Michelangelo PistolettoVenus of the Rags 1967,1974

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Artwork details

Venus of the Rags
Venere degli stracci
Date 1967,1974
MediumMarble and textiles
Dimensionsdisplayed: 2120 x 3400 x 1100 mm
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from Tate International Council 2006
Not on display


Venus of the Rags juxtaposes an over-life sized classical statue of the Roman goddess of love, beauty and fertility, with a large pile of brightly coloured, discarded clothes that are heaped on the floor. The Venus statue is positioned with its back to the viewer. The figure’s face and body press lightly against the pile of fabrics that rises up before it, so that the front of the statue is hidden.

Pistoletto has made several versions of Venus of the Rags. In the first (Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, reproduced in Christov-Bakargiev, p.157), shown in 1967, he used a concrete or cement Venus, which he had purchased from a garden centre and covered with a layer of mica to create a glittering surface. He made three further versions in the same year using plaster casts of this original Venus statue. These works are housed in the De Bennardi Collection, Naples, a private collection in Germany, and the Giuliana and Tommaso Setari Collection, Milan (on long term loan to the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin)… (read more)

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