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Michelangelo Pistoletto: Cittadellarte
November 2, 2010 - January 17, 2011
Mar Mediterraneo (Mediterranean Sea)
Tavolo Mediterraneo Love Difference (Mediterranean Table Love Difference), 2005, by Michelangelo Pistoletto (Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy) © Michelangelo Pistoletto
Michelangelo Pistoletto: Cittadellarte
November 2, 2010 - January 17, 2011
Michelangelo Pistoletto (Italian, born 1933) is widely recognized in Europe as one of its most influential contemporary artists and is increasingly gaining recognition in the United States. This exhibition presents the artist’s current work from his interdisciplinary laboratory, Cittadellarte—the name of which implies both a fortified enclave and a city of art. Cittadellarte was founded by Pistoletto in his hometown of Biella, Italy (near Turin) in 1998. There, he developed an institution structured around several autonomous and self-organized offices geared toward a multiplicity of topics such as art, economics, education, politics, ecology, and communication. Indebted to his participatory work of the mid- to late 1960s, Cittadellarte places at the core of these diverse offices and activities Pistoletto’s firm commitment to an “art [that is] at the center of a responsible process of transformation of society.”

Examples of Pistoletto’s tables in the shapes of seas from across the globe will be on view. These “mediterranean” tables metaphorically represent the spaces that exist in the “middle of land,” places whose in-between character provides a conceptual platform for conversation and exchange across cultures. The Museum will also offer a series of performances, lectures, and workshops that highlight three central concerns of the artistic center: Love Difference, the Caribbean as a “mediterranean” sea, and Sustainability. Michelangelo Pistoletto: Cittadellarte is being held in conjunction with Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956–1974, the artist’s first focused survey in the U.S. in more than two decades.


The exhibition was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and MAXXI---Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome.


The exhibition is made possible by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, and by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions. Additional support is provided by Galleria Lia Rumma, Le Méridien Hotels, and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Le Moulin; by Christie’s, Luhring Augustine, Galleria Christian Stein, and Simon Lee Gallery; by Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, Lynne and Harold Honickman, Jane and Leonard Korman, Harriet and Larry Weiss, and Sankey and Connie Williams; and by the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, and Jaimie and David Field.

The catalogue is made possible by illycaffè and The Andrew W. Mellon Fund for Scholarly Publications.

Community Partners

Cittadellarte programs in Philadelphia were developed by the Museum’s Division of Education in collaboration with Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy. The Museum thanks the following schools and community partners for their invaluable participation: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University (Photography Program), Art Sanctuary, basekamp, Big Picture Alliance, Cinema Studies Program at University of Pennsylvania, Curtis Institute of Music, Delphi After School Art Club* (General John F. Reynolds School, General Louis Wagner Middle School, Martha Washington School, Potter-Thomas School, Russell Byers Charter School, and Thomas K. Finletter School), Esperanza Academy Charter High School, First Person Arts, Museum Council of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, Philadelphia Center for the Book, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Philly Stake, Relâche, Slought Foundation, Spiral Q Puppet Theater, Taller Puertorriqueño, and Tyler School of Art, Temple University (Interdisciplinary Seminar).

* The Delphi After School Art Club at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is supported by Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company and The Delphi Project Foundation.

In partnership with The SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management and The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Museum of Art hosted a symposium, "Creative Approaches to Sustainable Development," on November 3–4, 2010. This interdisciplinary conference, inspired by and held in conjunction with Pistoletto: Cittadellarte, examined the convergence of creativity and sustainability across many sectors, and featured a diverse and accomplished group of speakers. All of the sessions were videotaped and can be viewed in their entirety or as brief summaries of the highlights. View Videos >>


Carlos Basualdo • The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Curator of Contemporary Art


Gallery 176, first floor