Michelangelo Pistoletto (Biella) was born in Biella in 1933. He began to exhibit his work in 1955 and in 1960 he had his first solo show at Galleria Galatea in Turin. An inquiry into self-portraiture characterizes his early work. In the two-year period 1961-1962 made the first Mirror Paintings, which directly include the viewer and real time in the work, and open up perspective, reversing the Renaissance perspective that had been closed by the twentieth-century avant-gardes. These works quickly brought Pistoletto international acclaim, leading, in the sixties, to one-man shows in important galleries and museums in Europe and the United States. The Mirror Paintings are the foundation of his subsequent artistic output and theoretical thought.
In 1965 and 1966 he produced a set of works entitled Minus Objects, considered fundamental to the birth of Arte Povera, an art movement of which Pistoletto was an animating force and a protagonist. In 1967 he began to work outside traditional exhibition spaces, with the first instances of that “creative collaboration” he developed over the following decades by bringing together artists from different disciplines and diverse sectors of society. During the nineties, with Project Art and with the creation in Biella of Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto and the University of Ideas, he brought art into active relation with diverse spheres of society with the aim of inspiring and producing responsible social change.
Laura Raicovich is President and Executive Director of the Queens Museum. An advocate of art as a tool for social change, Raicovich oversees an inviting and vital commons for art, ideas, and civic engagement in a stunning and newly expanded building located in the one of the largest parks in New York City. She is responsible for an ambitious scope of projects, events, and public programs that together reflect the diversity of the borough, public life, and the museum's commitment to celebrating difference and multiplicity.
Prior to Queens Museum, Raicovich inaugurated Creative Time’s Global Initiatives, served as deputy director of Dia Art Foundation, and worked at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Public Art Fund, and New York's Department of Parks and Recreation. Raicovich lectures internationally and edited "Assuming Agency: Boycott, Resistance, and Cultural Agency," with Carin Kuoni and Kareem Estefan (OR Books, 2017). She is also the author of "At the Lightning Field" (Coffee House Press, 2017) and "A Diary of Mysterious Difficulties" (Publication Studio, 2014).
Hans-Ulrich Obrist is an art curator, critic and historian of art. He is Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Obrist is the author of The Interview Project, an extensive ongoing project of interviews.
Francesco Manacorda was former artistic director of the Tate Liverpool gallery has joined 2016 the Moscow's V-A-C Foundation. Manacorda brought solo exhibitions to the Tate Liverpool by contemporary artists that included Nasreen Mohamedi and Piet Mondrian, Maria Lassnig, Francis Bacon, Ella Kruglyaskaya and many others. He was co-curator of the 2016 Liverpool Biennial and has worked on acclaimed exhibitions including Radical Nature—Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969-2009 (2009) at the Barbican in London. In 2007 he curated the Slovenian Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale and in 2009 the New Zealand Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale.
Charles Esche (Amsterdam), chairmen 2013 Visible Jury, is a curator and writer. Since 2004, he has been Director of the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands. He lives in Edinburgh and Amsterdam. He is co-founder and co-editor of Afterall Journal and Afterall Books with Mark Lewis. Afterall is a contemporary art publisher which was first launched in 1998 and is based at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. It publishes a journal and the Exhibition Histories and One Work of Art series. Afterall also produces occasional readers such as Art and Social Change edited by Esche with Will Bradley. He will curate the 31st São Paulo Bienal in 2014 with Galit Eilat, Pablo Lafuente, Nuria Enguita Mayo and Oren Sagiv.
Anna Zegna graduated in PoliticalSciences in Lausanne in 1980and went on to do postgraduate studies in advertising and marketing at Watford College, Watford (London)in 1981. Immediately applying her communication skills, from 1982 to1984, she headed the public relations department of Gianni Versace, before joining the Ermenegildo Zegna Group in 1984 as Head of CorporateAdvertising and External RelationsManager. In 1993, along with Laura Zegna, she developed the Oasi Zegna project,which has over the years become a model of environmental sustainability. In 1998, she won a Green Globe Award for her work at the Ermenegildo Zegna Group in support of environmental issues, while in 2002 she was appointed to the management committee of Touring Club Italiano. Since 1995, she has headed theImage and Store Planning Department at the Ermenegildo Zegna Group. Her natural inclination towards art and culture, in general, and towards social issues finds expression through her work for the Zegna Group at an international level. It also led to the creation, with the support of the rest of the family, of Fondazione Zegna, in 2000. The Fondazione,which Anna chairs, organizes subsistence projects. Anna Zegna is currently engaged in expanding the group in new markets,where she also studies solutions to environmental and subsistence problems in needy communities. In 2007, in recognition of her social commitment, she received a MarcoPolo Award from the prestigious Babson College in Boston.
Andrea Zegna. After taking a high school diploma in Lugano, in 1987 Andrea accomplishes his university degree at the Politecnico di Milano, doing his thesis on landscape in Milan’s Brera district.
In 1989 he starts his own architecture bureau in Milan in collaboration with architect Paola Nava first, and with Patricia Viel after, and from 1999 till 2006 with architect Silvio Caputo.
From the very beginning he makes projects of stores, office spaces and showrooms. Some of the customers are: Agnona, Bally, Ermenegildo Zegna. He also participates in competitions by invitation for the global brand image for brands such as: Ballantyne, Frette and Piaget
However Andrea’s favourite jobs are those where he has to deal with private customers making projects for brand new houses as well as refurbishing of apartments, villas and luxury estates.
He lives between Milan, Paris and Baseland while working as an architect he finds time to follow with great interest and commitment the contemporary art worldwide. This passion led him little by little to build a very personal collection himself
Andrea Zegna curates with Barbara Casavecchia All’Aperto and head of the Fondazione Zegna’s Art Project.