Cecilia Alemani

  • picks November 28, 2008

    Naama Tsabar

    This exhibition is twenty-six-year-old Israeli-born, New York–based artist Naama Tsabar’s Italian debut. On entering the gallery, one encounters Night Falls-Gaffer (all works 2008), a large sheet of white fabric, hanging from the ceiling, that nearly obstructs the entire exhibition space. The cloth has been treated with such products as glue and resin, which impart to it a strange sculptural stiffness and a painterly evanescence. One side of the cloth seems soaked in a milky substance, while the other is painted black and has an asphaltlike texture. Part barrier, part theater curtain, it also

  • picks June 09, 2008

    Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir

    One of the most active artist-run spaces in Reykjavik, Kling & Bang, is hosting, on the occasion of the Reykjavik Arts Festival, an exhibition by one of the gallery's founders, Sirra Sigrún Sigurðardóttir. Titled “Uncertainty Principle,” it is an elaborate installation that occupies the vast space and integrates sculpture, video projections, and a photograph. A large construction made of colorful Plexiglas cubes stands atop a black-and-white chessboard drawn on the floor. The cubes rise from the ground, sketching the surreal skyline of a psychedelic town. In their stunning elegance and sensual

  • picks June 09, 2008

    “Art Against Architecture”

    Should art fill space or actively construct it? This seems to be the premise of “Art Against Architecture,” a group show held in this challenging space. (The museum, built according to a 1980s-era postmodern style, is the antithesis of the white cube.) Monica Bonvicini has been interested in architecture for some time, especially its relationship to issues of sex and gender. Her installation, Never Again, 2005, consists of a series of leather and chain hammocks suspended from metal scaffolding; viewers are invited to sit on them, filling the space with the sound of jangling metal. At the

  • picks April 15, 2008

    Mirjam Thomann and Jan Timme

    This spare exhibition presents three works, one by each artist and a third made collaboratively, by Berlin-based artists Mirjam Thomann and Jan Timme. By leaving the gallery nearly empty, the artists give the works room to question more forcefully the architectural and conceptual implications of their exhibition space. Thomann’s Untitled (Couple) (all works 2008) consists of two plywood screens suspended halfway to the ceiling and installed in the gallery’s corners. Painted in black and white, they seem constructed to hide certain architectural features or to offer refuge to visitors. Their

  • picks February 05, 2008

    Patricia Esquivias

    For her New York solo debut, Caracas-born, New York–based Patricia Esquivias presents a video duet at two locations. In White Columns’ White Room is a selection from her ongoing series “Reads like the Paper,” 2005–, a cut-and-paste video collage of short episodes that appear in seemingly random order. Esquivias often uses her laptop’s screen as an experimental stage: The artist films her own computer, overlapping unusual characters with short videos—a sort of virtual theater of the absurd. Merging low-tech devices with an intimate, humorous approach, Esquivias’s shorts chronicle quotidian events,

  • picks January 07, 2008

    “Television Delivers People”

    Richard Serra’s legendary video Television Delivers People, 1973, which consists of a text scrolling down the screen accompanied by a cheesy Muzak sound track, was one of the first artworks to investigate the relationship between the mass media and their audience. The statements depicted, like THE PRODUCT OF TELEVISION, COMMERCIAL TELEVISION, IS THE AUDIENCE and YOU ARE THE PRODUCT OF TV, resound as premonitory warnings that the media are equipped with the power to control society. Borrowing Serra’s title, this well-conceived exhibition, organized by curatorial assistant Gary Carrion-Murayari,

  • picks December 27, 2007

    Alberto Burri

    Bringing together nineteen paintings, this exhibition is a rare occasion to see many of Alberto Burri’s masterpieces, and it charts a course from his early work, at the beginning of the 1950s, to that from a few years before his death, in 1995. When they were first shown, Burri’s “cut” compositions, which are covered with slashes as though they are wounded bodies, were read as references to the scars left behind by World War II. However, in their raw bareness, and in Burri’s exceptional talent for breathing new life into discarded materials, his works—like those whose burlap or plastic surface

  • picks December 13, 2007

    “Cut”

    Drawing inspiration from the multiple meanings of the word cut—a cinematographic transition, a graphic caesura, a mental hiatus—this exhibition brings together four artists who experiment with fractures and interruptions. Meredyth Sparks’s black-and-white digital scans of a photograph of Annie Beatrice Henry, the second woman electrocuted in Louisiana, in 1942, are abruptly crossed with geometric shapes and a few glittery red lines, which slash through the composition. Jonathan Hartshorn’s wall installation blends photography, drawing, and text to create an intimate atlas that merges biographical

  • picks October 04, 2007

    “How to Endure”

    As a satellite project of “Destroy Athens,” the first biennial in that city, Tom Morton has organized “How to Endure.” The title reads not only as a reaction to the theme of the biennial but also as a commentary on the peculiar location where most of the group show takes place—a deteriorating, abandoned hotel called Serenity, located in a similarly decrepit neighborhood. The crumbling rooms, with flaking paint and the residue of filthy wallpaper, are the perfect setting for the works on view, which all have something to do with ritualistic gestures and alchemical transformations. Matthew Day

  • picks August 01, 2007

    Bojan Šarcevic

    While the systematic appropriation of modernist forms by contemporary artists is by now a familiar exercise, exhibitions like this one prove that by mining our aesthetic past, artists can still reveal new fields of meaning and beauty. Such exploration has even more momentum in a city like Vienna, rich as it is with memories of its avant-garde past. In the foundation’s elongated space, Belgrade-born artist Bojan Šarcevic has installed 1954, 2004, a series of black-and-white collages depicting modernist interiors taken from Baumeister, an architectural magazine of the ’50s. Šarcevic has cut out

