Francesco Stocchi

  • Ragnar Kjartansson, Take Me Here by the Dishwasher—Memorial of a Marriage, 2011, mixed media. Installation view.

    Ragnar Kjartansson

    Ragnar Kjartansson is interested in bringing fairy-tale situations to life, creating dreamy atmospheres that cannot be defined as surreal because they emerge from the Nordic storytelling tradition grounded in the soil of Iceland. For his first solo exhibition in Austria, Kjartansson dug into his own past, down to the roots of his existence, to examine how life can be a magical itinerary far beyond fantasy. Imagine the impact of seeing the moment of your own conception—and then imagine that it was staged in public. Reshaping it into a poetic, social rendering is an inventive solution to such

  • Heinrich Kühn

    Conventional photography did not exist for Heinrich Kühn, an Austrian who was born in Germany in 1866. His experimentation with photographic technique was allied to an unrestrained and analytic observation of his surrounding reality. Yet Kühn’s work does not primarily address his own chosen medium but rather opens a dialogue with painting and drawing, as seen in the approximately 150 works in the retrospective “Heinrich Kühn: The Perfect Photograph” (currently on view at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and traveling to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston). His total experimentation, without preconceptions,

  • Nicola Pecoraro

    Visitors to “The Wandering,” Nicola Pecoraro’s third solo show but his first in Rome, ideally should have experienced the exhibition with a sound track in the background, perhaps of the sort of electronic genre one hears a lot of now, a mix of natural elements and cold, synthesized sounds typical of the hybrid culture of our time. Pecoraro’s exhibition was similarly hybrid, not so much because he uses various media (painting, sculpture, photography, collage), but rather because of the ways in which the works suggest personal narratives or metaphors without falling back on the convention of the

  • Ariel Orozco, Loop, 2009, three wheelbarrows, birdseed, canary, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks October 22, 2009

    Ariel Orozco

    Ariel Orozco’s first solo exhibition in Italy encompasses various socioeconomic concerns with objects and images that subvert the viewer’s initial impressions. While the artist’s early body of work was defined by public acts tied intimately to recurrent metaphors, the development of his practice has recently switched toward an emphasis on exhibiting the results of process-based works, avoiding documentation of the artist’s presence altogether.

    Personal memory confronts reality and social convictions, yielding fragile outcomes, in pieces such as Déjà Vu (all works 2009), an installation that

  • Piero Golia and Fabian Marti

    Italian artist Piero Golia and Swiss artist Fabian Marti conceived of their collaboration “Ruins, Regrets and Visible Effects” in an ingenious way: an exhibition on two levels, where the main attraction was the membrane joining the inner and outer areas of an elaborate installation—a liminal space reminiscent of a “third landscape,” a nether- world between natural environment and artificial construction, as formulated by landscape architect Gilles Clément. A twisting architecture of plywood arches, columns, and tunnels—designed by Marti in consultation with Golia—unraveled, like catacombs rising

  • Richard Prince

    I put Nabokov’s Lolita and Kubrick’s Lolita next to each other. The book is Monarch Select paperback, MS27. No image on the cover. All graphics. Just the name ‘Lolita’ in red, stenciled in longhand against two background bands of yellow and white. The movie is an MGM/CBS Home Video. It’s in a thin cardboard slipcase. On the cover is a pastel illustration of Sue Lyon as Lolita. She has orange, heart-shaped sunglasses on. There’s a lollipop in her mouth. “Black comedy,” “Tragic farce,” “Comic despair” are italicized to the bottom left of her head. On the back, small black-and-white stills of Quilty

  • Diane Arbus spread from Harper’s Bazaar (April 1964). Left: Lillian and Dorothy Gish in Central Park, N.Y.C. Right: Erik Bruhn and Rudolf Nureyev, N.Y.C., 1964.
    picks January 23, 2009

    Diane Arbus

    Conceived by French artist Pierre Leguillon, this exhibition is a comprehensive retrospective of Diane Arbus’s photographs commissioned by American and British magazines during the 1960s. The show presents over 150 portraits that transcend the dichotomy between photography as an individual medium and as a mass medium. Arbus’s well-known investigative forays into diversity and everyday life stood out in magazines, which in the late ’50s began moving toward greater cultural diffusion. Although a large part of Arbus’s fame is posthumous, this show highlights the popularity and reception of her work

  • View of “Rachel Harrison,” 2008.
    picks December 15, 2008

    Rachel Harrison

    Rachel Harrison’s seeming interest in relativity, wherein each medium she deploys is defined not in itself but rather in dialogue with another, echoes throughout her practice. This show is no exception and presents ten works from 2008 that combine photography, video, sculpture, and painting. Here, the viewer’s possible expectation––that all art has to be seen or stated in a singular way––is transformed into a sense of ambivalence that underscores the subjectivity of perception. Harrison’s Chicken and Bike Week at Daytona make one wonder: How do we classify painting or sculpture? In contrast to

  • picks October 15, 2008

    “Behind”

    If thematic exhibitions present and try to comprehensively illustrate the results of a curator’s vision or research, why not skip back a few steps and display what was in the artist’s mind during the creative act? Why not attempt to exhibit the process that generated an artwork? For “Behind,” curator Ilaria Gianni has done just that, inviting ten young artists to show the method each adopted for a specific artwork. Artists, of course, employ dissimilar creative processes. Some, like Nina Beier and Marie Lund, follow a didactic set of rules by displaying material inherent to their pieces (in this

  • Geoffrey Farmer, It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late, 2008, modified rifle cleaner, wooden stool, and various signs, dimensions variable.
    picks October 08, 2008

    “I'm Never at Home”

    “I’m Never at Home” is a thoughtful exhibition inspired by the late, enigmatic Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran. Seven artists with very different approaches to artmaking were asked to respond to a paradoxical gesture employed by Cioran: To avoid being disturbed by visitors, he placed several door signs in front of his apartment, one of which stated I’M NEVER AT HOME. The most literal response to the exhibition’s conceit is Mircea Cantor’s outdoor piece, Eyes staring to my absence, 2008: an oak pole propped against a gallery wall (in rural Romania, a sign that no one is at home). This well-curated

  • Do Ho Suh, Staircase—V, 2003/2004/2008, polyester and steel tubes, dimensions variable.
    picks July 24, 2008

    “Psycho Buildings: Artists Take On Architecture”

    Celebrating the Hayward’s nearly forty years of vibrant activity, this anniversary exhibition brings into focus the museum’s ferocious concrete architecture. The show, which takes its title from Martin Kippenberger’s 1988 book of photographs, is not only another study of the relationship between art and architecture. The large-scale architectural environments created by the ten artists (Atelier Bow-Wow, Michael Beutler, Los Carpinteros, Gelitin, Mike Nelson, Ernesto Neto, Tobias Putrih, Tomas Saraceno, Do Ho Suh, and Rachel Whiteread) reflect the building’s sense of space and the visitor’s own

  • I due Cristi (The Two Christs), Palermo, 1982, black-and-white photograph, 39 3/8 x 59".
    picks July 07, 2008

    Letizia Battaglia

    Letizia Battaglia is known less as a fine artist than as a photojournalist devoted to capturing and chronicling the mafia’s undertakings in her hometown of Palermo, Italy, over the past thirty years for the independent newspaper L’Ora. Even the titles of her photographs are documentary in nature, comprising merely the dates and locations of the criminal activity or its consequences. Judges’ and politicians’ assassinations, Mafia-boss arrests, and the torment of victims’ families are the most common subjects of Battaglia’s images, many of which feature female figures. Though they conjure the grit