A precusor to conceptual art, Manzoni's monochrome paintings used everyday objects such as keys and scissors to apply paint. These painting he called 'Achromes', an ironic critique upon the nature of the valued art object. Active in the 60s, as Italy came to terms with a new post war economic and material order, Manzoni's works turned to these very materials in order to describe universal themes and mythologies. In this he was closely aligned with Arte Povera artists in their attack against the established institutions of government, industry and culture.
Manzoni is also well known for his sense of humour and wit, with his cans of Artist's Shit (1961) and Artist's Breath (1960) valued at their equivalent weight in gold. His work is represented in many collections around the world including MoMA, New York; the Tate Modern, London; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
The two Piero Manzoni shows on view at Hauser & Wirth, Materials of His Time and Lines, inevitably bring to mind the ample exhibition Gagosian staged a decade ago.
This extraordinary display is the largest exhibition of Nari Ward’s found object sculptures and installations to date, including works from the 1990s to today and also including supporting photography, video, and collage. Together this mid-career show discusses themes including African-American history and culture, the dynamics of power, the...