Salvo, 1947–2015

The Italian artist has died, leaving behind an epitaph as last gesture

Salvo e morto, 1973–2015. Courtesy Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin

The Italian conceptual artist Salvo (of his full name Salvatore Mangione) has died, Galerie Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin, has announced. Following instructions left by the artist in the case of his death, his marble work SALVO È VIVO created in 1973 was turned around, to reveal its counterside: SALVO È MORTO.

Although acquainted with the Turin-based Arte Povera circle, Salvo’s practice shows more affiliation with the conceptual art approach, which he used to interrogate his own identity through overtly narcissistic gestures – one of his signature marble works reads ‘Io sono il migliore’ (I am the best). At the end of the 1970s, Salvo turned away from conceptual art and towards painting, to create colourful metaphysical landscapes. His work was included in major international shows such as Documenta 5 and the Venice Biennale (1972, 1984), and was most recently part of Arte Povera and ‘Multipli’. Torino 1970–1975 at Sprüth Magers Berlin.

15 September 2015.