Ida Panicelli

  • picks August 07, 2014

    Francis Alÿs

    Francis Alÿs’s film Reel-Unreel, 2011, is the centerpiece of this exhibition, which for the first time brings together works the artist made in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2014. Playing on the assonance between reel/real and unreel/unreal, the film points out the incongruities between what is filtered in stories created by the western media and the true life conditions in a city such as Kabul, defaced by war, swimming in a messy accumulation of rubble and garbage, with open sewers amid precarious makeshift dwellings. Within this devastated scenario, two children unroll and roll up two reels of

  • Robert Mangold

    For this commanding exhibition, Robert Mangold presented a group of ten paintings (accompanied by twelve drawings) executed between 2011 and 2014. Characterized, most saliently, by the wide holes cut into their centers, the spare, donut-shaped canvases explicitly recall the artist’s “Ring Paintings,” 2011, and “Frame Paintings,” 1983–85, and find him continuing the exploration of the fundamental elements of composition—of line, shape, and color—that he undertook in those series.

    The works are imposing; the largest, Angled Ring I, 2011, has dimensions exceeding eight by eight feet.

  • Ettore Spalletti

    This distinctive exhibition of Ettore Spalletti’s work, organized in three different venues in as many cities, achieves a unique presentation that conveys the complexity of his practice from both an emotional and a factual point of view, revealing his inner geography as well as his dedication to detail and love for material. Recent works are on display at MAXXI, in some cases conceived in dialogue with Zaha Hadid’s idiosyncratic architectural space. One example is Voce Bassa (Low Voice), 2014, an enormous panel of a joyful light-blue color laid out on the floor, following the museum’s ascending

  • Alfredo Jaar

    The squawking sound of a clarinet playing in the background was like a madman’s cry: obsessive, desperate, angry, lacerating. The footsteps of visitors, sinking unsteadily into an expanse of broken glass, created a harsh, broken, crunching noise. This was the grating sound of “Abbiamo amato tanto la rivoluzione” (We Loved It So Much, the Revolution), an exhibition that Alfredo Jaar dedicated to radical utopia. The title, borrowed from that of a 1986 book by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, appeared on the wall, written in red and white neon, illuminating the fragments of glass (150 tons of it, ground and

  • Bruce Nauman

    If one had to imagine a sound track for this exhibition, it could be only the music of John Cage. The leitmotifs in Bruce Nauman’s new videos and drawings are chance and instability—themes central to Cage’s practice.

    In both of the paired, asynchronous videos of Pencil Lift/Mr. Rogers, 2013, Nauman manipulates three yellow pencils that have been sharpened on both ends. He presses them together, lead to lead, lifts them into the air, and holds them there in a state of suspension; after a moment, he sets the pencils back down. In the nearly four-minute video on the left, Nauman performs this

  • Jannis Kounellis

    This past spring, Jannis Kounellis presented twenty-two new works in New York. The exhibition was a hymn to the epic of immigration. It was a hymn to the journey as an experience of modernity. It was a hymn to the discovery of self—a process Kounellis conceives of as an initiation. Such themes resonate with the artist’s own history: His paternal grandfather left Greece and became an American; Kounellis himself moved from Athens to Rome and became Italian. Like a fifteenth-century painter, Kounellis constructs his art as a measure of man and space, and although he makes mostly sculpture—he

  • Robert Kushner

    Since the 1980s, Robert Kushner has used flowers as his signature motif, rendering leaves and blossoms in outrageously lush colors and against complex, geometric backgrounds. Recently, he has apparently grown more assertive in his application of the theme. In this new body of work from 2012, inspired by Willem de Kooning’s black-and-white paintings (seen in the latter’s 2011–12 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York), Kushner explores new techniques and meanings, abandoning the warm colors of his earlier works for a colder, floral world where grays and blacks prevail. It is riskier

  • Grazia Toderi

    Mapping earth and sky from airborne viewpoints, Grazia Toderi challenges both gravity and the horizon, calling into question the facts

    of objective reality and representing, in a theater of wonders, the relationship between the human world and the universe, between terrestrial geometry and that of the firmament. In the five video pieces in this show, which cover more than ten years of work, Toderi utilizes computer-animated aerial photographs of Rome to reveal a city dense with luminous energy, an astonishing living organism that breathes and emits pulsating signals. The vestiges of the city’s

  • picks October 18, 2012

    Liu Bolin

    This exhibition marks the first showing of the entire corpus of twenty photographs in Liu Bolin’s “Hiding in Italy” series, which he created during a sort of Italian grand tour that began in 2008 in Verona and continued to Venice and Milan in 2010, and to Rome and Pompeii in 2012.

    Interweaving different media—painting, performance, photography—Bolin literally immerses himself in historical sites, becoming a trompe l’oeil. Like a Magritte figure, Bolin traverses landscapes and is in turn traversed by them. His manner of penetrating sites is mimetic: Through a slow process of camouflaging his body,

  • Ida Panicelli on editing

    AS I THINK ABOUT the images and words circulating during my years as editor of Artforum, certain moments come to mind. There was my baptism by fire, the experience of serving as a witness in Carl Andre’s trial a few months after I arrived in New York. And there was my September 1989 editorial, cosigned with publisher Anthony Korner and my fellow editors, which defended the NEA and free speech, then under virulent attack by Senator Jesse Helms. The cover of that issue featured an image of a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph being projected onto the facade of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington,

  • Max Gimblett

    This was New Zealand–born, New York–based Max Gimblett’s first solo show in several years, and his first at this gallery. It included thirty-three paintings produced in the past nine years, canvases dense with associations that spanned the globe. They revealed, among other interests, the artist’s familiarity with Japanese calligraphy, Jungian psychology, and the practice of Buddhism.

