Francesca Pasini

  • 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

  • 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

  • Grazia Toderi

    “There was something of the fairy in her, and nothing is more unbearable, to judge from fairy tales, than living with a fairy.” Grazia Toderi uses this phrase, taken from Marguerite Yourcenar, as the title for two of her works. Toderi unearths the fairy tale, with all its touches of cruelty, and sets it within the framework of video and photography. A color video, Soap focused on the interdependence of objects, fairy tales, and art. The object was a washing machine; the story centered around the Ken doll and his absent girlfriend, Barbie; the art was Maria Callas’ rendition of “Casta Diva” from

  • Marisa Merz

    Marisa Merz envisions her work as an organic whole, without separate titles and dates for individual pieces. Everything is articulated in the present, in this present in which she has reorganized the space and time of the appearance of every single work. Thus, she bridges the distance between the moment of creation and that of exhibition, a distance that she has always marked. This was a far cry from a traditional retrospective; it was instead a global view where each piece seemed contemporaneous with the others.

    At the entrance was an extraordinary duet: on a thin tripod, a clay sculpture acted

  • Eva Marisaldi

    “The well is 3 meters deep, it holds 4,000 liters, the human capacity load is zero. It wasn’t made to cause damage. This is an invitation to pay attention.” These words greeted the viewer entering Eva Marisaldi’s exhibition. Carved into a large steel disk hanging on the wall, these words included the title that had appeared on the invitation: “La portata umana è nulla” (The human capacity load is zero). But the images on the invitations remained enigmatic; they consisted of real postcards—some depicting natural environments, some emptiness, some human or animal traces. Marisaldi then collected

  • Margherita Manzelli

    Margherita Manzelli’s show “Il vascello fantasma” (The flying dutchman) soared on dreams and intimate, subjective tales. The gallery was filled with 25 small oil paintings, hanging from invisible nylon threads. The first paintings one saw hung about one meter from the floor and then, bit by hit, the height increased. In order to read the title, written by hand along the bottom edge of the panel, it was necessary to hold the paintings and turn them.

    Manzelli’s phantasms come from the shards of memory, unexpected eruptions of feeling, visual flashes that have struck her sensibility. They give an

  • Cesare Viel

    An actor read a long text from a video screen. If one listened closely it became clear that it was a particular type of monologue, directed toward someone who seemed to be far away. One soon discovered that what was being read was a letter, or really four letters, one after another. The voice emanating from the video screen, located in a corner of the gallery, created an invisible diagonal trajectory that propelled the viewer toward the side wall. There, four photographic panels without frames—hung at a slight distance from the wall seemed suspended in the space between speaker and listener.

  • Laura Ruggeri

    In her recent show, “Il Maestro è un mostro” (The master is a monster), Laura Ruggeri surprisingly juxtaposed Lucio Fontana and Freddy Krueger. The title brought to mind the horror of a tabloid headline, from which one can surmise some sexual crime. But written in an infantile hand, the phrase also evoked the mysterious fear that wafts between rows of school desks, a fear brought on by the imposition of knowledge. It is also the “monstrosity” of a creative supremacy that, for millennia, has been delineated in strictly male terms.

    What gesture is Ruggeri making when she pairs Fontana and Krueger

  • Name Diffusion

    Marion Baruch has made female subjectivity the core of her work. In 1990 she formed a company, called NAME DIFFUSION, signing her works with this “commercial” logo. An industrial product needs a name and needs to be diffused. But men and women also need a name, and they too require the diffusion of their products—emotions, work, ideas. A telephone-directory entry has no voice, no face, no thoughts, it remains anonymous. To break from this condition, in any field of endeavor, both public and private, it is necessary for the name imposed upon us to produce its own discourse one that is singularly

  • Alfredo Pirri

    Alfredo Pirri’s exhibition was entitled “PER NOI” (For us), implying a dedication, and a prayer. In fact, the work resonates with the Catholic invocation ora pro nobis. However this symbolic reference was tied not to stately places of ritual, but to moments of private reflection, and thus maintained a certain correspondence with the various “stations” of the cross. These appeared as metaphors in the perspectival space constructed by Pirri. In each room of the gallery, the artist traced a rhythmic scansion that produced an overall visual intimacy. At the same time, each work was composed of a

