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Professor Tenley Bick to Speak at Bibliotheca Hertziana Max Planck Institute in Rome, June 6

Published May 18, 2019

Capping off a busy year of publications and talks, Dr. Tenley Bick has been invited to speak at the Bibliotheca Hertziana at the Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome on June 6. She will present research from her book project on Pistoletto as part of the Hertziana’s “Rome Contemporary” Research Initiative and research seminar series. The lecture will be livestreamed here at 8 am EST.

Dr Tenley Bick

For more on the lecture and research seminar, see below or visit Bibliotheca Hertziana:

April, 1966: For his first solo museum exhibition and American solo debut, Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto exhibited his collaged, highly polished, steel quadri specchianti(mirror paintings) at the Walker Art Center. The final gallery staged a departure: It was filled with new works with figures sourced from photographs taken by fellow artist Renato Rinaldi of anti-war and labor protests, political rallies, and other demonstrations then taking place in Italy. This seminar re-examines Pistoletto’s exploration of figuration in the mirror paintings through investigation of the understudied Comizi(Rallies) and related works. This talk situates them as the site of two parallel shifts in Pistoletto’s practice: first, a move from a directorial model of authorship to a selective, editorial one; and second, a turn away from universally mundane, everyday imagery to political (and politicized) imagery united by anti-capitalist sentiment. By examining these images’ figural navigation of Italian labor politics and the cultural geopolitics of the transatlantic artistic context of the early Cold War, this talk finds these works consolidate a new model of political figuration in the Sixties, repositioning our understanding of the mirror paintings and the history of postwar figuration in Italian and European art.