Elizabeth Mangini

  • picks May 19, 2006

    Jannis Kounellis

    Arte povera was never an art simply to look at, but to experience with every sense, and this rich Jannis Kounellis retrospective exemplifies the ways in which the Italian movement went beyond a Minimalist preoccupation with the visual apprehension of form and process. From the tannic scent of coffee meted out on a column of iron scales, to the colorful notes of a Bach sonata played live by a cellist, to the searing heat thrown by dozens of lit propane torches, Kounellis’s works perform a Brechtian assault on the senses from the first step into the galleries.

    These works oppose the self-referentiality

  • Lucio Fontana

    Was Lucio Fontana really a romantic? Expect to see an underexamined side of his mature career in this exhibition, which unites two interrelated series for the first time. Fontana is perhaps best known for opening the “conceptual space” of spare, monochromatic paintings (each generically titled Spatial Concept) with physical incisions. In Venice in 1961, however, he sliced into canvases uncharacteristically caked with thick, swirling metallic paint and gave them naturalistic titles like Sky in Venice. While exhibiting this oddly baroque series in New York that same

  • Giovani Anselmo

    “I, the world, things, life—we are all situations of energy.” Giovanni Anselmo wrote these words in 1969, during the heyday of arte povera, and has since developed an artistic practice that explores visible forms of latent energy in the natural world. Whether with vegetables, granite blocks, or projected light, Anselmo makes empty spaces and raw materials vibrate with a sense of gravity, direction, and time. The first exhibition of his work in an Italian museum in sixteen years comprises some thirty pieces: sculptures, photographs, and slide