Michelangelo Pistoletto began to exhibit his work in 1955. An inquiry into self-portraiture characterizes his early work. In the two-year period 1961-1962 made the first Mirror Paintings, which directly include the viewer and real time in the work, and open up perspective, reversing the Renaissance perspective that had been closed by the twentieth century avant-gardes. These works quickly brought Pistoletto international acclaim, leading, in the sixties, to one-man shows in important galleries and museums in Europe and the United States. The Mirror Paintings are the foundation of his subsequent artistic output and theoretical thought. In 1965 and 1966 he produced a set of works entitled “Minus Objects”, considered fundamental to the birth of Arte Povera, an art movement of which Pistoletto was an animating force and a protagonist. In 1978, in a show in Turin, Pistoletto defined two main directions his future artwork would take: “Division and Multiplication of the Mirror” and “Art Takes On Religion”.
In 2003, he won the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifelong Achievement. In 2007, in Jerusalem, he received the Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts, “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.” In 2013 the Louvre in Paris hosted his personal exhibition “Michelangelo Pistoletto, année un - le paradis sur terre”. In this same year, he received the Praemium Imperiale for painting, in Tokyo. In 2016, he exhibited his works in Havana, Cuba, at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, with a great retrospective Exhibition. In 2017 the artist participates at the collateral event of 57 Venice Biennial with the exhibition “One and One makes Three” at the San Giorgio Maggiore abbey complex in Venice. In 2018, Tang Contemporary Art Hong Kong is going to bring his solo exhibition “Respect” that will be his first major appearance in Asia.