Giorgio Verzotti

  • 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

  • OPENINGS: LARA FAVARETTO

    In the first volume of her Notebooks, Simone Weil argues that there is no such thing as collective thought but rather only that of the individual thinker. Disagreeing with this proposition, I have been happy to see it contested in the initiatives of the young Italian artist Lara Favaretto.

    I refer to Favaretto’s projects as initiatives rather than works because her practice is distinguished by its orientation toward collaboration. Since her school days at Milan’s Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in the mid- to late ’90s, Favaretto has been conceiving and executing her ideas in concert with others,

  • Pino Pascali

    The sculpture of Pino Pascali (1935-68) marks the moment of transition in Italy from Pop poetics to the investigations of anti-form materials and processes that characterized arte povera.

    The sculpture of Pino Pascali (1935-68) marks the moment of transition in Italy from Pop poetics to the investigations of anti-form materials and processes that characterized arte povera. The artist’s ironic spirit and varied aesthetic approaches are evident throughout his career, from the machine guns and life-sized howitzers made from salvaged carburetors, camping gear, and other detritus to his last pieces constructed from natural materials such as straw and wood or from artificial textiles like plush fabrics. Centered on a group

  • Gabriele di Matteo

    Gabriele Di Matteo’s work is based on quotation—and not only from the world of art. His recent exhibition was a true apotheosis of citation (and self-citation). The artist, principally a painter, also experiments with other media, and on this occasion several were used, but everything revolved around a single idea: creating an homage to Méliès, the great French director from the early days of cinema. The gallery’s first room held two enormous paintings, executed in impeccable realist technique. One reproduced an image taken from Méliès’s most famous film, A Trip to the Moon (1914), from a scene

  • Charles Sandison

    The gallery is plunged in darkness; words in motion float on the walls. The simple characters and the mostly white-on-black projection immediately evoke the computer, but at a rudimentary stage, far from the latest innovations of digital imaging; Charles Sandison is happy to forego the temptations of technological virtuosity. “Born a writer in an artist’s body,” as he says of himself, Sandison writes programs—chains of orders and choices, syntactic sequences—that generate words and bring them to life, regulating their movements and their connections, but only to a certain extent, since the

  • Francesco Lo Savio

    Working for only five years before his death in 1963, Francesco Lo Savio anticipated much American Minimal sculpture and European analytical tendencies of the ’70s.

    Working for only five years before his death in 1963, Francesco Lo Savio anticipated much American Minimal sculpture and European analytical tendencies of the ’70s. His art is qualified by its engagement with space, light, and real phenomena. Lo Savio’s study of light refraction led to series of paintings in which the canvas acts as a vector of formal elements that expand beyond its structural limits. His metal “articulations,” constructed according to internal spatial relationships, project outward, the body of the work opening up to and finding virtual

  • Giorgio Morandi

    The fact that this show takes place beyond Italy’s borders, in Wuppertal, indicates how much interest the Italian master continues to arouse abroad.

    Tomas Sharman, an English art historian based in Florence, is more than qualified to curate an exhibition dedicated to the still lifes of Giorgio Morandi (1890–1964). The fact that this show takes place beyond Italy’s borders, in Wuppertal, indicates how much interest the Italian master continues to arouse abroad. Tracing fifty years of the artist’s activity, from 1914 to 1964, and bringing together 127 paintings, drawings, and etchings, the exhibition succinctly illustrates the stylistic variations Morandi applied to his favorite theme (which he varied solely with some

  • Fausto Melotti

    Within the context of Italian art, sculptor Fausto Melotti (1901–86) had as profound an impact on his time as Lucio Fontana.

    Within the context of Italian art, sculptor Fausto Melotti (1901–86) had as profound an impact on his time as Lucio Fontana. Working as an abstract sculptor during the 1930s, a period that saw a return to figuration, Melotti radically changed the language of traditional sculpture, eliminating its weight in aerial metal constructions that appear threadlike and vibratile. Above all he rejected the Fascist rhetoric of the monument and the conventional use of marble and bronze. Recognized as a master in Italy, Melotti still remains underappreciated elsewhere. Perhaps this

  • Christian Boltanski

    Christian Boltanski’s most recent solo exhibition was a sort of summation of his work, but with an unexpected note that turned the show into an emotionally resonant event. The gallery space was divided into four parts, each set up as a station along a journey. The first stop was a large room dominated by a gigantic photographic portrait of the artist himself as a child, succeeded by ones at various ages up to adulthood, projected on a transparent surface that, blown by a fan, swayed in the air. The room was dark and the work difficult to see also because of the poor quality of the reproduction.