  • Thomas Schütte

    Being let in on a secret is always very exciting, particularly when what is revealed is something we thought we had already understood. It is disconcerting, not because certainties are overturned, but because places of the mind and of the heart, until then closed off, become accessible. This is how one felt upon seeing Thomas Schütte’s show. In fact, Schütte creates a connection between deeply submerged images and the birth of a new vision. The secret that he reveals is about the birth of subjective awareness that occurs in the exchange between what has already become conscious and what needs

  • Gilberto Zorio

    It is, perhaps, no accident that we are seeing a renewed interest in ideas that preceded the political and scientific revolutions of the 17th century. In fact, we are witnessing increasingly frequent use of esoteric and alchemic ideas, presented not as historical references but as the impetus for expanding one’s own sensibilities, for seeking a way out of the stagnant uncertainties that affect individuals and institutions the world over. It is as if the fall of the grand ideologies of the century has revitalized a dialogue with our distant roots: the need to view our own historic, cultural, and

  • Jannis Kounellis

    Telling one’s own story doesn’t simply mean showing what has happened, but creating, first of all for oneself, a relationship between the past and the present. This act gives rise to communication between the various places of a person’s development. In these two shows, Jannis Kounellis condensed his artistic evolution and presented the viewer with both his own story and a sense of continuity with the birth of a new vision. This is not a new way of working for Kounellis, but is, in fact, the basis of his artistic process. What emerged from the shows was the necessity to give shape to the

  • Abigail Lane

    To leave a mark on history is every individual’s aspiration. Abigail Lane, a 25-year-old English artist who attended Goldsmith’s College in London, invests her work with this vision. Making History (all works 1992) supplied the interpretive key for this show. It consists of a series of photographs, arranged in a sequence of four, with a single unit added on. This work captures the progress of a footstep through the image of a woman’s two bare legs depicted from the knees down. The feet are clad in thick-soled clogs that leave the sign of their passage on the floor. In this manner, Lane introduces

  • Liliana Moro

    Abbassamento” (Lowering), the title of this show of Liliana Moro’s work, focuses attention on the actual depletion of energy that pervades contemporary ideas, behavior, and aspirations. But Moro’s work removes itself from the idea of critical commentary on the times and instead emphasizes the desire for a change from below, looking skyward without denying earthbound roots. At the same time, she doesn’t fall into the trap of lamenting that it is no longer possible to invent anything new, or to escape the asphyxiating space of modernity. History has not ended; what has ended is historical

  • Franz West

    If denunciation is transgressive, the same can be said of happiness. In these two exhibitions, Franz West expressed a desire for happiness that has seemingly been forgotten in our era. At the Pieroni gallery this feature seemed explicit in the large sofa upon which an old carpet was spread out, hiding the usual metal structure with which West creates his “functional objects.” The work evoked memories of the “western-eastern divan” of Goethe, or Freud’s sofa at Berggasse 19, along with the feeling of the East elicited by antique Russian carpets. This emphasis is connected to contemporary political

  • Daniel Buren

    Daniel Buren’s work emphasizes the dialectic between object, sign, and place. Through modularity, he creates a virtual space that takes shape in the relationships among volume, color, and viewer. In this show, this relationship was shown through a play between visibility and invisibility, between the design of the object and the multiplication of colors reflected in it. Buren alternated bands of mirror and white laminated wood, constructing a series of ten large square frames—a direct symbol for painting. But unlike a painting, here everything took place outside the frame. At its center, the

  • Alberto Burri

    This exhibition of Alberto Burri’s work consisted of 20 large paintings, entitled Opere Recenti Cellotex (New works cellotex), created specifically for the occasion. Each individual canvas was the supporting element for a structure of forms and colors with which the artist constructed the space. The internal design of the forms evoked the first images painted by Burri in the late ’40s, while their architectural layout created a bridge to his plastic, burlap, and cracked-surface pieces. A fundamental element of these new works can be perceived within the physical and theoretical structure of the