Eugenio Viola

  • Valie Export, VALIE EXPORT—SMART EXPORT, 1970, black-and-white photograph, 33 x 31".
    picks August 13, 2009

    Valie Export

    The drawings, photographs, and videos in Valie Export’s first exhibition in Israel reveal the vivid and provocative character of her work, wherein political protest is linked to feminist struggles. Since the late 1960s, Export has engaged in an artistic shift that annuls both traditional art techniques and any gap between subject and object, art and life. VALIE EXPORT—SMART EXPORT, 1970, the emblematic work that opens the show, depicts the artist holding a pack of cigarettes with her visage on it; it's a symbol of extreme self-determination in an aesthetic, social, and political sense and has

  • Enzo Cucchi, “Costume Interiore” (Interior Costume), 2009. Installation view.
    picks August 06, 2009

    Enzo Cucchi

    Costume Interiore” (Interior Costume), 2009, organized by Incontri Internazionali d’Arte, is a site-specific installation that Enzo Cucchi has created for one of the outdoor courtyards of the celebrated Bourbon palace of Capodimonte. Composed of three large metal cylinders resembling black industrial tanks—connected to one another to form a sequence of rotundalike spaces—the “archisculpture” is presented as an envelope in which works and their environment merge osmotically. Light polystyrene forms seem to float in space and invite visitors to metaphorically disrobe—to remove their garmentlike

  • Douglas Gordon and Jonathan Monk, Friends Electric Bar, 2009. Performance view. Douglas Gordon and Jonathan Monk (with Oderigi Lusi on piano). Photo: Danilo Donzelli.
    picks April 03, 2009

    Douglas Gordon and Jonathan Monk

    To art lovers, the Leone d’Oro (Golden Lion) is the lifetime-achievement award bestowed at the Venice Biennale. But for Neapolitans, it is above all the name of a historic trattoria—an establishment that serves as the inspiration for Douglas Gordon and Jonathan Monk’s site-specific project. A concern with the temporal dimension unifies the works in the show, which simultaneously investigate the rituality of food and celebrate the absence of the human figure. In the series “Sublimation of Desire,” 2008, four films refer to several defenseless objects contemplated in their ineluctable states of

  • Birgit Megerle, Untitled, 2009, 48 2/5 x 108 3/5".
    picks February 21, 2009

    Birgit Megerle

    For her second solo show in Naples, Birgit Megerle focuses on bridging the gap between representations of reality and the fragmentation of linguistic codes. Relationships between art, dwelling, history, and experience constitute the subtle threads that conceptually unify the works in the show. In several untitled works, diamond-faced rustication––a typical fifteenth-century architectural element present throughout the historic city center of Naples––is shorn of its function like an illusionistic pattern. Megerle uses grisaille to play with the ambiguity of vision and probe the potential of

  • Bill Viola, Emergence, 2002, still from a color video, 11 minutes 49 seconds.
    picks December 04, 2008

    Bill Viola

    Bill Viola’s work is one of the greatest examples of contemporary art's ability to achieve transcendence, expressing an almost ancestral pietas, a universal and shared mysticism. These feelings are reinforced by his exhibition “Inner Visions,” which sets up a figurative via crucis, or Way of the Cross, its videos' overly theatrical characters; their extremely slowed-down, expanded, or inverted time; their oneiric spaces suffused with light; and their altered sounds convey a suspended, estranged, contemplative atmosphere. The exhibition’s structure is divided into two conceptual cores: the first

  • View of “Salud, Deporte y Control.” (Health, Sport and Control), 2008. From left: Rodolfo Peraza, Play and Learn 1.1 (The trees stop you from seeing the wood), 2008; Rodolfo Peraza, Play and Learn 1.0 (Half Monks, Half Soldiers), 2008.
    picks November 11, 2008

    Salud, Deporte y Control

    In what ways and under what pressures does art forge its own identity? Can (or must) an artist be political, apolitical, or have a personal vision of history? Curated by Lillebit Fadraga, “Salud, Deporte y Control” (Health, Sport and Control) takes its title from a celebrated Castroite slogan and responds to some of these questions through the work of three young Cuban artists. Yaima Carrazana, Rodolfo Peraza, and Loidys Carnero belong to a generation that has been forced to identify with the existential condition of a state and nationality—an inevitable part of the artistic vocation. Carrazana’s