    Gimblett’s palette is one reason the works resonate so widely. Fluorescent, explosive colors, such as fuchsia and acid green, call to mind Warhol’s screenprints. Incandescent gold and red suggest Tibetan Buddhist

  • picks April 27, 2012


    In three concurrent shows, Nunzio presents recent sculptures in wood and lead that reveal a dialogue between luminosity and darkness, weight and lightness. At Alessandra Bonomo, Senza Titolo (Untitled), 2012—a large sculpture made from eighty-six oak slats fastened to the floor—evokes a prehistoric skeleton or the framework of a boat. Yet what we see is no longer wood, but rather its fossil. The work’s surface has been scorched with flame, and the wood’s most volatile fibers are burned; the fire functions as a veil, a protection that renders the wood rot-proof and also keeps it alive and unaltered

  • Subodh Gupta

    Over the past twenty-some years, Indian artist Subodh Gupta’s work has been characterized by the use of stainless steel. He has employed the shiny metal—a material Jeff Koons has called “proletariat silver”—to create replicas of Indian kitchenware, formally arranging the utensils into spectacular, large-scale installations.

    In the context of such installations, these glittering objects take on powerful meanings. Culturally specific, the cups, thali pans, and tiffins underscore difference: Western spectators may view the kitchenware as exotic, while Indian audiences might find the items

  • Betty Woodman

    Installations of Betty Woodman’s works often have an element of theatricality, and in this exhibition, “Front/Back,” her ceramic vase sculptures sang together like characters in an opera. Brilliantly united by their chromatic relationships, they evoked a coloratura worthy of Rossini.

    Though Woodman’s ceramic vases always maintain their function as containers, she positions them on the edge between painting and sculpture, challenging categories of utility, craft, and art. Most sport two planes or fins, which jut out from the vessels’ sides; on these surfaces, Woodman paints images inspired by a

  • Shahryar Nashat

    Shahryar Nashat investigates and questions the fetishization inherent in the display of works of art in museums, and, more broadly, the mechanisms for the presentation of art and the opulence of its symbols, rich with political and economic significance. In various articulations, his work reflects on the concept of dominance—that of the artwork, architecture, and museum institutions over the viewer, but also the subtler power of one individual over another inherent in seduction. The terse, formal manner of his photographs and videos heightens the dichotomy between a conceptual coolness and

  • Julie Evans and Ajay Sharma

    The title of this exhibition, “Cowdust,” comes from the Hindi word godhu¯li, or “cowdust hour,” a term for the indistinct twilight hour between day and night when the herds return from pasture and a fine dust rises up from the road. This liminal time, characterized by flickering landscapes and blurring views, epitomizes the cross-cultural exchange central to the collaboration between Julie Evans and Ajay Sharma. It also describes the paintings themselves, resting as they do on the boundary between dreaming and wakefulness. The images blend the traditional and the contemporary, straddling eras

  • Paolo Canevari

    In this exhibition curated by Germano Celant, Paolo Canevari’s works were presented without regard for chronology, instead reflecting the circularity of media and themes in his production over two decades. The materials he favors (tires from cars, bikes, tractors, and trucks), his chosen media (sculpture, video, drawing, performance), and the recurring subjects (the ferocity and stupidity of wars, the obtuse allure of weapons, forms of political and religious propaganda) allude persistently to human and environmental destruction and, at the same time, connote art’s capacity to become a tool of

  • Olafur Eliasson

    Olafur Eliasson has long combined aesthetic rigor with an emphasis on subjective experience. While the former is usually based on scientific theories, the latter tends to bring with it a considerable measure of entertainment. Enjoyment certainly seemed key to the play of shadows and colored refractions on the white walls in this recent show, for which the ground-floor exhibition space at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery was entirely given over to Multiple shadow house, 2010. The set was neutral and basic: three empty rooms connected by a hallway, each with a low wooden platform as a floor. This almost

  • Marc Quinn

    The new body of work Marc Quinn presented in this exhibition is seductive yet disturbing. The show comprised seven paintings from the series “Iris,” 2009–, in which human irises and dark pupils in an outsize dimension become the object of our gaze even as they in turn observe us implacably. They are simultaneously intimate and intrusive, and it quickly becomes uncomfortable to look at these paintings that look back at us, especially given what accurate renderings of human eyes they are (in fact they depict the eyes of real people, painted—from photographs, mostly with an airbrush—in oil on

  • Nancy Spero

    Blue, 2009, is a definitive statement in the long series of installations that Nancy Spero has dedicated to the history of violence against women. In this austere work, three black female figures on all fours are stamped onto the bottom of a wall—pushed to the ground, subjugated—while a ferocious male head, painted on an aluminum cutout, hangs suspended from the ceiling. On the beams above, like an ancient inscription in capital letters and varying in tones from gold and silver to blue and black, runs a text that describes an elemental scene of merciless cruelty. The space in this show was