Michelangelo Pistoletto was born in Biella in 1933. His artistic training began in the studio of his father, a painter, and restorer, where he went to work at the age of fourteen. He subsequently attended Armando Testa’s advertising design school. In 1955 he began to exhibit the results of the inquiry into self-portraiture that characterized his painting in the late fifties. In 1962 he perfected the technique of his Mirror Paintings: he produced an image on tissue paper by enlarging a photograph to life-size, painting it with the tip of a brush, then affixed it onto a sheet of mirror-finished stainless steel (after 1971 the painted tissue was replaced by a silkscreen of the photographic image).
Main solo exhibitions in museums: 1966, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; 1967, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; 1969, Boymans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam; 1973, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover; 1974, Matildenhohe, Darmstadt; 1976, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia; 1978, Nationalgalerie, Berlin; 1979, Rice Demenil Museum, Houston; 1983, Palacio de Cristal, Madrid; 1984, Forte di Belvedere, Firenze; 1988, P.S.1, New York; Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden Baden; 1989, Kunsthalle, Bern; Secession, Vienna; 1990, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome; 1991, Museet for Samditkunst, Oslo; 1993, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; 1994, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; 1995, Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Wien; 1996, Lenbachhaus, Munich; 1997, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato; 1999, MMAO, Oxford; Henry Moore Foundation, Halifax; Galerie Taxispalais, Innsbruck; 2000: GAM, Turin; MACBA, Barcelona; 2001: Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon; Contemporary Museum of Bosnia, Sarajevo; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; 2003, MuHKA, Antwerp; 2005, Galleria Civica, Modena; 2007, MAMAC, Nice; NCCA, Mosca; 2010: MARCA, Catanzaro; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; 2011: MAXXI, Roma; 2012: Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz; 2013: Musée du Louvre, Paris. He has participated twelve times in the Venice Biennale (1966, 1968, 1976, 1978, 1984, 1986, 1993, 1995, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011) and four times in Documenta, Kassel (1968, 1982, 1992 and 1997).