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Paola Pivi
Untitled (zebras)

December 3, 2012 – January 2, 2013
Billboard next to the High Line at 18th Street and 10th Avenue

One of Italy’s most eccentric artists, Paola Pivi has built her artistic practice on absurd projects and apparently impossible ventures carried out with the serious devotion of a scientist and the creative freedom of an unstoppable explorer. Through strategies of displacement and juxtaposition, Pivi has created a parallel universe in which categories, rules, and expectations are constantly subverted and re-invented. In various series of photographs and performances, Pivi has worked with animals to create dreamlike landscapes and fairy tale scenarios, in which disbelief is suspended and reality transformed into a hallucination.

For the High Line, Pivi presents one of her most iconic images, two zebras portrayed on a snowy mountaintop, standing under a deep blue, cloudless sky. This odd tableau questions the viewer’s notion of what is real and what is fake, while at the same time evoking the absolute freedom of making a foolish idea real. Unlike typical advertisements created with computer technology, Pivi’s photographs are all rigorously shot from life: each of her unconventional images is always carefully planned, staged, and photographed in real life.

Photos by Austin Kennedy.

Paola Pivi

Paola Pivi (b. 1971, Italy) lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska. Recent solo exhibitions include Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Torino, Italy (2012 and 2000); Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2012); Public Art Fund, New York (2012); Sculpture International Rotterdam, Rotterdam (2010); Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris (2010); Massimo De Carlo Gallery, Milan (2008); Portikus, Frankfurt (2008); Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2007); Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan (2006); and Wrong Gallery, Frieze Art Fair, London (2005). Major group exhibitions include Stazione Leopolda, Florence (2011); Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt (2011); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2010); Tate Modern, London (2009); Deitch Projects, New York (2009); 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2008); MoMA PS 1, New York (2007); Kontracom06, Salzburg (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2005); Hayward Gallery, London (2005); Manifesta 5, San Sebastian (2004); Venice Bienniale, Venice (2003 and 1999); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2002); and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2001).


High Line Art is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art is supported by Vital Projects Fund, Inc., and, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. In-kind support provided by Maharam.

Space for High Line Billboard is donated by

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