Piero Manzoni


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(b Soncino, nr. Milan, 13 July 1933; d Milan, 6 Feb. 1963).

Italian experimental artist. Until 1956 he painted in a traditional style (mainly landscapes), but he then turned to avant-garde work. In 1957 he began to produce Achromes, textured white paintings influenced by Burri and also Klein (whom he met in 1957), and from 1959 he devised a series of provocative works and gestures that included signing people's bodies and designating them works of art, a block on which is inscribed upside down ‘The base of the world’ (1961, Herning Park, Denmark), and cans of his own excrement. He is regarded as one of the forerunners of Arte Povera and Conceptual art. His early death was caused by cirrhosis.

Subjects: Art.

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