Ida Panicelli

  • Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani, Freedom of Movement, 2017, three-channel HD video installation, color, sound, 9 minutes 45 seconds.
    picks March 26, 2017

    Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani

    Abebe Bikila was the first African athlete to win an Olympic gold medal; he set a world record in Rome in 1960 after running the marathon, barefoot, in two hours and fifteen minutes. His historic achievement is the cornerstone of Freedom of Movement, 2017, a three-channel video installation by German artists Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani. Weaving a tale with threads of history and current events, the work conjoins the win’s strong social impact with a profound sense of humanity.

    The first video blends archival film clips of the Ethiopian marathoner’s race and his epic victory beneath the Arch

  • Ernesto Neto, The Serpent’s energy gave birth to humanity, 2016, cotton voile crochet, cotton voile knot carpet, bamboo, semiprecious stones, wood, leaves, apples, guitar, bongos, maracas, dimensions variable.

    Ernesto Neto

    “If the sacred serpent had not offer[ed] the fruit of the knowledge tree, the apple love, to Eve, and told her to share it with Adam, they would be till today in the Paradise beautiful, and we, where would we be? There would not be we, you and me, none of us. So, the boa serpent gave birth to humanity.” This handwritten statement, welcoming visitors to Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto’s immersive take on the Garden of Eden, put forward a novel interpretation of the Book of Genesis. Scrawled on the gallery wall, the text characterized the serpent not as a trickster but as a primordial generative

  • Fabio Mauri, Intellettuale (Intellectual), 1975, mixed media. Installation view. Photo: Amedeo Benestante.

    Fabio Mauri

    Giving priority to ethics over aesthetics, Fabio Mauri has penetrated the West’s heart of darkness, analyzing the falsehoods of the ideologies that have characterized twentieth-century European history, revealing their pervasive mechanisms of cruelty. His rigorous inquiry focuses on the system of signs and symbols that Nazism and Fascism used to create consensus, seductively manipulating the masses. Investigating the forms—and even the beauty—through which totalitarian regimes have represented themselves, he asks us to personally participate in historical contradictions and to confront

  • View of “You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966–1970,” 2016–17.
    picks January 17, 2017

    “You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966–1970”

    The years 1966 to 1970, which formed and devastated much of a generation, marked a definitive cultural break during the postwar period in Europe and the United States. The widespread counterculture movement that united London and San Francisco generated a revolution in music, graphic design, fashion, and social behavior. In a lively, multifaceted setting, there was youthful rebellion, lots of great recreational drugs, sexual freedom, feminism, underground publications, anti–Vietnam War protests, the Monterey Pop Festival, and Woodstock.

    This exhibition deftly illustrates those five years, without

  • View of “Anish Kapoor,” 2016. From left: First Milk, 2015; Today You Will Be in Paradise, 2016. Photo: David Regen.

    Anish Kapoor

    “Today You Will Be in Paradise,” Anish Kapoor’s exhibition at Gladstone Gallery this past spring, embarked on a visceral journey through the body, displaying sculptures that emulate its muscle fibers, fat, and intestines in a profusion of blood-red fluids, drippings, blobs, and creepy organic matter. Fearlessly, his senses fibrillating, Kapoor burrowed into the world of flesh.

    Kapoor’s chief material, silicone, is significant: It is a substance associated with plastic surgery, most notably with breast implants, and here it conveys the body’s materiality with intensity and luminosity. While the

  •   Marzia Migliora, L’ideazione di un sistema resistente è atto creativo (The Design of a Resistant System Is a Creative Act), 2016, charcoal briquettes. Installation view. Photo: PEPEfotografia.

