Not Manzoni (Impronte pollice sinistro, 1960)
Offset lithograph printed in black, a fine, fresh impression of the only state, the full sheet, printed on 300gsm cream white Fabriano Artistico paper, with margins, hand-singed, dated and numbered in pencil by the artist, executed in an edition of 60 examples (there are also 5 numbered Artist Proofs, 5 numbered World House Editions Proofs and 1 BAT proof) printed by Anna-Marie Settine at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York, published by World House Editions, Middlebury, Connecticut, in fine condition, unframed.
In the present work, Mike Bidlo has looked to the Italian conceptual artist Piero Manzoni (1933-1963) and his 1962 print portfolio, 8 Tavole di accertamento (8 Tables of assessment), as a source of inspiration. Bidlo has taken the concept of appropriation and has added a twist, for what clearly appears to be Manzoni’s left thumbprint, is in actuality Mike Bidlo’s own thumbprint. As opposed to Bidlo appropriating Manzoni’s thumbprint, Bidlo has appropriated Manzoni’s concept (and format), thus begging the question: Is the observer simply viewing the work, taking for granted it is Manzoni’s thumbprint appropriated by Bidlo, or is the viewer actually looking at it? For Manzoni, the fingerprint was the most minimal physical trace of the artist imaginable – one that symbolized the unmistakable identity of the individual and the artist. Mike Bidlo has borrowed Manzoni’s concept of raising his fingerprint image to the level of art through the printing process but by utilizing his own fingerprint in the same format, Bidlo has wryly made it his own artistic postulation.
Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Recent Acquisitions: Works on Paper, 15 September 2016 – 16 April 2017.
Erdos, Elleree. “Imitation Games: Mike Bidlo and Piero Manzoni“, article in Art in Print magazine, Volume 5, Number 4, November – December 2015, illustrated on the front cover and p.27 (another example). Also follow the link here.
An example from this edition is in the following collections:
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota