Ida Panicelli


    PARIS, JUNE 1981. Germano Celant and I are drinking at a bar after the opening of his exhibition “Identité italienne. L’art en Italie depuis 1959” (Italian Identity. Art in Italy Since 1959) at the Centre Pompidou. He points to a young woman on a banquette, engaged in intense conversation. “That’s Ingrid Sischy, the new editor of Artforum,” he said. “I’ll introduce you.” That introduction transformed my life.

    Germano and Ingrid changed the magazine forever. They were perfect partners, truly phenomenal, each bringing out the best in the other. She: street-smart, a voracious consumer of the present

  • “Dancing at the Edge of the World”

    Ten brave female-identifying artists put the body—and its empowerment—at the center of this provocative show, curated by Marcelle Joseph and inspired by the gentle feminist utopia in Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1989 book Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places. Observing how the body clashes with social mechanisms, these young artists analyzed the dichotomies and contradictions of gender identity and the oppressive strategies of the patriarchal system with a critical gaze in a wide variety of mediums. The approaches range from Megan Rooney’s domestic portraits immersed in

  • picks March 11, 2020

    Sabina Mirri

    In the four collages and pastels on rice paper included in Sabina Mirri’s latest rabbit hole of a show, “Gonna be a cult character,” an epicene and anthropomorphized white hare appears in scenes of indecent leisure. In one collage, our leporid seducer lies recumbent on a grass-green chaise longue, sporting high heels and suspenders while displaying its (male) sexual organ, puffing a cigar, and imbibing its favorite gin. In another, under the spell of a large spliff, it shows small breasts and large hips. As utterly strange as the March Hare and perhaps a cousin to Joseph Beuys’s famous dead

  • Pat Steir

    For the past year and a half, a beautifully illustrated German book has been sitting like a totem on Pat Steir’s worktable. Werner Spillmann’s Farb-Systeme 1611–2007 (2009) details a wide range of color theories and color wheels invented over the centuries, from Isaac Newton’s scientific studies on light, to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s studies of color and mysticism, to Paul Klee’s and Le Corbusier’s experiments. (Only one woman’s efforts are included.) But Steir is not fluent in German. The inspiration she has taken from that silent oracle has been entirely visual: no theories, just colors,

  • Fiamma Montezemolo

    Fiamma Montezemolo, an Italian-born artist based in San Francisco, has a background in anthropology, and her six years of fieldwork in Tijuana, Mexico, starting in 2001, gave her a clear sense of life along the frontera. In this exhibition, “Entanglements,” curated by Matteo Lucchetti, she explored frontier regions as delicate as human skin or as intangible as the liquid borders in the Mediterranean Sea in order to find images for the marginalization and oppression of otherness as a paradigm that has been repeated at different historical moments. The show’s title not only refers to the phenomenon,

  • Wayne Thiebaud

    Forget the cakes, ice creams, and pastries that pop into your head when you hear “Wayne Thiebaud.” Nothing was sugarcoated in the mountainous solitary landscapes that appeared at Acquavella. Across thirty-three works in sundry media—oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, gouache, and assorted types of prints—the artist confronted vertiginous territories with the same enchanted, impassioned eye as that of Caspar David Friedrich. Altitude doesn’t frighten Thiebaud, because he’s able to convey monumental scale, even in more modestly sized pieces. His vision extends over spectacular, unobstructed vistas—and

  • Guglielmo Castelli

    Iposcenio, or “hyposcenium,” refers to the below-stage space where scenery and props are kept out of sight in the deep bowels of a theater. It was a fitting title for this exhibition of Guglielmo Castelli’s paintings, all tied to introspection or, rather, to the possibility of giving form to what lies hidden in the unconscious. This young Turinese artist’s idiosyncratic work contains no real narrative but offers potential plots and stories on the verge of being, or that might have been but never happened. Viewers are offered rapid glimpses into the interval between a before and an after, the

  • Lauretta Vinciarelli

    Bringing to light the women artists who lived in the shadow of their more famous male partners is hard. To focus on Lauretta Vinciarelli (1943–2011), we must extricate her legacy from her ten-year relationship with Donald Judd as a professional collaborator, friend, and lover. Between 1978 and 2000, Vinciarelli was a distinguished professor at New York’s Columbia University, where she taught studio courses that questioned the values of modernist architecture through the study of building typologies. The Italian-born artist’s cultural interests were vast, ranging from Greek and Latin literature

  • Cuoghi Corsello

    Monica Cuoghi and Claudio Corsello began working together in Bologna, Italy, in the mid-1980s, and in the vibrant, creative climate of that period they soon became the city’s best-known street artists. Picking up on the hip-hop stimuli of graffiti, they moved beyond the spare and repetitive modes of street writing and invented stylized animal figures, elegantly applied to the city’s buildings and next to its railroad tracks as well as to the walls of friends’ houses. At the time, their two most famous tags, the Pea Brain goose and CK8 (a play on the Italian for cooked dog, cane cotto), were like


    Curated by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi and Luigia Lonardelli 

    Presenting approximately 250 works from both private collections and the Maria Lai archives, this exhibition celebrates what would have been the hundredth birthday of the eclectic Sardinian artist (1919–2013). Divided into five thematic sections, it will reflect the overlapping concerns that harmonize in Lai’s oeuvre. The ancient power of myths and popular legends, deeply embedded in her native land’s collective unconscious, are entwined within works that take different forms, from weaving to performance to sculpture, and are made from

  • “The Street”

