Date 1958
Medium Plaster on canvas
Dimensions 80 x 60 cm
Inventory ID UID 102-355
In 1956 Piero Manzoni stopped painting landscapes and developed a theatrical work around what he initially called Pittura organica (organic painting). The Achromes, in the sequence of his pursuits, is a series begun in 1957. Its principle involves working with ‘pure materials’. Manzoni used kaolin and initially painted the frame with glue. The white he used, the absence of colour, is defined by the title of the work. Its application consisted of soaking the textile, which congealed on the canvas, following its natural movement. The Achromes are nothing but noncolour, tangible and tactile material, the complete opposite of Yves Klein’s monochromes from which Manzoni departed. In a published text, ‘Free dimension’, Manzoni wrote that in this way, ‘the material becomes a pure energy’. ‘Why not search to discover the unlimited direction of a total space, of a pure and absolute light?’ He later became connected with the Zero group and created the controversial series of ninety tins, each containing thirty grams of ‘artist’s shit’. Germano Celant established that this was a parallel with Pasolini, who also used faeces in his films, from Accatone to Salo. J-FC