Wolf Prize Laureate in Arts 2006/7
“for his constantly inventive career as an artist, educator and activist, whose restless intelligence has created prescient forms of art that contribute to fresh understanding of the world”.
Michelangelo Pistoletto (born in 1933 in Biella, Italy) has pursued an extraordinarily rich and varied career, and has a significant list of major achievements to his credit. His art developed from painting to photo-silk screening of life-size images of people on reflective steel, creating environments, performances, film and video art, sculpture with everyday materials, and establishing a system for communication between art and every other human activity.
Retrospectives of Pistoletto’s art have been exhibited at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice (1976), the Palacio de Cristal, Madrid (1983), the Forte di Belvedere, Florence (1984), the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome (1990), and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (2000). His work has been featured at leading international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1966, 1976, 1978, 1984, 1986, and 1993) and Documenta, in Kassel (1968, 1982, 1992, and 1997). In 1994, Pistoletto announced the creation of the Progetto Arte, aimed at uniting the diverse strands of human civilization through art. To further this goal, in 1998, he established the Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto- a center for the study and promotion of creative projects- in Biella.
Writing on the value of art and on his purpose in founding this innovative educational centre, Pistoletto asserted that: “Artists have a unique and totally free way of understanding and analyzing society, and consequently of being engaged with it. Cittadellarte firmly believes that art can interact among all the diverse spheres of human activity that form society, and is thereby a generator for responsible transformation of society.”
The jurors have awarded Pistoletto the Wolf Foundation Prize, on the basis of his long and highly committed career and his ongoing ability to come up with new possibilities and to encourage the application of imagination to artistic and social change.