Angela Madesani

  • picks November 19, 2007

    Luisa Rabbia

    In this exhibition, Turin-born, New York–based artist Luisa Rabbia has included a large sculptural drawing titled Together (all works 2007), which depicts trees in porcelain. Having been spread out in its liquid, siliconelike state, the material bears the natural fissures that formed as it hardened. The cracks, then, are almost like rings of actual trees, in that they measure the passage of time. On the ground is the sculpture Sulla curva del giorno (On the Arc of the Day), in which the umbilical cord of a blue newborn baby spreads out like intertwined roots, similar to those of the trees on

  • picks October 24, 2007

    Luca Vitone

    The title of Luca Vitone’s exhibition at Galleria Emi Fontana, “Ceneri di Milano” (Ashes of Milan), seems catastrophic. Visitors find themselves looking at what seems like the remains of a city razed during wartime. In reality, what is on view are the incinerated remains of the city’s trash, which Vitone has used to create gray monochrome canvases. The artist begins with his anachronistic concept of anti-pigment, which is expressed through the choice of a velvety, dense, corporeal material (here, it’s ashes; in earlier works, he used dust). The monochrome, with its mute refinement, is an even

  • picks October 17, 2007

    Juul Kraijer

    This exhibition by Dutch artist Juul Kraijer comprises several media—charcoal drawings, sculpture, and video—that work together to create a single idea: One must look inward to achieve a condition of abstraction, purity, and well-being in relation to oneself and the world. Simultaneously delicate and strong, the drawings, which seem to represent various mental states, portray women immersed (literally) in nature. With branches emerging from their bodies, and roots enveloping and binding them, the subjects are presented in the process of transformation. Their bodies are nude, taken out of history

  • picks May 29, 2007

    Luigi Ghirri

    The Italian landscape of provincial cities and the Emilian countryside is the subject of this elegant exhibition at Galleria Massimo Minini in Brescia, devoted to the work of Luigi Ghirri (1943–92), one of the leading figures in Italian photography from the 1970s to the 1990s. This is a small but clear overview of a surprising artist who focused his attention on the image. Indeed, before he was a photographer, that is before he produced new images, Ghirri observed what existed, elaborating, reflecting, utilizing the immense visual bounty he found before his eyes. Taking a clearly Conceptual

  • picks May 08, 2007

    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    The ten black-and-white images constituting Japanese-born, New York–based artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s latest exhibition intelligently straddle several historical trajectories in photography, including nineteenth-century scientific pictures and European and American still lifes from the '20s and '30s. The series, which the artist began in 2004, takes as its subject a collection of mysterious three-dimensional wood and metal models from the University of Tokyo Museum. In these images, light becomes a virtual protagonist, outlining the contours of these strange, refined forms. The photographs are

  • picks November 14, 2006

    Marisa Albanese

    We are accustomed to rapidly putting to use what we see; everything is resolved within a few minutes. This is emphatically not the case, however, with “Mind the Gap,” Marisa Albanese’s exhibition of recent work. Viewers find themselves immersed in a world populated by small men made of white clay, each with unique features: pilgrims continually searching for a landing place that probably does not exist. Whether whole or mutilated, blinded or seemingly endowed with hypervision, young or old, each seeks to flee the fractures, discomforts, and incongruities of the contemporary world while crossing

  • picks October 25, 2006

    Daniel Buren and Jan De Cock

    Taking place simultaneously across three separate locations—at the Minini galleries in Brescia and Milan and at the former Casa del Fascio in Como—the point of departure for this unique collaboration between French artist Daniel Buren and Belgian artist Jan De Cock is the architecture of Giuseppe Terragni, one of the masters of the modern movement in Italy. Terragni, a rationalist architect whose buildings are often characterized by interlocking horizontal and vertical lines reminiscent of abstract paintings, designed the Casa del Fascio in the early 1930s. De Cock found inspiration in this

  • picks October 18, 2006

    Mark Francis

    With only a cursory glance, Mark Francis’s paintings look abstract, built through sign and color. After closer observation, though, the origins of the work by this artist from Northern Ireland, who for years was a leading YBA figure, are revealed as completely different and in many ways unexpected. His art is directly inspired by the worlds of science, medicine, botany, and the natural sciences. The images are taken from microscopes; they are enlargements of what lies around us and for the most part goes unobserved. This exhibition contains roughly twenty works, on paper and on canvas, in which