  • picks June 13, 2007

    William Anastasi

    Located at the intersection of Minimalism, instructional art, and process-oriented practices, William Anastasi’s works find endless formal possibilities in the most prosaic materials. This exhibition explores the expanded notion of drawing through re-creations of seminal pieces from the 1960s that transform the room’s physical characteristics either gently or dramatically. Issue, 1966/2007, consists of a four-and-a-half-inch-wide vertical strip that cuts a gallery wall from floor to ceiling. By chipping away the superficial layers of paint and plaster with chisel and hammer, the work strips the

  • picks June 11, 2007

    Jorge Peris

    On entering the seemingly empty, almost decomposing space, viewers are hit by an extremely strong smell. Seeking the source of the obnoxious odor, one encounters only crumbling walls with flaking paint, as though an explosion had recently struck or a mysterious plague had swept through the gallery. After closer examination, one realizes the pungent industrial smell comes right out of the walls themselves. The Spanish artist Jorge Peris was given early exposure to the Italian public at the 2005 Turin Triennale, where he turned a room into a living organism by covering the walls with live molds

  • picks May 02, 2007

    Frédéric Chaubin

    The first photograph one encounters in this brilliant, modest exhibition depicts a gigantic circular structure built in 1967 to host a permanent circus in Kazan. Originally rejected by the government for its resemblance to a UFO, it now seems more like a mysterious time machine—a ruin that has survived the fall of the Communist empire. Bringing together approximately fifty images by French photographer Frédéric Chaubin, “CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed” presents a surreal journey through two decades of visionary architecture, spread across the former Soviet Union. Private villas

  • picks February 08, 2007

    Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch

    This chaotic exhibition brings together a group of sculptures that resemble a cast of jubilant characters: Vibrant and immediate, they seem suited for the effervescent set of a high school version of some experimental drama. Assembled from disparate materials, the sculptures are actually the result of a group effort, in which artists Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch joined forces with a number of energetic friends. The ten sculptures—some depicting individuals, others intricate props or dysfunctional families—recall the carnivalesque atmospheres of Trecartin’s videos, one of which, A Family Finds

  • picks January 31, 2007

    David Hammons

    At a moment when galleries look more and more like couture boutiques and temples of fashion have invaded art districts, David Hammons delivers his latest irreverent intervention, positioning it at the nexus of art, fashion, and vandalism. Hammons has not presented a solo exhibition of new works in New York for some time. After recent presentations of photocopies of images of his work (at Triple Candie) and a small survey (at Zwirner & Wirth)—both, as far as is publicly known, without Hammons’s involvement—the artist makes a sharp and sarcastic choice of venue for his return, preferring the

  • picks January 30, 2007

    “Counterfacture”

    This smart, subtle group show brings together four emerging British artists, each of whom explores the expanded field of sculpture through different media in an attempt to capture the magic in our modest surroundings. Facing the viewer in the main room is Rupert Norfolk’s Wall no.2, 2006. Close scrutiny reveals that the 125 apparently normal limestone rocks that constitute the piece have been carefully altered, each stone carved to make it appear perfectly symmetrical, and therefore strangely artificial. On two pedestals next to Norfolk’s piece sit the works of Alex Pollard, who assembles delicate

  • picks December 14, 2006

    Alessandro Pessoli

    Entering the main room of Alessandro Pessoli’s latest show in Milan is like stumbling upon a disaster scene that has mysteriously transformed into a giant still life. Through a small, portholelike door, one finds Il Caduto (The Fallen), 2006, a reconstruction of a World War I airplane built to scale. The sculpture, set on a wooden platform, depicts a combat aircraft that was shot down during the war; its remnants were later reassembled in a hangar and photographed. Modeled after this documentation, Pessoli’s interpretation of the wreckage makes of the crash site a patchwork of history: The

  • picks November 20, 2006

    Gabriel Kuri

    Gabriel Kuri’s latest show at this gallery is an archaeological site for contemporary society: Found objects, domestic appliances, plastic bins, trash bags, and broken objects punctuate the space like remnants of an apocalyptic past. The show brings together a group of sculptures made from commonplace and industrial materials that are often associated with waste and recycling, though they have been organized with a light yet fastidious touch. By assembling the pieces in a pristine gallery and aligning them at regular intervals along the walls, Kuri strips the objects of their functionality,

  • picks October 07, 2006

    Daniel Domig

    Twenty-three-year-old Daniel Domig is a natural fit for this young exhibition space, which opened less than a year ago on the third floor of a building on the Bowery. For his debut solo show, the Canadian-born, Vienna-based artist brings together a new series of paintings that explore the concept of shelter. Domig’s canvases feature visions of dwellings, doorways, and windows suspended in moments between reality and illusion. His palette, rich with gloomy, smoky tones lit by brushstrokes of vivid color, recalls Neo Rauch’s contrasting of dark atmosphere and hints of bright hues, while the

  • picks September 26, 2006

    Barnaby Furnas

    For this exhibition, which inaugurates Marianne Boesky’s new gallery, Barnaby Furnas literalizes the spiritual fervor that links some of his favorite subjects—battles, rock concerts, and love. His exploration of grand narratives continues here and is played out among an extensive selection of medium-size paintings depicting, among others, the abolitionist John Brown and Jesus, who is seen alive, at the moment of execution, and after the Resurrection. The spiritual mood reaches its apotheosis in the main gallery, where three monumental canvases depicting the parting of the Red Sea are sublime.