In 1955, Manzoni moved to Rome where he enrolled on the degree course in Philosophy but at the end of the year transferred to the University of Milan.

He began to frequent the Milanese art scene assiduously. At this time the most advanced artistic expressions were to be found in the Spatialist Movement, promoted by the gallerist Carlo Cardazzo and grouped around Fontana with the principal exponents being Roberto Crippa, Gianni Dova and Cesare Peverelli; the Nuclear Movement founded by Enrico Baj and Sergio Dangelo, which in 1955 began publishing the magazine “Il Gesto”, and the bookshop/gallery opened in 1954 by Arturo Schwarz with exhibitions that included those by Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst and Kurt Schwitters and those featuring Surrealism and CoBrA.

Manzoni frequented the studios of Crippa and Dova and established friendships with the young Ettore Sordini and Angelo Verga.


Piero Manzoni’s Application to the Rector of the Università degli Studi of Rome for the admission to 5 exams, September 5, 1955

Record of the Italian Literature exam taken by Piero Manzoni, October 1955

Certificate of military service issued by the Municipality of Milan, April 1955

Untitled, ca. 1955, oil on postcard, 10 × 15 cm