|The Andy Warhol Museum announces Paola Pivi: I Want It All, on view April 22 – August 15, 2022.
Celebrated today for her provocative eccentricity, Paola Pivi’s artistic production is full of odd encounters and whimsical moments. From animals in strange habitats, to an 18-wheeler truck positioned on its side, to gushing fountains of juice, ink, syrup and espresso, the artist asks the public to reconsider the manipulation of the natural world around us. Pivi’s diverse practice, spanning documented performance, design, sculpture, video, photography and large-scale installation, has, over the last two decades, often manifested itself through industrial materials or wildlife arranged in new incarnations and pop cultural representations.
The Italian-born artist, now based in Alaska, wields a practice that trespasses perceived limits to make probable what before seemed impossible. For example, the series Yee-haw (2015) began with an essentially straightforward concept: releasing trained stunt horses on the Eiffel Tower. A simple idea yet complicated in execution, Pivi aligned the equines and monument in beastly matrimony. Her images of this surreal and unlikely spectacle find the horses transformed, blending and clashing with the iconic architecture, illuminated by a Parisian sunrise.
I Want It All embraces Pivi’s penchant for physical and visual excess. The exhibition, titled by frequent collaborator and songwriter Karma Culture Brothers, will include photo and video documentation of Pivi’s ambitious performances as well as expansive site-specific installations. Dozens of playful sculptures of baby polar bears covered in colorful plumage will take over The Warhol’s special exhibition gallery, displaying human mannerisms and imbued with innocent curiosity. In addition, new soft sculptures produced in collaboration with More-So, a division of Italian design company Moroso, will debut and encourage interaction from the public.
Responding to Andy Warhol’s legacy, Pivi is organizing a new commission with The Warhol. An installation will be made from 250 pairs of shoes, of which 125 pairs will remain pristine and unworn, while the other 125, identical matches to the first batch, will be heavily worn. When the exhibition opens in 2022, all the footwear will be secured to the wall like trophies, emphasizing the performative labor and the daily life from each individual from the past year. Pivi adds, “I am particularly excited about working with shoes. It brings me back to Andy’s fascination for shoes and for people. He always had an intimate connection with the others he surrounded himself with, as if highlighting who they were and what they did, in a way that, in my perception, was voluptuous. In the same way, the individually worn shoes will be displayed collectively and I will add the unworn identical shoes, as a flashback, to what it was before, and to what would have been without the lifecycle of each individual participant.”
Pivi’s exploration of nature and, in many cases, its manipulation by humans for beauty, function or profit is timely and relevant, as mankind continues to impact the Anthropocene. At the same time, the joy infused in her work will also trigger feelings of delight, as our global community continues to navigate through and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Opening on Earth Day, (April 22, 2022), the exhibition will also include a series of related programming including a book launch and an ornithology fieldtrip with scientist Nick Liadis.
“I’m thrilled the museum has an opportunity to work with such an internationally acclaimed artist like Paola Pivi,” said José Carlos Diaz, chief curator. “I think that her creativity and curiosity responds to everyday life and adds a touch of magic to it.”
Born in Italy in 1971, Pivi studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan. She has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including 25,000 Covid Jokes (It’s not a joke), Chapelle du Centre de la Vielle Charité, France (2021); We are the Alaskan tourists, Arken Museum, Denmark (2020); World Record, MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Italy; Art with a view, The Bass Museum, Miami Beach (2018); I did it again, Savannah College of Art and Design (2018); I am tired of eating fish, LaRinascente, Italy (2017); Ma’am, Dallas Contemporary (2016); Tulkus 1880 to 2018, FRAC Bourgogne, France (2014); You started it … I finish it, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia (2014); Share, but it’s not fair, Rockbund Art Museum, China (2012); How I Roll, Public Art Fund New York (2012); It’s a cocktail party, Portikus, Germany (2008); It just keeps getting better, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2007); My religion is kindness. Thank you, see you in the future, Fondazione Trussardi, Italy (2006).
Pivi has exhibited internationally at institutions including Palais de Tokyo, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Centre Pompidou, France; Fondazione Prada, Biennale di Venezia, Italy; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Germany; Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Modern, United Kingdom; Malmö Konsthall, Sweden; MOMA PS1, New York; and the Yokohama Triennale, Japan.
The exhibition coincides with the upcoming publication Paola Pivi, edited by Justine Ludwig, executive director of Creative Time, published by Phaidon in association with The Andy Warhol Museum; Anchorage Museum, Alaska; The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach; [mac] musée d’art contemporain de Marseille; and MAXXI Museo Nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome. The monograph, the most extensive to this date on the artist’s work, features more than 250 images, including previously unpublished work, together with five newly commissioned essays giving insight and perspective on her diverse body of work.
Paola Pivi: I Want It All is organized by José Carlos Diaz, chief curator at The Warhol.
Paola Pivi: I Want It All is generously supported by The Fine Foundation. Special thank you to Moroso and Perrotin, New York.