Alessandra Mammì

  • Miquel Barcelò

    Through the five large paintings and the series of watercolors shown here, Miguel Barcelò explores the theme of the desert. He chooses it, not as a figurative idea, but as a mental and sentimental location—as the site for his discourse on painting. Barcelò uses painting as an instrument of investigation and awareness; he faces the problems of European pictorial culture, at the same time revealing a profound connection with the great Spanish tradition. In terms of technique, he shows a virtuosic ability to bring together areas of extremely condensed material and others more fluid and rarefied,

  • Carlo Guaita

    This show was a rather articulate declaration of Carlo Guaita’s intentions and of the possible ways in which his investigations might develop. The four works (all Untitled, 1989) confirmed his adherence to a cold, minimal set of values—to a taut, spare language based on the structure of the grid. Although made of solid iron, the structures seemed light and ephemeral, more mental than physical. And the proof of their flexibility lay in their range of possibilities.

    In one work here, Guaita engages in an openly conceptual play between painting and structure, between the field of infinite mental

  • Vincenzo Agnetti

    “There is just one obligation: logic. Logic commits suicide through coherence.” This is a statement by Vincenzo Agnetti, a concise, explosive declaration of poetics that might have been the ideal commentary to accompany this show. Since his death in 1981, Agnetti’s name has continued to reverberate as one of the most interesting in the circles of Italian conceptual art.

    The exhibition consisted of some significant pieces created between 1967 and 1973, such as Il libro dimenticato a memoria (Book forgotten by heart, 1968), Tempo-azione (Time action, 1972), La macchina drogata (Drugged machine,

  • Pino Pascali

    Retrospectives always run the risk of burying the vitality of a body of work in favor of a posthumous interpretation that, while perhaps shrewd and well thought out, inevitably resembles an archaeological examination. Fortunately, “Ponti sull’acqua” (Bridges over water), an exhibition in homage to Pino Pascali 20 years after his death, avoided this approach. It is difficult to say whether the credit should go to the original installation or to the innate quality of Pascali’s work which still manages to preserve its original freshness and sense of amazement. It is a small miracle, held in a

  • Jonathan Lasker

    Jonathan Lasker presented four large canvases here—Digital Affection, The Politics of Reality, Histrionic Affinity, Fake Freak, all 1988—one on each wall of the gallery. Employing a dry, peremptory, affirmative language, the pieces show him pushing to the limits of the coldest geometricism. His structures end up being so taut that they move beyond abstraction. It is difficult to find harmonious relationships in them, or to discover their historical sources. Lasker’s work seems more linguistic than pictorial, to the point that its structural arrangements bring to mind the obsessive and repetitive

  • Tatsuo Miyajima

    At the most recent Venice Biennale, Japanese artist Tatsuo Miyajima scattered 100 digital watches, each set to a different time, over the floor of a dark room. The numbers darted about crazily, from one point to another, simulating a strange nocturnal landscape (the runway of an airport? a bird’s-eye view of a city by night?), and at the same time tormenting the perceptual security of the observer. The piece produced an enormous clash between perceptual deformation and a simplicity, even poverty of means. Finally, the work’s title, Il mare del tempo (The sea of time), seemed to contain a concise


    The 43rd Venice Biennale will go down in the institution’s history for two revisionary gestures: the restitution to Italy of the Giardini di Castello’s central pavilion (which has for the last 20 years been the site of the Biennale’s thematic shows); and the revival of one-artist exhibition spaces in that building, both in the part redesignated as the Italian pavilion and in the separately curated rooms containing a show entitled “Ambiente Italia.” Many of the national pavilions are also devoted to one-artist monographs. In its own way, each of these gestures enforces an idea that also appears

  • Mimmo Paladino

    Some shows mark a significant point in the life and the work of an artist. For the viewer, these rare events communicate an immediate sensation that transforms him or her into a witness to a fragment of history, important not only for the understanding of the work of that painter or sculptor, but above all for the formation of a collective sensibility. Mimmo Paladino’s recent exhibition, entitled “Oro” (Gold), was of this type. It shared a desire for rigor that characterizes the investigations of many European artists, yet it did not take this to an extreme. With Paladino’s capacity for synthesis,

  • David Tremlett

    David Tremlett’s installation here was an enormous wall drawing in the third room of this gallery. To get there one had to pass through two other spaces, which had also been transformed by wall drawings, done by Pat Steir and Sol LeWitt respectively. The rooms are similar in size and architectural characteristics, typical of an apartment in the historic center of Rome, with wood ceilings, hexagonal floor tiles of black, gray, and red marble, and windows that open out onto terra-cotta roofs, and all three spaces were completely redesigned by the wall drawings.

    Tremlett’s intervention functioned

  • Bruno Ceccobelli

    It’s difficult to say if this show of Bruno Ceccobelli’s work was an installation, a set design, or a happening. It consisted of a single room-size environmental piece, entitled Natività (Nativity, 1987), made up of several dozen sculptures of various kinds laid out like a Neapolitan Christmas crèche. Although none of the traditional elements were actually represented (i.e., the Madonna, Christ child, or manger), it was obviously modeled after a typical Nativity scene; the show was even timed to coincide with the holidays, from Christmas eve to Epiphany. But instead of a crowd of puppets paying