It was inevitable that Michelangelo Pistoletto, heir to a local family and deeply attached to his birthplace, would choose Biella as the home of the contemporary art foundation that bears his name.
Born in 1933, master of 'poor art' and author of 20th-century icons such as the 'Venus of rags' and the 'Quadri-specchianti', Pistoletto bought the whitewashed building of an abandoned factory in the centre of Biella, on the banks of the Cervo Stream, back in 1991. The intention was to transform a structure of industrial archaeology into a centre of art and education, open to the lively stimuli of contemporary society and the changing world.
Several investments and renovations later, what was once the headquarters of the Trombetta wool mill has since 1998 been the Cittadellarte - Pistoletto Foundation, an essential stop on a cultural trip to Biella. As the name of the foundation indicates, the project revolves around art, and the many works of Michelangelo Pistoletto's fellow artists, such as Penone and Merz, Luciano Fabro and Salvo, to name but a few, are there to prove it.
At the Cittadellarte we also talk a lot about ecology, fashion, communication, as well as wellbeing. The experience at the Cultural Spa is intriguing, on an inspiring journey to reactivate 'the atrophied muscle of sensitivity', the muscle for art and sustainability, thanks to treatments, the properties of water and art itself.