Giorgio Verzotti

  • 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),

  • Michaelangelo Pistoletto

    Also on view at the Henry Moore Foundation

    Michelangelo Pistoletto’s celebrated mirror pieces signaled the broad-based emotional cooling that would beget ’60s Pop. Yet while the life-size photographic portraits against mirrored surfaces are often taken as typical of the period, they exhibit an alienating, conceptual dimension that was not fully to unfold for another decade. The Oxford exhibition, curated by Michael Tarantino, is dedicated to the mirror works from the ’60s and ’70s, while the Henry Moore Foundation features a series of large metal environments/containers created specifically for

  • Giovanni Segantini

    A leading Italian Post-Impressionist, Giovanni Segantini (1858–1899) was part of the movement known as Divisionism. During the final decade of the last century, he produced extraordinary landscape paintings, for the most part dedicated to the mountains of Engadine, canvases in which nature is invested with a profound spirituality. Segantini’s luminous color accentuates the allegorical character of his compositions and prepared the way for his late foray into Symbolist territory. On the centenary of his death, Gabriella Belli, director of the museum, and Segantini scholar Annie Paule Quinsac

  • Eva Marisaldi

    Eva Marisaldi’s recent solo exhibition consisted of a selection of works (all 1999) all quite different from each other, and the title of the show. “Accampamenti” (Encampments), with its evocation of the nomadic life, emphasized the multiplicity of directions the artist has taken in her current investigations.

    The viewer was greeted by a series of small objects placed on the floor on both sides of the gallery entrance. At first glance, they appeared to be simple wooden stools, but the tops of the seats, which sported green-and-white striped cushions, could be lifted, revealing compartments holding

  • Stefano Arienti

    This exhibition contained works by Stefano Arienti from the past three years: a group of large, chromatic portraits on tracing paper created entirely with spray paint. Although the aerosol cans he uses relate his practice to graffiti, the artist is careful to specify that, unlike street artists who often adjust the sprayer in order to have more control over it, he leaves the head intact. The broader jet of paint produced by a can that hasn’t been modified for “artistic” ends makes any kind of detail work virtually impossible. The final likeness—whether of a person, animal, or flower—can be

  • OPENINGS: MASSIMO BARTOLINI

    Visitors to the 1995 group show “Domestic Violence” were in for a surprise when they first set foot on what looked like the solid floor of the exhibition space. For the show, installed in the Milan home of gallerist Giò Marconi, Massimo Bartolini had covered the entire walking space of the living room with mattresses, over which he laid a second surface of tiles. On top of this false floor, he then replaced the room’s furniture, which wobbled and swayed as viewers stepped across the new, cushy ground.

    Bartolini’s installations tend to more or less subtly alter our experience of the environments

  • Peter Fischli/David Weiss

    In 1997, for the Sculpture Project in Münster, artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss installed Garten, a real garden like millions seen throughout our hemisphere: a rectangular plot of land cultivated with common vegetables and flowers. And so these two artists’ garden in Münster was no different from those in a thousand other cities and stood as an emblematic image of reality at its most habitual, long a recurrent theme in their work Asked to conceive a functional sculpture for an urban public space which would deal with collective memory, it must have seemed natural for them simply to plant

  • Corrado Levi

    This exhibition of Corrado Levi’s work consisted of only a few pieces, yet it managed to capture the variousness of his activity. Levi is an architect and instructor of architecture, an artist and writer; he collects contemporary art and avidly promotes the work of younger artists. During the ’70s he made significant theoretical contributions to the Italian gay liberation movement, including his essay “New Kamasutra,” on sadomasochism and its philosophical implications. The exhibition displayed a number of books written by Levi, ranging from lectures prepared for his university courses to poetry

  • Bertrand Lavier

    In this exhibition, French artist Bertrand Lavier presented a new series of works, along with one piece, Look, 1998, from his earlier series “Readymade Primitifs”—a skateboard mounted on a specially crafted metal pedestal. All of the pieces in that series are displayed on pedestals; the artist turned to an expert who evaluates ethnographic finds (that is, “primitive” works of art) and conceives specific structures for their display.