    Marzia Migliora

    In this highly political show, “Forza lavoro” (Work Force), Marzia Migliora examined the transitional moment of a dying architectural structure, the Palazzo del Lavoro in Turin, designed by Pier Luigi Nervi in 1959 for the Esposizione Internazionale del Lavoro (International Labor Exhibition) organized by Giò Ponti for Expo ’61. A majestic environment and a masterpiece of engineering, it is now in a state of total ruin following years of neglect that culminated in a devastating fire in August 2015. The building’s decay is rendered even more excruciating by its imminent conversion into a luxury

  • Janine Antoni and Anna Halprin, Paper Dance, 2013. Performance view, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, April 20, 2016. Janine Antoni. Photo: Carlos Avendaño.
    interviews April 26, 2016

    Janine Antoni

    Janine Antoni’s exhibition “Ally,” which is on view at the Fabric Workshop and Museum through July 31, 2016, is a “retrospective,” redefined. This exhibition, occupying four floors of the museum, manifests as a series of performances, installation environments, videos, and sculptures. Conceived and performed by Antoni, this presentation is also a deeply collaborative enterprise, having been developed with the choreographer Stephen Petronio and movement artist Anna Halprin. A book about “Ally” will follow, edited by British performance scholar and writer Adrian Heathfield. Here, the artist talks

  • View of William Kentridge's Triumphs and Laments: A Project for Rome, 2016, along the embankment of the Tiber River. Photo: Luciano Sebastiano
    interviews April 21, 2016

    William Kentridge

    William Kentridge had the audacity, in 2012, to propose an 1,804-foot-long drawing along the banks of the Tiber River, the largest public art project in Europe. It has recently come to life with the help of Kristin Jones, a New York–based artist who strongly believes in the notion of collaboration and acted as the artistic director of the whole project. Jones has worked with Kentridge for many years, against all manner of bureaucratic obstacle, to make Triumphs and Laments: A Project for Rome—an epic frieze with ninety figures, some as high as thirty-two feet—possible. This gargantuan work

  • Yoko Ono, Mend Piece, 1966/2015, mixed media, dimensions variable. Galerie Lelong.

    Yoko Ono

    To those who wondered why Yoko Ono’s “The Riverbed” comprised two separate installations, identical in their components, that were sited in two separate galleries in close proximity in Chelsea, the answer quickly became evident. The show resonated differently in its two locations: In my experience, the installation at Galerie Lelong was more concentrated, silent, and intimate, while the one at Andrea Rosen Gallery was more luminous, open, and social. Others might have felt differently. But that is all to the point, for each visit was unique, affected by its participant’s individual memories and

  • View of “Jimmie Durham: Sound and Silliness,” 2016.
    picks February 17, 2016

    Jimmie Durham

    Like a haiku in four verses, this exhibition is cadenced between sounds and silences, mixing poetry with a touch of irony. Jimmie Durham presents two silent videos and two sound pieces, all made in Italy and altogether favoring an eclectic language that softens the works. Even the title of the show, “Sound and Silliness,” indicates that its significance should be sought in lightness and immateriality.

    In I Rondoni di Porta Capuana, 2013, an enveloping sound piece recorded in Naples, the songs of migratory birds create a concert of tones integrated with the noises of the city. With nature allowed

  • View of “Robert Ryman,” 2015–16.
    picks January 08, 2016

    Robert Ryman

    With only twenty-two paintings produced over six decades, this Robert Ryman exhibition is a summa of the artist’s process, via the reduction and synthesis of the fundamental elements of painting. Different mediums, textures, and supports—canvas, paper, aluminum, fiberglass, Plexiglas—are used to investigate the luminous frequency of white in all its possible gradations. The artist has chosen to exhibit the paintings under natural light, and he is right to do so. I viewed the show when the sky was clear, then when it was cloudy, and then under artificial light. The last condition was decisively

  • Mario Rizzi, Al Intithar (The Waiting), 2013, color, sound, 30 minutes.
    picks December 16, 2015

    Mario Rizzi

    For more than a decade, Mario Rizzi, a photographer and filmmaker attuned to sociopolitical changes in the Islamic world, has been investigating the fates of individuals and communities uprooted from their cultural traditions and homes by regional conflicts. Al Intithar (The Waiting), 2013, the first part of his trilogy Bayt (Home), 2012–, is a thirty-minute film at the center of this exhibition. It was shot in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, just four miles from the Syrian border. At the time, the camp accommodated approximately forty-five thousand refugees (the number is now around eighty