Francesca Pasini

  • Francesco Vezzoli

    Francesco Vezzoli “writes” a very specific history of feelings, from which there emerges a tie between personal emptiness and the need to dramatize one's inner life. Through the lens of movie-star fandom, this artist based in Milan and Rome reinterprets certain great stars of the twentieth century—among them have been Joan Crawford, Audrey Hepbum, Anna Magnani, and Edith Piaf—in such a way that they partially lose their femme fatale qualities in favor of a feminine aura that is, in a broad sense, maternal. This is structured within a theater of sentiments that refers both to film

  • Clegg & Guttmann

    BOOKS LINED UP on shelves can elicit strong emotions. There is the desire to know and the pleasure of availing oneself of a cultural accumulation that has already taken place. The idea that one need only extend a hand to delve into all sorts of histories, arguments, and romances offers great stimulation as well as solace. Libraries both private and public—and bookstores too—electrify and at the same time intimidate. At any moment one can encounter the mind of a writer from any epoch. This is comforting, but it also gives cause for uncertainty, as the effort required of the individual

  • Manuela Cirino

    This exhibition of a set of thirty-five drawings along with a video and two sculptures had a subdued title—“Secondo tentativo” (Second attempt)—but great narrative richness. At a time when visual thinking seems to have become predominant in every form of expression, it is interesting that Manuela Cirino’s art couples figuration with a narrative format. Perhaps this is in response to modem systems of communication (photography, video, Internet), since visual synthesis is now seen not only in terms of artistic expression (painting, sculpture, etc.) but also in terms of everyday behavior. To use

  • Naoto Kawahara

    Painting is very popular among today’s young artists, but in an idiom rather different from that of the various revivals we’ve witnessed since the ’70s. It’s no longer about invoking aura, daring to stand alongside the great figures of the century, or breaking “the hated form of real things,” as Malevich put it. Instead, there is an effort to retain photographic framing without losing the pleasures specific to the slow consummation of a picture, not to mention those associated with tactility. But there’s something else: The return of painting does not signal a debate over the prevalence of a

  • Roberta Silva

    As communication spreads via the Internet and computers, the resistance to declaring one’s emotional horizons crumbles. This is not “postmodern neo-romanticism,” but rather the freedom to give shape, symbol, interpretation to the tie between mind and body, sentiment and reason. In recent years some astute theoretical interpretations have appeared in feminist thought with regard to this subject, and now the visual arts are announcing that women and men need figures and signs to give a name to this change. Knowledge means knowing the emotions, keeping them in a form that neither sanctifies nor

  • Markus Raetz

    FOR MARKUS RAETZ, the dream of art is to discover ever-new images, even within a single form. Fulfilling that dream in this exhibition, he offered an experience something like being inside a kaleidoscope. The key to the exhibition lay in a room hidden off to one side. Abstract shapes cut out of thin iron sheets hung from the ceiling; on the floor, two electric hot plates had been placed on a gray wood base. Gradually, as one moved, a myriad of portraits appeared, conjured through various systems of anamorphosis. The heat given off by the hot plates moved the wires holding up the suspended shapes,

  • Liliana Moro

    At the heart of Liliana Moro’s recent show was an electric toy motorcycle. Slightly raised from the floor so that its rear wheel turned, Soffio (Blow), 1999, not only gave the exhibition its title but also introduced the possibility of speed and movement into the static space of the gallery, an incongruity that taps into childhood fantasies of breaking the rules. Intertwined with the sound of the bike’s motor, one could hear a guitar solo lifted from a ’70s rock song, a juxtaposition that perhaps proposed the vehicle’s and the music’s rhythms as twin velocities.

    Another kind of music could be

  • Sabrina Mezzaqui

    Repetitiveness is not a quality normally sought in art, but for Sabrina Mezzaqui, it is part of the challenge posed both by form and by content. With deliberate obsessiveness, she isolates “humble” gestures and executes them over and over again, almost to the point of automatism. In the subtle and ambiguous no-man’s-land between the image she has in mind and the seeming infinity of signs necessary to convey that image, her hand moves of its own accord, allowing unexpected ideas to emerge. It’s a bit like what happens during our daily routines, when we are showering or making coffee and ideas we

  • Alessandra Tesi

    Contemporary, site-specific art in Italy can’t help but collide with an aggregation of artistic signs from the past; and when that happens, the boundaries between past and present are often blurred. Such was the case with Alessandra Tesi’s installation in Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, a Renaissance hospital still graced by fifteenth-century frescoes. Tesi’s intervention, entitled La Croce Verde (The green cross), 1998, played on both the art of fresco painting and the building’s historical function as a place for healing the body.

    On the ceiling of one of the hospital’s long, gray, windowless

  • Sabrina Sabato

    In ten photographs by Sabrina Sabato arranged along one wall of Galleria Neon, bright colors alternated with more placid hues: red was diluted into tones ranging from pink to ocher; green faded to the bluish transparency of water. Here and there one glimpsed the outline of a leaf or a fragment of a petal, while elsewhere the image was initially unrecognizable. A strange kind of herbarium emerged, in which natural forms were as transparent as X-rays. Enlarged and printed without the intermediary stage of a negative, Sabato’s photographs—unique prints she calls “Sabatographs”—capture leaves,

  • Miltos Manetas

    Miltos Manetas’ installation Soft Driller, 1995, reconstructs an episode that occurred some ten years ago in Athens. Using video and photography, the artist recounts a story in which all action has apparently been suspended. This immobility results from an explicit conflict, which is mirrored by the contradictory title of the piece.

    In the video two men appear, seated alone at a small table in a bar, smoking and taking sips of coffee. Without ever really looking each other in the face, they gaze pensively around the room. Their faces betray no emotion, although one can hear a murmured threat: “

  • Luciano Fabro

    The Fabro retrospective at the Pistoia museum had the freshness and immediacy of a diary. Personal biography is always connected to his works, as the catalogue (designed by the artist himself) makes clear. Thus his story, his participation in arte povera, his progress as an individual through other shows, other writings, other perceptions, emerges through the sculptures, a critical text, and a photograph. Luciano Fabro’s visual “diary” develops by continually weaving together past and present, biography and history. The viewer is faced, not with a chronological sequence, but with sort of circular