Also in May, Manzoni created ninety examples of Merda d’artista (Artist’s Shit), sealed cans with a diameter of six centimetres carrying a label reading, in Italian, English, French and German, the title Merda d’artista. Contenuto netto gr. 30. Conservata al naturale. Prodotta ed inscatolata nel maggio 1961 (Artist’s Shit. Contents Net Gr 30. Freshly preserved, produced and tinned in May 1961) the price of which was fixed at that of thirty grams of gold.

The work was presented to the public only after a number of fundamental exhibitions: Zero Edition Exposition Demonstration at the Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf on the 5th of July, with Arman, Aubertin, Pol Bury, Castellani, Fontana, Klein, Lo Slavio, Mack, Manzoni, Peeters, Piene, Schoonhoven, Soto, Spoerri, Tinguely and Uecker, Internationale Malerei 1960-61 at the Deutsch-Ordens-Schloss, Wolframs-Eschenbach on the 15th of July and Nove tendencije at the Galerija Suvremene Umjetnosti in Zagabria on the 3rd of August.


Merda d’artista (Artist’s Shit), May 1961, tin can, printed paper, 5 × ∅ 6,5 cm (each one)

Piero Manzoni with some cans of Merda d’artista (Artist’s Shit) in his apartment on Via Cernaia, Milan, 1961

Merda d’artista n. 68 (Artist’s Shit No. 68), May 1961, tin can, printed paper, 5 × ∅ 6,5 cm