  • Carla Accardi

    Carla Accardi began her career as a painter in the late ’40s, and her work has shown ceaseless vitality ever since. When the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris simultaneously hosted a retrospective of her work and a group show of young painters last year, it was Accardi who came across as the youngest in spirit. Her pictorial marks are energetic elements that imbue the surface with dynamism and the luminous power of color.

    In the ’60s Accardi experimented with the additive law of pictorial color, according to which two contrasting tones of the same strength increase in luminosity when

  • Massimo Bartolini

    Massimo Bartolini recently had three important solo exhibitions—first in Milan, then in Rome, and finally in London (in a two-person show with Wiebke Siem). In Rome his intervention involved what has become his typical way of transforming the exhibition space. The gallery consists of one small room whose dimensions Bartolini further reduced by raising the floor level, as he has often done before. This time, however, the area occupied by the raised floor did not encompass the furniture in the room, which appeared as if abandoned. Moreover, the window and one of the two doors were walled up, and

  • Marisa Merz

    Once again Marisa Merz has managed to astonish. Her solo exhibitions are not only rare but so full of unexpected formal and intellectual turns that when a new show comes along her admirers rush to see what she’s come up with. On this occasion, as usual, a surprise was in store for those who had anticipated a grouping of small sculptures similar to those the artist recently exhibited in Paris. Merz has often turned to portraiture to animate her three-dimensional pieces, but here her interest in the theme led back to painting, that is, two-dimensional images meant to be contemplated from a single

  • Lily van der Stokker

    Dutch artist Lily van der Stokker covered the exterior of an entire building with white on pink decorative motifs for Expo 2000 in Hannover. Adjusting this ornamental gigantism to the more ordinary dimensions of an interior gallery space, the artist perhaps allowed more subtlety to come into play. Large sinuous lines delineating fuchsia or similarly syrupy-colored flowers, typical of the artist’s style, were repeated uniformly. There was a difference in the treatment of the gallery’s two rooms that, though it was not obvious at first, ultimately revealed the conceptual dimension of van der

  • Daniele Puppi

    As an art of both space and time, video succeeds in telling us something interesting only when the artist can affect our perception of these dimensions in fresh, even disruptive ways. Daniele Puppi’s videos, with their strongly disorienting spatial effects, are always disruptive—and they achieve this without recourse to advanced technology. His most recent solo exhibition was a confirmation of the hopes that many in Italy are placing on this young artist.

    Puppi installed his video Fatica no. 14 (Effort no. 14), 2001, in the smaller of the gallery’s two rooms, but the subject of the work was the

  • Elizabeth Peyton

    Elizabeth Peyton is a small woman who works for the most part on a small scale, but she is a majestic painter, perhaps the most important of her generation. The extremely traditional installation of this, her largest museum show to date, was correct and coherent because her work arouses in the viewer a devotion to painting, a passion for the old-fashioned pleasure of looking. In his catalogue essay Ronald Jones maintains that Peyton communicates to others what she has been able to recover for herself—a love of images and a faith in their veracity. Her paintings are always based on photographs,

  • Continuity: Art in Tuscany

    Since the end of World War II, Tuscany has been home to many first-rate artists who failed to reach an international audience.

    Since the end of World War II, Tuscany has been home to many first-rate artists who failed to reach an international audience. Now three coordinated exhibitions under the umbrella title “Continuità—Arte in Toscana” attempt to correct this situation. Curator Alberto Boatto concentrates on the period 1945–67 with an exhibition in Florence, while Jean-Christophe Ammann undertakes a focused contemporary show (1990–2000) at the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato. In Pistoia, Daniel Soutif considers the span 1968–89 in an exhibition

  • Eliseo Mattiacci

    Trajan’s Market, in the center of the Eternal City, is one of the entrances to the Roman Forum. Eliseo Mattiacci’s recent sculptures seem to have found an ideal site at this fascinating threshold between the ancient and the contemporary. The market entrance is structured like a large rectangular atrium, the two long sides of which have a total of twelve doorways leading to an equal number of side spaces. Three spaces on the right side are connected to each other by two doors, and it is here that the most spectacular installation, La mia idea del cosmo (My idea of the cosmos), 2001, was located.