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Mike Bidlo (American, b.1953)
Not Manzoni (Impronte, 1960)
2015
Offset lithograph
Edition of 60
Signed, dated and numbered in pencil
Sheet: 20 x 14 inches (50.8 x 35.5 cm)
$1,800

Offset lithograph printed in black, a fine, fresh impression of the only state, the full sheet, printed on 300gsm cream white smooth 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 [WHE] 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 fingerprints, are in actuality Mike Bidlo’s own fingerprints.  As opposed to Bidlo appropriating Manzoni’s fingerprints, Bidlo has appropriated Manzoni’s concept (and format), thus begging the question: Is the observer simply viewing the work, taking for granted they are Manzoni’s fingerprints 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 fingerprints in the same format, Bidlo has wryly made it his own artistic postulation.

Exhibited:

Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Recent Acquisitions: Works on Paper, 15 September 2016 - 16 April 2017.

Literature:

Erdos, Elleree.  "Imitation Games: Mike Bidlo and Piero Manzoni", article in Art in Print magazine, Volume 5, Number 4, November - December 2015, p.26, illustrated (another example).  Also follow the link here.

Notes:

An example from this edition is in the following collections:
 
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts
 
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota