Among the largest and oldest art museums in the US, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a pilgrimage site for modern and contemporary art professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world, due in part to its extensive holdings of the work of Marcel Duchamp, as well as its Constantin Brancusi sculptures. Through innovative exhibitions and programs, the museum has stayed true to its roots as a teaching institution and to the belief that the arts can positively transform society.
This multifaceted exhibition, co-organized with Rome's MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts, was devoted to the art of Michelangelo Pistoletto, founder of the Arte Povera movement and one of the most influential living European artists. Curated by Carlos Basualdo and featuring over 100 works with a heavy emphasis on the artist's career-long engagement with "Quadri specchianti" (mirroring paintings), it was the first focused survey of his art in the United States in over two decades. A 420-page, multi-author catalog—wrapped in a silver-foil cover—accompanied the exhibition.
A separate but complementary exhibition, Michelangelo Pistoletto: Cittadelarte, gave visibility to a center the artist founded for the study and promotion of creative activities in his hometown of Biella, Italy. The Philadelphia Museum of Art created its own version of Cittadellarte in its Perelman Building, emulating its practices through a series of performances, lectures, and workshops.