Giorgio Verzotti

  • Roberto Cuoghi

    Roberto Cuoghi’s recent exhibition, “Šuillakku,” consisted of a large sculpture, Pazuzu (all works 2008), at the bottom of the museum’s seventeenth-century staircase and a complex sound installation, Šuillakku, that occupied the entire third floor of the building. “Šuillakku” designates a choral prayer position practiced among the ancient Assyrians, whose civilization Cuoghi has studied in depth. The Assyrians built the first great empire in ancient times, one that lasted for centuries but was destroyed quickly by the Median and Babylonian armies early in the seventh century BC. The vestiges of

  • Pietro Consagra

    Pietro Consagra, who died in 2005, was one of the most interesting Italian artists working in abstract sculpture during the postwar period. “Necessità del colore: sculture e dipinti 1964–2000” (Necessity of Color: Sculptures and Paintings 1964–2000), the exhibition at Galleria dello Scudo, focused above all on work from the ’60s and ’70s. More of Consagra’s work, including some very large-scale pieces, could be seen concurrently at the Museo di Castelvecchio. Together, the gallery and the museum have published a weighty catalogue that documents in depth this rich creative phase in the artist’s

  • “Los Cinema Lost”

    In “Lost Cinema Lost,” the Galleria Civica in Modena brought together recent works by two artists in a unified presentation. Runa Islam showed four recent films, two made for this occasion, while Tobias Putrih created a pair of environments that functioned as screening rooms for two of Islam’s films, as well as a light installation presented in tandem with another of her films.

    The show began with Putrih’s Screening Space Related to What’s a Thought Experiment, Anyhow? by Runa Islam, 2007–2008, a structure created from simple cardboard walls held together by colored tape, illuminated from above

  • Daniele Innamorato

    Allowing liquid paint to run down a vertically positioned canvas is certainly nothing new in painting, but it’s hard to think of anyone, at least in my memory, who has applied this simple painting technique to the wall of the exhibition space as well as to the surface of the canvas—at least until now. Daniele Innamorato expands this mechanical and passive gesture to an environmental scale, transforming it into a generator of energy. The video Opera Prima (all works 2007) documented the operation: The artist and some assistants climb a ladder and apply brushes full of acrylic paint where the wall

  • Matti Braun

    The theme of the recent show by German artist Matti Braun was succinctly illustrated by Untitled (Sarabhai) (all works 2007), six black-and-white photographs illustrating the life and work of Vikram Sarabhai, an Indian physicist responsible for his country’s first satellite. The images show the satellite itself, a portrait of the scientist in traditional dress, his bust sculpted in bronze, a family photo (with the poet Tagore at the center and, among the others, the scientist’s sister, who was an assistant to John Cage), the family home designed by Le Corbusier, and a drawing by Cage. Sarabhai

  • Marcello Maloberti

    More than works of art, Marcello Maloberti makes devices that stimulate public interaction, resulting in an event that is something like a party or fair. This exhibition, “Tagadà,” which incorporated a number of elements Maloberti had previously used in a long and complex performance in 2006 at a psychiatric hospital outside Milan, was named for an amusement-park ride in which riders sit in a large bowl that spins around and jolts them about—presumably, the artist wanted to shake his viewers up in the same exhilarating way. At the entrance to the gallery, the viewer encountered first a

  • Maggie Cardelùs

    In her work, Maggie Cardelùs investigates photography and its relationship to memory. She has created many sculptures or installations made from large surfaces of cut-up photographs, in which the image becomes lost in the tangles of strips of paper. Her most recent exhibition was quite different. She has begun using video, which has radically transformed not so much the thinking behind her work as its effect on the viewer. The first work one saw, the installation Looking for time (all works 2007), includes an eighteen-minute video loop in which time is “made present,” almost physically perceptible.

  • Francesco Gennari

    Contemporary artists tend to reject the view that an artist is some exalted, exceptional personality who, out of nothing, creates something highly significant to the rest of the world; today this concept is considered too aristocratic or belatedly Romantic. But among some young Italian artists, including Francesco Gennari, the idea seems to be making a comeback. Clearly, this position implies a bit of egocentrism—an attitude confirmed by the rather cryptic press release for Gennari’s recent exhibition, in which the artist went so far as to use the word demiurge to describe himself.

    The show’s

  • Michelangelo Pistoletto

    Michelangelo Pistoletto’s most recent—and most extraordinary—work is entitled La Giuria (The Jury), 1962–2006. A large mirror with a photographic image silk-screened onto its surface, more than thirty feet in length and eight feet in height, the piece almost entirely covered the longest wall of the gallery. This large reflective surface, divided into eight sheets, neither rested against the wall nor touched the floor, unlike nearly all his earlier mirrors, which merge mimetically with the space their reflection duplicates. Approaching visitors were kept at a distance thanks to the large white

  • Paola Pivi

    The Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in Milan has no fixed premises and is always changing locations for its exhibitions. For Paola Pivi’s exhibition “My Religion Is Kindness. Thank You, See You in the Future,” curator Massimiliano Gioni chose the old, unused warehouse of the Porta Genova train station, a regional hub in a working-class neighborhood. The space is structured like a long corridor, divided into three sections. In the first section, Pivi exhibited Interesting, 2006, a series of live animals, all of them white: two gigantic metal aviaries contained, respectively, a solitary white peacock

