Ida Panicelli

  • Falso Movimento

    This performance group’s Otello is derived not from Shakespeare but from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera. More melodramatic than dramatic, it freely mixes genres and visual references ranging from the Renaissance to 19th-century romantic iconography to modern cinema. The lip-synced text is partly taken from the original libretto, by Arrigo Boito, and partly written by the performers themselves, but the word plays a minor, almost casual role in this piece; the music is the true protagonist. Verdi’s score has been reworked by Peter Gordon, who, using a Herbert von Karajan recording of the opera, superimposes

  • Eric Fischl

    Eric Fischl’s first exhibition in Rome was a one-painting show, but what a painting. This was a large oil-on-canvas work entitled Birthday Boy, 1983. The scene is a bedroom, slightly distorted in perspective; on the unmade bed lie an adult woman and an adolescent boy, who presumably is celebrating his birthday. Both are nude. Is the woman his birthday present? She opens her legs without reticence, seemingly offering transition from childhood to puberty. Almost distractedly, the boy touches the woman’s leg, his glance toward her unwillingly oblique. He doesn’t seem at all grateful for the gift

  • “Latitudine Napoli New York”

    New York—art, business, entertainment center—can be considered the navel of the Western world. We outside the city observe it with curiosity, but not always with a precise awareness of what is going on there. As diffused through the mass media, New York seems to be a place where everything happens in midtown between 11 A.M. and 5 P.M., where anything whatsoever can be found in the shop windows of Fifth Avenue, where all the art is shown only in certain galleries and museums. Likewise Naples is always characterized as in a picture postcard—Vesuvius, the sea, pizza. . . . The stereotyped images

  • Gino de Dominicis

    The first work one saw here was a metal cut-out outlining the profiles of two figures, Urvasi and Gilgamesh, characters Gino de Dominicis has portrayed in an earlier work. The hero of a Babylonian legend, Gilgamesh’s attribute is “he who has seen everything”; he is said to have descended to the realm of the dead in search of a dead companion, meeting the gods of the underworld and receiving from them an herb that grants immortality. De Dominicis adopts Gilgamesh as the exemplary protagonist of an initiatory journey that must be completed to achieve ultimate awareness of life’s mysteries.


  • Alberto Burri

    The sestante (sextant) is an instrument of revelation, used at sea to establish position; in giving this show such a title Alberto Burri seemed to be locating his position vis-à-vis painting. The vast former navy yard held 17 large works in acrylic on Celotex, each about 97 by 136 inches. The structure of the yard is a sort of large nave, and the paintings were arranged in regular succession in side “chapels”; sixteen were hung on a wall over three hundred feet long, their spacing punctuated by buttresses that framed them as in niches, while a seventeenth hung on the shorter entrance wall.


  • Alighiero e Boetti

    A constant factor in these three exhibitions of work by Alighiero e Boetti is the investigation of order within apparently disordered spaces. In Mille Fiumi più lunghi (entitled in English Classifying the Thousand Longest Rivers of the World), 1977–82, Boetti imposes the Western rationality of the encyclopedia on the rivers’ chance geographic locations. A tapestry, sewn by artisans in Afghanistan, shows a listing of the rivers’ names in order of their lengths, which are also embroidered in. This transformation of natural data—the varying extents of the rivers’ courses—into objective, serial data


    LET’S TAKE AS a starting point the metaphor of the voyage. But the voyager, the voyage itself, the destination, and the vehicle are all unique; they are Nicola De Maria. The voyage takes place in a room; his works are the adventure.

    His luggage is a suitcase, painted in vivid colors, informing us of what this nomad in the realm of art means to carry with him: a joy of color, evident on the outer surface of the object; and the weight of a remarkable sense of memory presumably contained within. De Maria’s memory is a strange thing: he shuns decipherings and explanations; he doesn’t much like words,

  • Gianni Dessì

    In the paintings he executed last summer and exhibited this autumn Gianni Dessì avoided spectacular painterly effects. The prevalence of grays and blacks here is symptomatic of an ideological choice: rather than aiming for a high-pitched emotionalism through color, Dessì seeks a more low-keyed concentration and analysis. His limited repertory of tones is akin to the theoretical position of the Cubists, whereby painting defers to idea.