    Lavier’s pedestals can be understood as devices that signal the aesthetic or ethnographic value of his readymades (the formal qualities of the stand itself are decided

  • “La ville, le jardin, la mémoire”

    From time immemorial, the Via Medici has been the site of the French Academy in Rome, and its year-long residencies attract artists from all over France. Although the academy hosts temporary shows, the Villa Medici has never been wholly open to the public; but now, the three-part exhibition project “La ville, le jardin, la mémoire,” will accomplish just that (the first of the three yearly, summer-long segments, “La ville,” ended its run this August). Curated by Laurence Bossé, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the exhibition boasted an international roster of artists including

  • Pia Stadtbäumer

    In Pia Stadtbäumer’s sculptures, the human form is modeled in a classical manner, but with various abnormalities incorporated—some barely perceptible, others blatant. In the past she has created wax bas-reliefs that scrupulously reproduce the physiognomies of her friends and acquaintances, but with the features deformed in ways that are either horrifying or merely psychologically suggestive. She typically works from a photograph of a particular person; and the three figures in the show, her first in Milan, were based on a snapshot of her nephew Max. To create the sculptures on view, she first

  • the New School of Milan

    MILAN IS EXPERIENCING a disheartening decline in institutional support for contemporary art. Nothing is happening: public spaces that once offered notable exhibitions and events are now underutilized or host survey shows of question— able quality. The city government does not seem inclined to muster the energy and resources to put Milan back on the map culturally, and the result is the banality and mediocrity one would expect of a provincial city.

    But Italians are resourceful, and their inventiveness and initiative—in finding alternative uses for publicly funded spaces and creating private

  • David Salle

    The canvases in David Salle’s recent show—diptychs with one or more rectangular spaces cut out, into which other, smaller canvases have been inserted—were constructed in the artist’s trademark fashion. In the past, Salle’s incorporation of non-pictorial objects into his paintings led to works that were polymorphic and expansive, but in these newer canvases he has limited the range of incorporated materials to the canvas-within-a-canvas, and the play between planes has become exclusively pictorial. The show also contained paintings on paper, as well as a series of photographs shot over the course

  • Haim Steinbach

    Haim Steinbach’s recent retrospective managed to be concise and at the same time emphasize his creative range and stature. The curators chose to omit the artist’s virtuoso early assemblages incorporating a wide variety of domestic materials, beginning instead with the more technically accomplished “shelf pieces”—deadpan displays of consumer kitsch and precious goods—for which the artist became known during the mid-’80s.

    In Steinbach’s shelf pieces, the supports are rendered almost precious through the use of elegant plastic laminates, simultaneously evoking and transgressing Minimalist

  • “Made in Italy”

    For the first time since the appearance of the Transavanguardia, artwork by young Italians is being appreciated—even outside Italy—almost as much as that of young English, German, or American artists. A recent exhibition, which was conceived by Paolo Colombo for the Centre d’Art contemporain in Geneva and then traveled to London, was the most important manifestation thus far of this somewhat unexpected phenomenon. Despite the important role the Transavanguardia played in the aesthetic debates of the ’80s, work by younger Italians rarely crosses the borders of Italy, regardless of quality, except

  • Louise Bourgeois

    It is well known by now how allusions to corporality, in particular to sexuality, have become increasingly explicit in Louise Bourgeois’ work. Rarely, however, has this aspect been so generally apparent as in the artist’s recent show in Milan, her first solo exhibition at an Italian institution. The materials she worked with were in large measure fabrics and clothing, confirming her uninhibited and innovative use of items. The selection began with two 1997 pieces: Single III, a sort of hermaphroditic mannequin with two heads and no arms, and Arched Figure No. 3, reminiscent of Bourgeois’ 1993

  • Federico Pagliarini

    In his latest show, Federico Pagliarini, an artist whose recent work has involved interventions into various forms of mass media, presented a videotaped episode of a popular television program, Uomini e Donne (Men and women), hosted by a well-known Italian television personality. Ordinary people and their sexual partners appear on this show to discuss problems with their relationships before an audience whose members are encouraged to put in their own two cents. The “debates” that animate the program reveal a cross-section of contemporary obsessions.

    Pagliarini applied to appear on this show with