Piero Manzoni Italy, 1933-1963
Piero Manzoni (b. 1933, Soncino, Italy; d. 1963, Milan Italy) was born into a family of royal extraction and his full name was Count Meroni Manzoni di Chiosca e Poggiolo. Manzoni was a self-taught artist and had his first exhibition at the Castello di Soncino in 1956, inspired by the Milanese efforts of the Nuclear Group, specifically Enrico Baj. His practice is deeply steeped in the Duchampian tradition and was greatly influenced by Yves Klein’s blue monochromes he first saw in Milan in 1957. From 1957 to 1959, Manzoni produced Achromes, essentially colorless works, made with a variety of materials encased in kaolin, a type of white clay.In 1959, with artist Enrico Castellani, he founded the Galleria Azimuth, where they produced a series of radical multiples. In 1961, he notoriously produced Artist's Shit (Merda d'Artista), an edition of 90 small cans. He prematurely died of a heart attack in 1963, at 29 years old.