    WITH ITS UNAMBIGUOUS TITLE and broad inclusion of upward of two hundred artworks by more than 140 artists from every habitable continent, “La strada. Dove si crea il mondo” (The Street: Where the World Is Made) addresses how art, design, and architecture shape our urban environments and influence how we participate in daily life. Hou Hanru, Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo’s artistic director and the exhibition’s curator, identifies the street as a predominantly political space, one defined by the totality of systems that animate it: transportation, business, and work, as well as food,

  • Juan Uslé

    Since the late 1980s, the painter Juan Uslé has divided his time between New York and Spain, so it is probably inevitable that what might be called a “pendular” mode is inscribed in the work of this bilingual and bicultural artist. Perhaps more surprising is that it takes the form of a synesthetic investigation of rhythm. In the fourteen paintings (all works 2018), in his recent exhibition “Pedramala” (whose title refers to an area in the south of Spain, near Valencia, where Uslé has a house), color, forms, and marks were regulated by a continuous movement, giving the sense of an apparently

  • Alfredo Jaar

    Its windows covered with red film, the gallery emitted a luminous glow, but this was no disco. Entering, viewers were enveloped by a dense fog that forced them to move about cautiously, drawn to a red neon sign that covered the entire back wall, its letters very far apart, elongated like falling teardrops and nearly illegible. The words had to be reconstructed one by one so that their meaning could be felt in all its painful effect: WHAT NEED IS THERE TO WEEP OVER PARTS OF LIFE? THE WHOLE OF IT CALLS FOR TEARS. This is also the title of this 2018 work, taken from the letter of consolation written

  • picks December 05, 2018

    Mimmo Rotella

    In the early 1950s, to escape the trap of geometric abstraction and art informel, which were then dominant modes, Mimmo Rotella invented his own personal language, one inspired by his contemporaries’ experimentations—from Lucio Fontana’s trademark slashes to the use of “improper” art materials, as in Alberto Burri’s sacchi (burlap sack pieces). As apparent from the garish advertising plastered across city walls, postwar Italy had become driven by consumerism. Fascinated by these posters, Rotella appropriated them, scraping them from the walls of Rome at night and then, in his studio, assembling

  • Marzia Migliora

    Marzia Migliora has more than once engaged in dialogue with buildings that have a rich historical, cultural, and social resonance: Palazzo del Lavoro in Turin in 2016, Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice in 2017. Absorbing the significance of such structures, she responds with works of great emotional density and rigorous attention to detail. In this exhibition, titled “Voce del verbo avere” (Voice of the Verb to Have), she rose to the challenge presented by Palermo’s Palazzo Branciforte, a sixteenth-century edifice that, in the nineteenth century, housed the Monte dei Pegni di Santa Rosalia—a pawnshop.

  • picks October 25, 2018

    Jaanus Samma

    In “Outhouse by the Church,” Jaanus Samma examines the public urinal as a site of past and present gay cruising. Flaminio Station 1–4, 2016–18, based on archival research and a map of Roman public baths, focuses on one such facility near Piazza del Popolo, which has not yet been rendered anachronistic by dating apps and remains a cruising site. In this series, four panels of yellow ceramic tiles evoke public bathrooms; graffiti with offers and requests for sexual services and the inevitable tones of trash talk contribute to the work’s extroverted and rambunctiously Pop-y nature.

    In contrast,

  • Leon Golub

    An unforgiving witness to his time, Leon Golub (1922–2004) was America’s Goya during the second half of the twentieth century, recording and denouncing in his art what critic Donald Kuspit called the “pathology of power.” While aware of various classical European sculptural and pictorial traditions, as well as developments in French postwar art, Golub’s painting is rough, stripped bare of anything agreeable or polite. Neither alluring nor eager to please, his images are coarse—they scrape against the eyes. He drew upon a wide variety of visual sources, high and low: from Greek statuary and

  • Elaine Reichek

    The protagonists of Elaine Reichek’s first exhibition in Austria, “Now If I Had Been Writing This Story,” were four mythological women from ancient Crete: Ariadne, Europa, Pasiphaë, and Phaedra. While they may be of divine descent, these women are not in command of their own fates. Their destinies are determined by gods, kings, husbands, and lovers, driven by lust, betrayals, vendettas, and duplicity. They are kidnapped, abandoned, ransomed, glorified, or punished, always at the mercy of events beyond their control. They are free only to experience frenzied and often destructive passions, schemes,

  • Francesco Clemente

    Accustomed to collaborating with poets and writers—among them Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Rene Ricard, and Salman Rushdie—Francesco Clemente allowed himself to be seduced by Poet in New York, the recently retranslated collection of poems that Federico García Lorca wrote between 1929 and 1930 while a student at Columbia University. With a sort of foresight, Lorca saw the city as a merciless meat grinder that devours the most vulnerable, the destitute, and innocent children. His critique of the capitalist world led him to write of Wall Street: “There, as nowhere else, you feel a total

  • Romina Bassu

    In “Male Gaze,” Romina Bassu explored a certain model of femininity whose genesis can be traced back to the idea of the mindless, submissive, “perfect” housewife of the 1950s. Inspired by vintage photos, films, and TV ads she has collected for years, the Italian artist borrows atmospheres and poses from that era to look beneath its pervasive and subtly abusive propaganda for a world built around the demands of dominant male culture and the consumer society. While the female subjects of Bassu’s paintings are defined by the artifice of their socially prescribed roles, she alters their appearance