    In Expressionist painting color is linked to symbol; it can be grotesque and mocking, carrying the weight of the emotions. In Cubism, particularly the analytical


    THE VENICE BIENNALE, AS CURRENTLY known, is the product of reorganization by the Italian Fascist state; though it was founded in 1895 by the City of Venice, its status was not fixed by law until December 1928, when King Vittorio Emmanuele III and Benito Mussolini declared it an autonomous agency. The law empowered a five-man commission to administer the agency; transferred the exhibition buildings in the Giardini out of city hands; and determined the Biennale’s financial structure—a fusion of funds from national and city governments, admissions, sales commissions, and catalogue receipts. With

  • Marco Bagnoli

    The Villa Medicea, situated in Artimino in the countryside outside Florence, is where Rebecca Horn shot her film La Ferdinanda, and it is now the site of an installation by Marco Bagnoli. Inside, a long passage—through dark corridors and deserted rooms, up steep flights of steps—gives one a sensation of aimless movement, of climbing and descending the same stairs over again, of being caught in a labyrinth. There is minimal lighting, from small lamps on the floor that project unsettling shadows on the walls. The approach to (the idea of) the work of art is a tiring and uneasy one.

    In an introductory

  • “Italian Art Now:An American Perspective”

    This exhibition consisted of the work of seven artists: Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Nino Longobardi, Luigi Ontani, Giuseppe Penone, Vettor Pisani, and Gilberto Zorio. It provoked numerous questions, but furnished no answers or conclusions about the current Italian art scene. The choice of only seven artists seems to me excessively limited; the changes that took place in Italian art during the ’70s, seen in the transition from Arte Povera to New Image painting (the two poles represented in this show), assumed numerous forms through a process both more subtle and more polemical than this show

  • Anne and Patrick Poirier

    The representation of ruins has ancient roots and illustrious precedents; in various epochs, a sense of searching through sites from the past has been communicated through the evocation of the remnants of the classical age. Fragmentary suggestions of antiquity elicit feelings of transience, ephemeralness, catastrophe, almost as if to indicate that nothing is impervious to the forces of time, that everything is subject to decay. The attempt to reveal traces of a sumptuous but long-vanished past has thus taken on the aspect of an illustration of the vanity of every artistic gesture, be it sculpture,

  • Luciano Bartolini

    The recent exhibition of Luciano Bartolini’s work consisted of two installations—Septen triones (Seven oxen), also the title of the exhibition, and La scrittura degli dei (The writing of the gods), accompanied by a series of additional minor pieces on other walls of the gallery.

    In the first installation 14 circular pieces of paper occupied two walls, outlining a shining path that seemed to move toward the corner of the room. The sheets of paper were arranged so as to evoke the constellation Ursa Major (the stars of which are also referred to as “The Seven Oxen”), the guide for navigators and

  • Luigi Ontani

    Luigi Ontani’s most recent work abandons the body as a direct language in favor of a more “pictorial” dimension. In past self-portraits, he has employed the body as a linguistic means, photographing it in poses inspired by mass-media personalities, comic strips (“Superman”), literary works (Don Juan), or figures from classical painting. His interest in the past was conveyed through a filter of historical and literary references; the classical figures he invoked furnished the interpretive key to his stagings of life as art, and, conversely, of art as the acme of life. His staging has always been

  • Remo Salvadori

    This show of Remo Salvadori’s work consisted of three pieces—a sculpture, a map drawing, and a book. The Pieroni Gallery had been structurally modified by the artist for this show, and the book contains a project showing the original, preexisting plan of the gallery and the successive changes introduced; the evolution of the idea is visualized in a series of drawings that develop gradually, with slight variations, until they coincide with a form that has already appeared in many of Salvadori’s previous shows.

    The works were placed in the rooms of the gallery in a manner which created alternating

  • Vettor Pisani

    “I work with a T square and compass” is the title Vettor Pisani has given to the rooms in his show. He brings into play elements found in his other work, such as archetypal figures and an austere use of the rational, the measured.

    The central characters in this show-ceremony are two of the builder saints from the Roman basilica of the Santi Quattro Coronati (Four Crowned Saints), who hold up as emblems the very T square and compass cited in the title. They are patrons, then, of the dialectic between the straight line and the curve, of the existential tension between the logical order of reason

  • Gino de Dominicis

    Gino de Dominicis’ work takes the space itself as its subject, examining it along three different lines—physical, projected, symbolic—that interact simultaneously.

    On the level of immediate observation, one is struck by the unusual division of space in the gallery, which is cut from floor to ceiling by a section of a steel cage that isolates a portion of the room. The space created inside and outside the barriers is the physical level on which one relates to this enigmatic and disquieting work. It is presented as a void, but set apart. The immediate question, then, is who and what is behind or