Giorgio Verzotti

  • Davide Bertocchi

    THE THREE WORKS Davide Bertocchi presented here were each quite different but were subtly linked by an idea. In the gallery's single room, what first struck the viewer was Nucleo (Nucleus; all works 2000), a large sphere in dark fiberglass-reinforced plastic. On its surface, at eye level, was a hole large enough to accommodate the viewer's head. The interior of the sphere was completely dark, and this “portable abyss” (the artist's own words) could be experienced as long as one remained silent. As soon as there was any sound, a distinct echo reverberated, due to an acoustical device inserted

  • OPENINGS: SISLEJ XHAFA

    Italy is the destination of choice for many Albanian immigrants. It is the closest Western nation geographically and, thanks to Italian TV, the one they know best. Since the collapse of the Communist regime in the early ’90s, Albanians have been streaming into the country both legally and otherwise—even, in some cases, entering surreptiously on mafiosi motorboats. In the Italian national imagination, those who sneak into the country are scapegoats for criminal activity, convenient targets for the widespread xenophobia directed at immigrants from the east.

    Sislej Xhafa’s work is marked by

  • Preview Bovisa: Milan Europe 2000

    Milan still doesn’t have a museum of contemporary art, but it will in 2002—on the premises of a pair of gasoline storage facilities in the industrial zone of Bovisa. Looking toward the Museo del Presente’s arrival (the new institution is to be directed by Jean-Hubert Martin), the city is revving up with a massive exhibition of contemporary European art, set in Milan’s only two spaces currently devoted to contemporary art, the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea and the Palazzo della Triennale. Eighteen curators from seventeen nations have invited 120 artists to participate. The emphasis: work

  • Maurizio Cannavacciuolo

    Maurizio Cannavacciuolo stands out among Italian artists because of his extremely elaborate style of painting. His pictorial surfaces are densely covered with intricate decorative patterns against which figures stand out; these figures, in turn, are overlaid with other figures or outlines of figures, whose interiors are saturated with decorative motifs different from those painted on the backgrounds. No space remains free, no interstice left empty. Cannavacciuolo's canvases are like puzzles. The viewer's eye must follow a contour to grasp forms otherwise lost in the superimpositions; one must

  • Giuseppe Gabellone

    This first solo museum exhibition of the work of Giuseppe Gabellone originated in France, at the FRAC Limousin. Here the show was adapted to the space of an eighteenth-century palazzo, but with only ten pieces, the selection hardly did justice to the breadth of Gabellone’s work. Still, it did offer some clues as to his preoccupations. His photographs were well represented, though his early sculptures, from the mid-’90s, were ignored in favor of two very recent ones as well as some intermediary works. In their hermeticism, Gabellone’s works seem to address our alienation from the direct experience

  • Domenico Gnoll

    Domenico Gnoli (1933-70) spent much of his life away from his native Italy and thus left few works in the land of his birth. For that reason, Italian museums rarely revisit the output of this seminal postwar artist, making this exhibition, comprising thirty paintings, sixty drawings, and ten etchings, among the most noteworthy in this season. Gnoli’s paintings couple meticulous realism and comic-book irony, and his almost pathological eye magnifies the most inconspicuous details—lending the buttonhole of a jacket, or the part in a subject’s hair, an unexpected gravity and presence. Organized

  • Claudio Guarino

    Continuing with his methodology of melodrama and reinterpretation, Claudio Guarino has dedicated an exhibition to the century-old opera Tosca. But there was no trace of Puccini’s music, for the artist chose instead to play with the narrative content of the libretto. The show consisted of a ten-minute video, The Kiss of Tosca, and two other works (all 2000) in which the characters in the drama are reduced to two, Tosca herself and the evil Scarpia, played by two extremely talented English actors, Haver Chasen and Terence Brown. Tosca, decidedly older here, asks Scarpia the fate of her lover,

  • OPENINGS: ALESSANDRA TESI

    A SKATER ADVANCES through the fog on a frozen lake covered by a layer of thick red jelly; his blades cut into the translucent substance, which resembles a mixture of water and blood. The figure, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's fictional polar explorer Arthur Gordon Pym, mysteriously disappears before his story is complete, and he's destined for now at least to remain in the world of literary fantasy—unless Italian artist Alessandra Tesi finds a backer to finance filming on location. Her setting of choice: the South Pole. Anyone interested?

    Tesi, who has shown throughout Europe, has been

  • Costa Vece

    FOR HIS FIRST SOLO SHOW IN ITALY, Swiss artist Costa Vece filled the gallery's two adjoining rooms with a single military rent, which one penetrated on entering from the street and exited directly into the building's interior courtyard. The installation was entitled Bomb No. 5, 2000, and all the materials jammed into the tent alluded to the danger of an imminent explosion. Cans, crates, and all kinds of military paraphernalia evoked wartime scenarios, while small monitors transmitted images of countdowns and other visual signals. The video images repeated cyclically—a continuous extension

  • Marc Quinn

    FOR ONCE, the Prada Foundation did not have to transform its space: The extravagance typical of the foundation's exhibitions, was, in this case, achieved by the works on display alone, thanks to the technical wizardry evidently required to create them. Indeed, in the works made for this occasion, Marc Quinn's propensity for a certain magniloquence seemed to confirm the desire for effect so apparent in earlier work that it became a factor in his reputation as one of England's most “sensational” artists.

