30 ½” x 12 and 30 ½” x 26 ¼” overall: 30 ½” x 39 ¼”.
Contemporary Projects-Realized Christo, The Umbrellas, Joint Project for Japan and U.S.A., collage 1991, pastel, enamel paint, graphite, colored pencil, wax crayon, aerial photograph with topographic contourmap, technical data, and fabric sample, on two sheets of paperboard, in two parts: 30 ½” x 12 and 30 ½” x 26 ¼” overall: 30 ½” x 39 ¼”.
Christo, The Umbrellas, Joint Project for Japan and U.S.A., collage 1991, pastel, enamel paint, graphite, colored pencil, wax crayon, aerial photograph with topographic contourmap, technical data, and fabric sample, on two sheets of paperboard, in two parts: 30 ½” x 12 and 30 ½” x 26 ¼” overall: 30 ½” x 39 ¼”.
Contemporary Projects-RealizedChristo (b. 1935) and Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009)• One of their more recent projects was The Gates in Manhattan’s Central Park.• The Gates lines 23 miles of pedestrian paths from Feb. 12 to 27, 2005.• The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005. 7,503 vinyl gates, with free-flowing nylon fabric panels, anchored to 15,006 steel bases.• Duration: 16 days.• Viewers were given a swatch of material from the gates if they asked questions from the guides; the Christo and Jeanne-Claude, The Gates, 2005. material, like all their work, was Metal, synthetic materials, concrete, Central environmentally responsible. Park, NYC.
Contemporary Projects-RealizedChristo (b. 1935) and Jeanne-Claude(1935-2009)• The Gates was conceived in the 1970s and took approximately 20 years to realize.• The project cost $21 million and was funded entirely by Christo and Jeanne-Claude through selling sketches like this one to the right that chronicle the piece from inception to realization. Christo, Ten Thousand Gates, (Project), 1979. Pencil, charcoal, pastel, and tape, 11” x
Works In Progress• Future works include Mastaba and The River.Christo, Mastaba (Project for the United Arab Christo, The River, 1992. Emirates), 1977. Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, ballpoint Pencil, wax pen and cardboard, 14” x 11”. crayon, charcoal, and Collection of the artist.
1960s Italian Conceptual Art: Arte Nucleare Piero Manzoni (1933-1963) • Foundation for much of 1960s and 1970s Conceptualist art. • Klein’s Proposte Monochrome, Epoca Blu exhibition at Milan’s , Gallery Apollinaire in 1957 was a particular influence on the artist’s future work. • Along with the other members of the Nuclear Group, Manzoni rejected personal style and like his Futurist predecessors, desired some Piero Manzoni, Achrome, 1959. Kaolin on pleated canvas, 55 extreme acts to propel humanity 1/8” x 47 ¼”. Musée National into the postnuclear age. d’Art, Moderne, Centre d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou.
1960s Italian Conceptual Art: Arte Nucleare Piero Manzoni (1933-1963) • Manzoni’s Achrome paintings were conceived after seeing Klein’s monochromatic paintings. • The achrome paintings are devoid of imagery and include a neutral canvas. • The paintings vary in size and media. • Some, like Achrome (1959) recall the work of Spatialist artist, Lucio Piero Manzoni, Achrome, 1959. Fontana. Kaolin on pleated canvas, 55 1/8” x 47 ¼”. Musée National d’Art, Moderne, Centre d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou.
1960s Italian Conceptual Art: Arte Nucleare Piero Manzoni (1933-1963) • Italian artist heavily influenced by the Dada work of Marcel Duchamp but difficult to place into any one style. • His work, like Nouveau Réalistes incorporates humor, parody, and sarcasm. • It attacks the commodification of art and the consumerism of modern culture. • His art emphasized the conceptual-the importance of the artist and artistic act. • Artist’s Breath addresses the Piero Manzoni, Artist’s Renaissance and Romantic tradition of Breath, 1960. Balloon, wood, and the artist as genius. lead seals, 1.38” x 7” x 7.3”. Tate, London.
• Manzoni’s play on the Romantic notion of the artist as genius extended to his exploration of the artist’s waste.• In a Duchampian inspired act, Manzoni canned his shit and sold it by weight. – An act exclaiming that even the artist’s shit has cultural and economic value.(Left) Piero Manzoni, Merda d’artista, c. 1961. The artist pictured holding one of his cans of shit “made” 1961. (Right) One of the cans of shit produced by the artist. Each can weighs 30 grams with priced being determined by weight of contents and the current value of gold. The cans were numbered from 1-90. This one may be “#2.”
• Inspired by Klein’s “living brushes” Manzoni created “living sculptures” by signing men and women alike, documenting it with paperwork, and recording it on film. – Some of these “living sculptures” are still alive today. Yves Klein with a young woman from his Piero Manzoni signing one of his Living Anthropometries series, c. 1960. Sculptures, 1960.