Paola Pivi at La Rinascente @ Salone Milan 2017

Paola Pivi at La Rinascente @ Salone Milan 2017

On the occasion of 2017 Milan Design Week, artist Paola Pivi puts her famous feathered bears inside the windows of la Rinascente department store.

In this historic and symbolic landmark of Milan, between la Scala Theatre and Palazzo Reale, the artist delved into her peculiar irony, determination, and candour, another perspective, another way of observing and experiencing the world, by-passing conventional thought systems and references.

As one of the highlight events in Milan during the Design Week, Paola Pivi has expressly developed for the windows of Piazza Duomo “I am tired of eating fish”, a site-specific project curated by Cloe Piccoli.

The main protagonists of the installation are feathered polar bears which Paola Pivi shows in different situations and postures that show references to art, to design, to lifestyles and to free time, to nature and to work.




I moved to Alaska in 2006 and bears just completely invaded my life because we are we are surrounded by them in Alaska. It’s just very basic, simple, it’s their land, you know, if I were to be a guest in somebody’s house for years and years and years, I’d definitely have a strong, you know, like an osmosis into, to what I do.

I woke up to the fact that all of us have a strong relationship with the animals, you know, it’s just so basic, we did before for a very long time and even though today we can avoid it, it’s in our… it’s in the way we are built, so it is there even if you don’t have pets.

You know, the one thing that always strikes me is that if there is an animal in front of your view it’s impossible not to have a reaction an instinctive reaction of fear, happiness, attraction, you know, to find the animal beautiful or repulsive or scary, you know, think of spiders, snakes and the power of that, it’s very deep.

So when I show animals, this relationship comes to the surface again.”



The installation redesigns the eight windows overlooking Piazza Duomo and invites people to enter the universe of the artist, a surreal world governed by the laws of the absurd, a daydream where anything is possible.

References to art, to design, to lifestyles and to free time, to nature and to work, migrate between sculptures and installations, in an alienating dimension, between reality and hallucination, narrating far-off stories and daily realities.

chloe picoli



About Paola Pivi

Paola Pivi was born in Milan in 1971.

She lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska (USA).

The artist is represented by Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan | London | Hong Kong, and by Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin.

Paola Pivi is an Italian artist who is known worldwide.

She reached international stardom with her first exhibitions, thanks to works of overwhelming impact.

Colossal gestures, like tipping a tow truck onto its side or overturning an aeroplane on its back, made with surprising light-heartedness and irony, were the first works of Paola Pivi.

Indeed, Untitled (airplane), a Fiat G-91 aircraft tipped over and resting on its own cabin, won the Leone d’Oro Award at Harald Szeeman’s Biennale di Venezia in 1999. Pivi was then invited to the Biennale di Venezia for the second time in 2003, and participated in Manifesta 5 in 2004, Manifesta 10 in 2014, and in the Berlin Biennale in 2008.

In 2012, she created two public art projects in New York with How I Roll, a Public Art Fund work consisting of a Piper Seneca aircraft that rotates forward continuously while lifted on its wingtips, installed near Central Park in Doris Freedman Square; and Untitled (zebras), an original and romantic image of two zebras on a snow-covered mountain installed on a billboard of the High Line on West 18th Street in New York. Invited to Sculpture International Rotterdam in 2010|2011, she created an important project in this city as well called Grrr Jamming Squeak, an interactive sound recording studio open to everybody for free to create music along with recordings of animal sounds.

Her works are also present in prestigious permanent collections, including those of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, and the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, and the MAXXI – Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo in Rome.

She has exhibited in important museums and galleries: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1999), P.S.1 MoMA, New York (2000, 2001, 2003, 2007), MACRO, Rome (2003, 2010), MCA – Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (2005), CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2005), Hayward Gallery, London (2005), Kunsthalle Basel (2007), Portikus, Frankfurt (2008), Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2008), Tate Modern, London (2009), Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2012), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2014), Dallas Contemporary (2016).


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