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Emilio Prini was born in Stresa, Italy, in 1943. In his work Prini used photography, sound and written texts to challenge the viewer's perception and experience. Highlighting particular elements, he often revealed the relationship between reality and its reproduction.

His work was part of the following group shows: ‘Arte Povera’ - Neues Museum Weimar, and Kunstmuseum Basel (2012); ‘Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution 1968–2008’ - Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2009) and Palazzo Grassi, Venice, (2008); ‘Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera 1962-1972’ - Tate Modern; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, (2001-2002). Prini participated in Documenta X (1997).  In 2019 Fondazione Merz, in Turin, presented a solo exhibition as a tribute to the artist.