Corpo d'aria, 1959-1960

Body of Air, 1959-1960
Installation, Various dimensions
Conceived as pneumatic sculptures or pieces of air, the series Corpi d’aria was made in 1959–60. Presented as camping equipment or a set of domestic tools, they were sold in a wooden box containing a folding metal tripod, a deflated white balloon and a mouthpiece. 45 copies, signed and numbered, were made and priced at 30,000 Italian lire each. Most were sold. When fully expanded, the balloons measured 80 cm in diameter. The idea was for the buyer to inflate the balloon, although Manzoni himself could be asked to do it. In this case, the buyer would be charged an extra 200 lire for every litre of air exhaled by the artist. Influenced by Marcel Duchamp’s 3 Stoppages Étalon and Air de Paris, the work defied the physical limits of art and the exploitation of the human body for artistic ends.

Technical details

Original title:
Corpo d'aria
Registration number:
Manzoni, Piero
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
various materials
Various dimensions
Edition number:
Ed. 13/45
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Piero Manzoni, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

Accessibility resources
High-relief image
Tactile reproductions
Texts in braille

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

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