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Best Most Sensational Balloons: Piero Manzoni’s Corpo d’aria/Fiato d’artista


In 1959 the Italian artist Piero Manzoni introduced, with great expectations, his pneumatic sculpture kit Corpo d’aria. Despite their initial muted reception, they are in retrospect the most important works in the artist’s oeuvre. The kits are the first realization of the artist’s larger ambitions and would define all subsequent projects by the artist. The Corpi d’aria are also revealed to be a powerful and critique of the postwar vanguard’s desire to undo art’s autonomy and transcendence while simultaneously maintaining the artistic privilege that extended from these claims.

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