  • View of Ugo Rondione, “turn back time. let’s start this day again,” 2008. From left: still.life. (door), still.life. (five lemons), and still.life. (pine tree standing in a corner), all 2008.
    picks October 23, 2008

    Tim Rollins and KOS, Ugo Rondinone

    The exhibitions in the Raucci/Santamaria space share the evocative and polysemous theme of metamorphosis. In Gallery A, Tim Rollins and KOS use musical scores to visualize a decisive motif that traverses all of Western culture—from Ovid to Cronenberg—in the series “Metamorphosen,” 2008, whose title refers to that of Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen: A Study for 23 Solo Strings (1945–46). The scores advance across the canvas without interruption, stained by ink that is deposited like soot, almost like a sinopia. An “archive of memory” emerges that recalls the horrors of war and is visually

  • picks July 31, 2008

    “Making a Scene”

    According to stereotype, the act of “making a scene” is built into the very bedrock of Neapolitan culture; it is a native custom frequently celebrated in vernacular comedic plays, films, and literature, both ancient and modern. What is unusual about this exhibition is the short-circuit that occurs when an outside observer, curator Jörg Heiser, encounters this indigenous reality. He investigates said reality via a polysemous and intertextual reading that, thanks to his position as an “other,” restores a metaphorical, transversal understanding to the exhibition’s theme, transforming its semi-private

  • View of "ITALIA ITALIE ITALIEN ITALY WLOCHY: 'Ritti su la cima del mondo, noi scagliamo, ancora una volta, la nostra sfida alle stelle!...'” (“Standing on the top of the world, we hurl, once again, our challenge to the stars!...”).
    picks July 11, 2008

    “ITALIA ITALIE ITALIEN ITALY WLOCHY”

    It is a daunting task to define the cultural identity of a country without resorting to clichés; the task is even harder if you are attempting to identify not a general Volkgeist, but rather a pretext for reflecting on the rifts and anxieties of contemporary society. This group exhibition achieves that goal, a testament to the deft skills of the four curators (Gigiotto Del Vecchio, Alessandro Rabottini, Elena Lydia Scipioni, and Andrea Viliani). They offer a unified front consisting of a diversity of stimuli and meanings, announced, from the start, with the multilingual title. Numerous

  • PHYSICAL CULTURE white spirit/Antonio and Giorgio’s portrait, 2008, color photograph mounted on aluminum, 39 3/8 x 14 5/8".
    picks April 28, 2008

    Nordine Sajot

    Spirit is generally considered to be something immaterial, a transcendent entity immanent to man and antithetical to the body, and white is a color associated with light and lightness. But while it may sound like some concept of evanescence, White Spirit is actually the name of a mild solvent used for cleaning pictorial and other surfaces. It is also the name of Nordine Sajot’s exhibition—a complex presentation produced entirely in tones of white. The foundation for the artist’s work is anthropology, as is evident in the three photographs (from the artist’s “Cultura Fisica” [Physical Culture]

  • Untitled, 2008, tempera on paper, 55 1/2 x 44 7/8".
    picks March 31, 2008

    Marco Tirelli

    Spheres, prisms, cylinders, and cones become architectural spaces in Marco Tirelli’s drawings. Rendering elementary, geometric shapes in dense weaves of primarily black and white marks, made in charcoal and tempera, Tirelli presents his works as almost transparent, immaterial, and impalpable. Although he works in two dimensions, the artist investigates space and its formal qualities, portraying his subjects through vibratile marks and a skillful play of transparencies and overlappings. Each object is reduced to its essential form and assumes the nature of an apparition. Rooted in the concept of

  • Training Barricade for the Bitches of Bedlam, 2007, contact paper, dimensions variable.
    picks February 25, 2008

    Santiago Cucullu

    “The Creaky Shaft,” Santiago Cucullu’s first solo exhibition in Italy, centers on sociopolitical discourse and the contradictions that characterize the artist’s continent of origin, South America, a region constantly suspended between stiflingly rigid traditions and a troubled push toward modernization. The watercolors and wall pieces are characterized most strikingly by an exuberant multilingualism and a typically South American delight in color, which gradually give way to reveal denunciatory anticapitalist polemics. Training Barricade for the Bitches of Bedlam, 2007, conveys the disturbing