  • diary May 22, 2006

    Dinner and a Show

    Milan

    Tuesday evening in Milan was so hot that there were more people out on the terrace overlooking the Piazza del Duomo than inside the Palazzo dell’Arengario. The building, which is in the pure Fascist style, currently houses a new exhibition by Martin Creed, organized by the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi. Here, the British artist makes effective use of an entrance and a colonnaded corridor, employing the former as a backdrop for a striking video projection of a girl vomiting red liquid, and transforming the latter into a theatrical space by playing with the lights. Inside a third room, the source

  • Vedovamazzei

    The works of Vedovamazzei (Simeone Crispino and Stella Scala) always result from an encounter with reality, either the physical reality of an object or the virtual reality of information. This exhibition, the Italian artists’ first in Paris, gave viewers a taste of their multiform sources of inspiration. Two pieces in particular demonstrate how the realms of objects and of the media coexist in the work. The Swimmer (all works 2005) consists of eighty-nine lightbulbs of different sizes, arranged on a large white platform. All the bulbs are painted with bright images from the 1968 film The Swimmer

  • Alice Cattaneo

    What was so striking about Alice Cattaneo’s first solo exhibition in Italy was her unusual ability to get surprising results with very simple means. The first room in the gallery contained a sculpture composed of sheets of gray cardboard, colored cubes used to teach elementary math, and thin sticks of wood, the sort that hobbyists use in constructing their model airplanes and sailboats, all held together with fragments of duct tape. This ephemeral “plastic complex,” somewhat reminiscent of those Constructivist reliefs located in space in the most unexpected manner, was striking for its skillful

  • Giuseppe Gabellone

    Giuseppe Gabellone is one of the first artists to show at Claudio Guenzani’s newly opened project space, which may seem appropriate inasmuch as all of the artist’s shows are “special projects”—projects whose enigmatic nature provides cause for reflection and debate. This was true of his contribution to the 2003 Venice Biennale, where he presented large plastic bas-reliefs with Japanese figures, probably of ancient derivation—a discordant and inexplicable union of image and material. The memory of these pieces is present on this latest occasion, because groups of Eastern figures are again depicted

  • Vanessa Beecroft

    This exhibition featured, but was not limited to, documentation of Vanessa Beecroft’s most recent performance in Italy, VB53, which took place in Florence in 2004. On that occasion the artist used the Tepidarium, an extraordinarily beautiful greenhouse from 1880 that stands in the Tuscan capital’s Giardino dell’Orticoltura. A large photo of the event takes in the entire scene from above: Twenty-one young women wearing only gray or black Helmut Lang shoes lie atop a large earthen mound at the center of the space. All are more or less young and more or less beautiful; some wear long wigs. One in

  • Tobias Rehberger

    As is often the case with exhibitions by Tobias Rehberger, here again the viewer was confronted with ambiguous works that hover between utilitarian object, architectural project, and autonomous work of art. The entrance to the first room contained an affectionate homage to Martin Kippenberger: drawn in spray paint on the wall, the by-now-unmistakable silhouette of Kippenberger’s sculptural self-portrait Martin, Go in the Corner, Shame on You, 1989, with its title also spray-painted on the wall. On the opposite side of the same surface was a completely different sort of intervention, the prototype

  • Enzo Cucchi

    After an absence of three years, Enzo Cucchi returned to Milan with an exhibition, “Prima neve” (First Snow), dominated by a single, large, plaster sculpture located in the first room of this modestly sized gallery. Il comandante della luce in perlustrazione (The Commander of Light on Patrol; all works 2004) recalls those vertical sculptures in Gothic cathedrals that were elongated to compensate for being viewed from below, and it greeted the visitor with a strongly ambiguous charge. The nude male figure alludes to the features of Christ—head bowed, long beard and hair, sunken eyes—and brings

  • Monica Bonvicini

    Monica Bonvicini’s most recent exhibition in Italy marked an important turning point in her work, bringing to maturation themes present in earlier pieces that focused on the idea of the fetish. The two canonical definitions of the fetish, those of Marx and Freud, were explicitly referenced, written in pencil at the bottom of Drawing for Blind Shot (Fetish), 2004. The fetish, considered both as a sign of the alienation of the worker from the product of his work and the substitution of the eroticized body with an object equivalent, is fundamental to the principal relationships that exist in Western

  • Francesco Vezzoli

    The enormous space of the new Fondazione Prada headquarters was divided in two, longitudinally, by a large red curtain. On one side was a movie theater with 120 Mackintosh chairs organized in rows in front of a large white screen edged in black at top and bottom. Two spotlights illuminated the word FINE (“end”) printed on the screen; at its bottom right Francesco Vezzoli had embroidered the signature of Pier Paolo Pasolini. Vezzoli’s exhibition was conceived entirely in relationship to Pasolini and two of his films, the documentary Comizi d’amore (Love Meetings, 1965) and Salò, or the 120 Days

  • Euan Macdonald

    In a relatively small space, the Scottish-born, Los Angeles–based artist Euan Macdonald presented a few recent works, all involving a certain perceptual and conceptual subtlety. The most intriguing among them was the DVD Healer, 2002, projected on the wall and shown in a darkened room provided with seats, like a small movie theater. The performance it depicted began with a view of an orange curtain, from the other side of which an elderly middle-class woman—the artist’s landlady during a residency in New Zealand—appeared before an invisible public, her arms sometimes at her side and sometimes