Michelangelo Pistoletto is widely recognised as one of the most influential contemporary artists of his generation and a leading proponent of the Arte Povera movement. Since the 1960s his work has followed two profoundly linked paths, a body of conceptual sculpture grounded in the tenets of Arte Povera and an ongoing series of Mirror Paintings, comprising figurative, graphic or sculptural images applied to the surface of polished stainless steel. Representing his dual interest in conceptualism and figurative representation, together these bodies of work have earned Pistoletto enduring international recognition.
Alongside this practice, Pistoletto is the founder of the Cittadellarte in Biella, an interdisciplinary laboratory that promotes the use of art to foster social change. Its primary mission is centred upon The Third Paradise, conceived in 2003 as the promise of a future realm in which nature and society will coexist in harmony.