    Continuous Present, 2000, is a large stainless-steel cylinder with a reflective surface and a

  • Paul Klee

    Paul Klee's work is once again the subject of lively discussion in Italy, thanks to an extensive retrospective organized by the Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin's modern art museum. GAM director Pier Giovanni Castagnoli and his curatorial staff have borrowed from collections throughout the world to assemble some one hundred oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and etchings made between 1904 and 1940, documenting the entire creative span of the Swiss master's career. Both the exhibition—the first major Klee survey in Italy since 1992—and the catalogue stress the

  • Enrica Borghi

    Enrica Borghi is now well known in Italy for sculptural work using recycled plastic materials ranging from fake fingernails to fragments of plastic bottles. In the unfortunately rather unattractive Spazio Aperto (open space) that Bologna’s Galleria d’Arte Moderna reserves for the work of young artists, Borghi showed pieces in her familiar style along with a new installation, Gioielleria “Tiffany” (Tiffany jewelers), 2000. Seven pedestals covered with elegant black satin draperies and topped by Plexiglas showcases were arranged along a corridor. Similar to jewelry display cases, these objects,

  • “Le Temps, Vite!”

    The Pompidou has reopened after a year of renovation with a series of shows, including one called “Le Temps, vite!” (Time, quickly!). The day I saw it, there was a long line of people waiting in the building’s new cafeteria, now located above the bookstore in the enormous entrance hall. Having no time to spare, I skipped lunch and went directly to the sixth floor. It was only on leaving that I discovered four hours had passed without my realizing it at all, save for some lightheadedness due to hunger.

    As it happens, this episode illustrated perfectly one of the principal themes of “Le Temps,

  • Maria Hedlund

    In her first solo exhibition in Italy, Swedish artist Maria Hedlund presented four large photographs (all untitled, 1998) and one with much smaller dimensions (Meditations, 1999), all dealing with the same subject: men’s shirts seen from the back, photographed with a zoom lens that framed just the shoulder area and part of the sleeves. The fabric of the garments is always striped or checked, typical of traditional menswear and offering a minimal degree of decoration. The shirts’ textures are elaborate but extremely minute, and the nuances of their colors sober and tonally harmonious.

    What makes

  • The Shape of the World/The End of the World

    Can art give “form” to the world, can it anticipate, even shape the future? Or is art today left to merely register the movement of the fragmented ego—to describe culture's incipient demise? At a moment in which the ideological crises of recent decades have practically given way to the all-purpose utopianism of the global, critic and curator Marco Meneguzzo turns for answers to the art of the present. The show brings together more than fifty works by thirty artists, including Matthew Barney, Alighiero e Boetti, Yayoi Kusama, Mona Hatoum, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Hélio Oiticica, and Jeff

  • Shadow of Reason: The Idea of the Sacred in European Identity

    This broad selection of more than one hundred works will investigate the spiritual, mystical, and irrational in twentieth-century European art, taking as a point of departure Edward Munch's painting Melancholy (Laura), 1899. The show includes more than thirty artists: masters such as Malevich, Giacometti, Bacon, Beuys, and Kiefer, along with younger contributors like Sara Ciraci and Alessandra Tesi. Galleria d'Arte Moderna head Danilo Eccher curates, with the help of a committee of ten museum directors including Rudi Fuchs of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Vicente Todoli of the Fundação de

  • Laura Matei

    For her first solo gallery show, Laura Matei, a young Romanian artist living in Italy, forged an unexpected union between canvas and sewing needles. Four white canvases hanging in a row tracked the progression, from left to right, of an acrobat walking a tightrope. The figure was “drawn” by passing black thread through the eyes of needles stuck through and protruding from the surface of the canvas.

    Exact in its geometric conciseness, fascinating in its airy lightness, Funanbolo, 1999, is also ironic, since, while remaining almost disembodied, it presents itself as a kind of bas-relief. Matei has

  • Christiane Löhr

    The first thing one noticed in Christiane Löhr’s recent show was the barely tangible presence—it could almost be described as an absence—of a sculpture made entirely of horsehair. Skillfully tied together and attached to both ceiling and floor, extremely fine black threads delineated the outlines of a volume, which the eye, only after considerable effort, gradually perceived as a set of three intersecting cones. Occupying the entire front room of the gallery, the structure animated the space with its impalpability, instilling in the viewer the fear either of not seeing the work clearly or of

  • Appearance

    If the specter of biological manipulations of reality rooted in our very DNA inhibits our full embrace of the future, irony affords a vehicle to meet our millennial forebodings halfway. This, at least, seems the case with Galleria director Danilo Eccher’s five-artist show. Eccher traffics in the play of “appearances,” the pleasure of relinquishing one’s identity in order to inhabit others, whether through acts of transvestism (Luigi Ontani or Yasumasa Morimura) or through the construction of fabulous quasi-mythical types (Pierre et Gilles). But the irony runs deeper: Our foreboding with respect

  • Luca Vitone

    Luca Vitone’s exhibition “Itinerari Intimi” (Intimate journeys) presented a selection of works keyed to significant moments in the artist’s life. This autobiographical journey began with a black-and-white photograph of Vitone as a child, standing in front of a map of Italy. As suggested by the title, Previsioni del tempo (Previsions of time), the photo might be read as a prophetic image, given Vitone’s later explorations of topography as a subject for his art. Nearby, a pile of letters and postcards, visibly water-damaged, lay on the floor of the gallery. This piece, Corrispondenza (Correspondence),