Francesca Pola

  • View of “Marco Bagnoli and Remo Salvadori,” 2018. Background: Remo Salvadori, Nel momento (In the Moment), 1993–2007; Foreground: Remo Salvadori, Continuo infinito presente (Continuous Infinite Present), 1984–2009.

    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, Metodo per suonare: la sedia (Method for Playing: The Chair), 1969, gelatin silver print, 6 7/8 x 9 1/2".

    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.

  • Alan Charlton, 20 Vertical Parts, 1990/2017, acrylic on canvas, 88 1/2 x 14 1/4" each.
    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, Total, 2017, mirror, lacquered wood, 92 x 75 x 24".

    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

  • View of “Haim Steinbach,” 2017. From left: bluevelvet, 2017; Untitled (dog chew, mouse), 2017. Photo: Danilo Donzelli.

    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, Untitled (Permanent Yellow/Madder Lake), 2017, oil on aluminum, 86 5/8 x 70".

    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

  • Osvaldo Licini, Personaggio Olandese volante (Flying Dutchman Character), 1945, oil on canvas laid on panel, 9 x 11".
    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, Ultramarine Tubes, 1969–70, aluminum, glass, Plexiglas, optical lenses, shaped and painted wood, stones, ink, paint, 19 3/4 × 10 1/4 × 7".

    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, Superficie lunare (Moon Surface), 1969, oil and mixed media on foam rubber, 23 5/8 × 31 1/2". From the series “Superfici lunari” (Moon Surfaces), 1964–73.

    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

  • View of “Mario Deluigi,” 2017
    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