Francesca Pola

  • picks October 16, 2018

    Carla Accardi

    Carla Accardi’s marks—remote yet imminent—conjure shining cosmic fibers, like constellations from the future. Entire galaxies can now be seen in one project spanning two cities and venues, both of which highlight later works of the Italian postwar avant-garde pioneer, who died in 2014. At Galleria Massimo Minini in Brescia, works on paper from the late 1960s are put in dialogue with ones dating from 2001 to 2010; Milan’s Francesca Minini gallery displays paintings made between 2003 and 2010.

    Accardi’s vibrant signs—in these galleries, rendered on floor pieces, Sicofoil, and traditional

  • Marco Bagnoli and Remo Salvadori

    Marco Bagnoli and Remo Salvadori both belong to that generation of Italian artists who had to come to terms early in their careers with the across-the-board return to painting after more than a decade of Arte Povera and Conceptual art. Bucking the trend, they chose to pursue work characterized by a strong cerebral component and an enormous variety of experimental materials and linguistic modalities. The breadth of media (including sound and video elements) and the technical, stylistic, and formal nonchalance of the work in this two-person exhibition demonstrate not only Galleria Christian Stein’s

  • picks March 26, 2018

    Alighiero Boetti

    This show presents a rarely seen side of Alighiero Boetti. In an untitled series of works on paper from 1982 to 1990, all of varied dimensions, the artist applies his Conceptual sensibility to nature and the animal kingdom—a central yet under-examined theme of his output since the late 1970s. Monkeys, panthers, dolphins, frogs, ibexes, tortoises, and other creatures populate an imaginary world in which they become infinitely combinable, not unlike the numerical and linguistic progressions the artist is best known for.

    In 1967, Boetti emerged as one of the principal exponents of Arte Povera, the

  • Giuseppe Chiari

    This show of more than one hundred works, distributed over five venues in Florence and Prato, Italy, documented the extraordinarily multi-faceted interdisciplinary activity of Giuseppe Chiari. In the early 1960s, he was active in various fields, among them music, the visual arts, writing, and performance. The exhibition’s title, “PentaChiari,” in addition to referring to the five galleries involved, picks up on Chiari’s background in music with a nod to the five lines of the musical staff, overlooking that his intention as a composer was to completely dismantle any conventional approach to

  • picks January 08, 2018

    Bruno Querci

    Painting light as an energy emanating from form: This is the goal that has guided the creative progress of Bruno Querci for over four decades. That objective that also emerges from this two-story exhibition comprising seminal works from the 1980s as well as great recent works all made for the occasion. Querci’s output, particularly from those earlier years, is presented as an alternative to dominant neo-expressionist trends, focusing instead on scaling back as a means of rediscovering painting’s fundamental aspects, particularly via the elementary, dynamic relationship between black and white.

  • picks December 08, 2017

    Alan Charlton

    This new, multifaceted exhibition of Alan Charlton’s work speaks to the continued vitality and richness of his production. In the late 1960s, the English artist was already pioneering a language of radical abstraction. Since that time, he has adopted gray as the distinctive and sole color in his practice––a color which embraces neutrality in opposition to representation and expression, but whose eminent urban overtones also explicitly connect his paintings to industrial culture.

    The large curved wall at the gallery’s entrance offered an opportunity for the artist to stage a new installation of

  • John Armleder

    Since he first emerged on the art scene in the late 1960s, John Armleder has sought to transcend categorization or definitive placement within genres, styles, or movements. His current show, “Better, Quasi,” is a sort of macro-installation, both unified and multiple, consistent and multifaceted, playing with the relational mechanisms between walls, surfaces, objects, and reflected images. The exhibition’s title seems to conjoin two fundamental factors in Armleder’s deliberately and knowingly eclectic poetics. On the one hand, better expresses a dynamic and progressive aim at improvement and is

  • Haim Steinbach

    Thirty years after his first solo show in Europe, held at Galleria Lia Rumma, American artist Haim Steinbach returned to the same gallery with “lemon yellow,” an exhibition conceived specifically for its site. The result was a reflection, through images, on relationships between artist, collector, art object, and exhibition space.

    Since the late 1970s Steinbach has focused on the presentation of everyday objects. Developing an irreverent and disorienting practice, linked only in part to the example of the Duchampian readymade, or to the reconsideration of objects effected by Pop art and hyperrealism,

  • Jason Martin

    With his most recent show, “New Oils,” Jason Martin introduced a new chapter in his investigation of the fundamentals of painting. The artist, who divides his time between London and Lisbon, received worldwide attention with his participation in the 1997 exhibition “Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection” at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. He is known for monochrome paintings on aluminum, stainless steel, or Plexiglas grounds, in which dense and expressive brushstrokes project outward, creating dynamic tension. In his recent works, Martin has applied the paint, which

  • picks October 24, 2017

    Osvaldo Licini

    I segni dell’angelo” (“Signs of the Angel”) offers an unusual and valuable opportunity to retrace the rich, multifaceted creative trajectory of Osvaldo Licini, one of the most significant Italian artists working in the first half of the twentieth century. Around forty works lead viewers through various phases of the artist’s inimitable visual vocabulary, which conjoins abstraction and Surrealism, rationality and poetic invention, sign-laden constructions and chromatic emotions.