  • picks August 30, 2006

    Anna Valeria Borsari

    Anna Valeria Borsari’s latest exhibition, subtitled “L’Arte come cura del Mondo / il Mondo come cura dell’Arte” (Art cares for the World / the World cares for Art), opens with a video depicting the demolition of Punta Perotti, an “eco-monster” of a building that for years marred the seafront of the city of Bari. The rest of the work focuses on a similar—still standing—thirty-story skyscraper in Rimini, the only building of its size in the small seaside capital. The artist’s engagement with these architectural nuisances forgoes straightforward avenues of interpretation for more layered and

  • picks August 11, 2006

    Maria Teresa Sartori

    For a few years, Maria Teresa Sartori has created videos that make no allowances for aestheticizing or facile imagery. Instead, she presents complex reflections on the mechanisms of our surroundings. In Tutte le pause del mondo (All the Pauses in the World), 2006, the cornerstone of this show, the artist investigates language, documenting a conversation between two seated people who know they are being filmed as they respond to a questionnaire. What they do not know, however, is that Sartori is interested not in what they say but rather in the pauses between one phrase and the next, a curiosity

  • picks July 25, 2006

    Max Cole

    Seeking to ascribe labels, to forcibly place works and artists within categories, groups, and movements, is usually an activity of scant significance and is sometimes outright damaging. This is true with the work of Max Cole, presented here in an extensive exhibition (a catalogue, featuring essays by Kim Wauson and Ralf Christofori, accompanies the show). In these paintings, marked by their somber palette (gray, brown, white, black) and exquisite mass of detail, only lengthy observation leads one to anything resembling a complete understanding of the deceptively simple compositions. What emerges

  • picks June 16, 2006

    Paula Wilson

    “Paintings and Drawings from the Hanno Valley,” African-American artist Paula Wilson’s first solo exhibition in Italy, sets up a lively dialogue between delicate, almost monochromatic watercolors and brightly colored paintings. The latter works are created using a collage technique, and fragile paper cutouts charged with symbolic references emerge from the surface. These works, meditations on the realm of harmony prophesied by Martin Luther King, Jr., are marked by a dreamlike space. Hanno Valley refers to a lunar crater that the artist reimagines as a future site for the resolution of all social

  • picks June 08, 2006

    Claudia Losi

    The core of Claudia Losi’s exhibition is Balena Project (Whale Project), an ongoing enterprise begun in 2002 with the creation of a life-size fabric cetacean. Since then Losi’s whale has traveled around the world, and wherever it has been shown the public has been involved in creating other pieces. On the occasion of the work’s presentation in Equador, women there made small wool whales and purses (Shigras, 2006), which are included in the current exhibition. The result of Balena Project is public art that encourages interaction between artist and locals, an act that expands the artist’s ethical

  • picks May 02, 2006

    Gabriele Basilico

    This exhibition, by one of Italy’s most well-known architecture and landscape photographers, comprises nine rigorous black-and-white and color images shot from above his subjects. These bird’s-eye views of various European and American metropolitan areas, including, for example, a depiction of the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue in New York shot from the Flatiron building, capture the landscape in a manner resembling classical cartography. Today, however, this is an unusual way of measuring space. The synoptic overview one would expect is undercut by the photographer’s idiosyncratic

  • picks April 19, 2006

    Jitka Hanzlová

    This exhibition includes part of “Forest,” 2000–2005, a series of forty-five photographs shot by Jitka Hanzlová in the Carpathian Mountains, near the Czech village where she lived as a child before emigrating, for political reasons, to Germany in 1983. The “Forest” photographs are silent and poetic, and feature images of tree trunks, vegetation, roots, and spiders and their webs, all captured in the purplish-blue, opaque, nighttime light that one associates with secrets and mysterious moods. While Hanzlová is known principally for her portrait work, particularly of women (the series “Female,”

  • picks February 27, 2006

    Izima Kaoru

    The starting point for all of Japanese artist Izima Kaoru’s large-scale portrait photographs is a disturbing question: “How would you prefer to die?” The model must describe in detail her “perfect death,” which Kaoru then re-creates for the benefit of his coldly analytic lens. The sensual bodies of “murdered” young women are set in these landscapes—up in trees, on bridges, on roads. The works, many of which feature long shots in which the bodies seem to dissolve into their environment, has obvious cinematographic origins, and the viewer searches for telling details, clues to the story behind