Giorgio Verzotti

  • 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.

  • Pino Pascali

    On the heels of the Tate Modern/Walker Art Center coproduction “Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera 1962–1972,” the Reina Sofía zooms in on the career of Pino Pascali, a key figure in the movement who died prematurely in 1968. The creator of sculptures that suggest large toys, constructed of diverse, nontraditional materials, Pascali reworked the imported ideas of Neo-Dada and Pop in a thoroughly original fashion. This exhibition, curated by Livia Velani and coproduced by the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, documents Pascali’s best-known work in addition to his investigations into artists’

  • Mario Airò

    Mario Airò partially modified the floor plan of the Galleria d'Arte Moderna to accommodate this show, which was divided into two complementary spaces. Two doors, placed side by side, connected to an entrance atrium where Welcome III, 2001, a Plexiglas model of a lighthouse, emitted a rotating red laser beam, the function of which was to unify, theoretically, the two spaces.

    To the right was La stanza dove Marsilio sognava di dormire (The room where Marsilio dreamed of sleeping), 2001, where Airò had exposed the large window (usually concealed) that runs along the entire right side of the room

  • Runa Islam

    DIRECTOR'S CUT (Fool for Love), the main work in this show (all works 2001), was a color film transferred to video and projected on two screens. It was accompanied by Staged, an installation of black-and-white photographs taken from the film, and a neon text piece, Prop. The film shows excerpts from a rehearsal of Sam Shepard's play Fool for Love. It sets up a comparison between the languages of cinema and theater, a bit like Robert Altman did with Shepard's text in the well-known film acted by the playwright and Kim Basinger. Islam, however, is interested not in the narrative development of

  • Angiola Gatti

    Angiola Gatti is a self-effacing painter from Turin who has been working for years without much notice. She deserves more attention for her novel investigations of abstraction, achieved by saturating the entire surface of her large canvases with interwoven patterns of ballpoint-pen or colored-pencil strokes. The resulting sequences of marks create fields of variable density, areas of greater or lesser concentration. Sometimes there are spirals, forms that expand outward from an energetic inner core. Or the marks may accumulate in heavy, motionless rectilinear figures that alternate with or are