    The show begins with abstract works exhibited in the artist’s first solo show in Italy, at the Galleria del Milione in

  • Mary Bauermeister

    This exhibition presented a selection of work from the 1960s and 1970s by Mary Bauermeister, one of the original proponents of a visual language intended to connect the grand European pictorial tradition with the material experimentation typical of postwar American art. Born in Frankfurt in 1934, the artist began working in Cologne in 1960 and moved to New York in 1962, along with the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, to whom she was married for five years, beginning in 1967. She would not return to Europe until the early ’70s. During her time in America, Bauermeister created her “lens boxes,” a

  • Giulio Turcato

    This exhibition presented two of Giulio Turcato’s key series from the 1960s: the “Tranquillanti” (Tranquillizers), which he created for Galleria il Canale in Venice (where the works were first exhibited in 1961), and the “Superfici lunari” (Moon Surfaces), which he started in 1964 and showed two years later at the Venice Biennale. Both expressed a new material-oriented direction for Turcato characterized by vibrant two-toned or monochrome surfaces and punctuated by insertions or material swellings that further developed ideas about color as an animate space for psychic evocation that he had

  • picks February 10, 2017

    Mario Deluigi

    This show focuses on the apical decades of Mario Deluigi’s work—the 1950s and 1960s—specifically documenting what is perhaps the artist’s best-known series: “Grattage” (Scrapings), 1953–78. First exhibited at the Twenty-Eighth Venice Biennale under the title “Motivi sui vuoti” (Motifs on Voids), the pictorial works feature painted surfaces that Deluigi carved with razor blades, shears, scalpels, and the handles of paintbrushes and spatulas, as if allowing a clear, sidereal light to emerge from preparatory depths, thereby drawing attention to the immaterial dimension of painting.

    One of the leading

  • picks December 05, 2016

    Carol Rama

    Carol Rama’s traveling retrospective concludes in Turin, the artist’s native city, where she lived and worked. One of the most significant presences in twentieth-century Italian art, Rama was honored with the Golden Lion award at the 2003 Venice Biennale. This show, the most comprehensive exhibition of her work to date, retraces the salient moments and series of her production, with approximately two hundred works dating from 1936 until her death in 2005.

    Rama was self-taught as an artist, and early on, during the years of Fascism in the 1930s and 1940s, she already was addressing the thorny

  • Mimmo Rotella

    Ten years have passed since the death of Mimmo Rotella, one of the most versatile and revolutionary Italian artists of the second half of the twentieth century. A suite of staggered but overlapping exhibitions at Cardi Gallery, Robilant + Voena, Galleria Carla Sozzani, and Fondazione Marconi celebrate his creativity and relevance, revealing the experimental strategies and techniques that characterized the career of this volcanically inventive practitioner. The works on display at four venues throughout the city delve beyond his celebrated “Décollages” and “Retro d’Affiches” (made with torn

  • Enrico Castellani, Robert Mangold, Robert Morris, and Kenneth Noland

    After a long, fruitful period in Bergamo, Italy, that began in 1971, the Galleria Fumagalli moved to Milan in 2011. This year the gallery moved again—though it remains in the same city—and opened its new venue with this show, “Enrico Castellani, Robert Mangold, Robert Morris, Kenneth Noland: A Personal View of Abstract Painting and Sculpture.” The main intention of the exhibition, organized by independent curator Hayden Dunbar, was to compare these four artists in relation to themes such as the redefinition of the artwork and its surface as objective and phenomenal realities, and the

  • picks October 20, 2016

    Matthias Bitzer

    For his fourth solo show at the gallery, Matthias Bitzer has produced a strongly evocative and inventively fresh installation. The image of the immaculate cloud that gives the exhibition its title refers to the spatial and temporal fluctuations that one perceives in this kaleidoscopic show. What emerges most clearly here is the versatility and breadth of the artist’s research, characterized by the destructuring and dematerialization of communicative codes and their tools, resulting in a new construction of signification.

    In the distortion, contraction, and use of different materials and

  • picks October 19, 2016

    Marco Gastini

    This invaluable exhibition, one of rare intensity, covers the first decade of Marco Gastini’s practice. During the 1960s in Turin, Gastini concentrated his work on the associations between the pictorial sign and its spatial presence, employing transparent materials, particularly Plexiglas. His experimentation took place at the same time but in a different direction from Arte Povera, Minimalism, and Conceptual art. Gastini proposes his work not as a compositional space but as an active field of relationships. The installation begins with an untitled piece from 1969 and the extraordinary Tre (

  • Emilio Isgrò

    This retrospective, curated by Marco Bazzini, showcased Emilio Isgrò’s multiform creative process in all its richness and variety—presenting an oeuvre that, for over half a century, has been based on the encounter between word and image. Isgrò’s artistic journey began in the early 1960s, with his fictitious “Titoli di giornale” (Newspaper Headlines), 1962–64, in which he drew on his professional experience as a journalist to reflect on the ways in which current events are treated by the media, the mechanisms of distortion underlying that information, and the coexistence of truth and falsehood

  • Franco Vimercati

    This exhibition offers the opportunity to assess the work of Franco Vimercati, one of most compelling figures in Italian conceptual photography. Vimercati’s photographs bring us up close to his seemingly weightless subjects, often presented against rich black backgrounds devoid of setting or texture. Yet because these subjects are reiterated and minimally varied, his work can be defined as a sort of conceptual figuration. The artist’s emphasis on seriality and mutation challenges the predominant notion of photography as capturing discrete moments in time. This is a poetics of objects articulated