Jole de Sanna

  • Fernando Melani

    This two-part exhibition of Fernando Melani’s work included a vast overview of his career organized by Bruno Corà at the Palazzo Fabroni, as well as a vast collection of objects crammed into the residence/studio where the artist lived and worked until his death in 1985. In addition to the artist’s work, the latter space contains the residue of his life—all the old newspapers piled up on the stairs, and a bag full of used matches mark the duration of his life and career.

    Melani worked with any material that came to hand, but what was peculiar to his project was the position he assumed with respect

  • FAUSTO MELOTTI, THE ENCHANTED LYRICIST

    Anche di notte il Monte Bianco è alto 4810 metri. E la Pietà Rondanini di notte è sola con se stessa. E l’ultimo quartetto di Beethoven è conturbante anche quando nessuno lo suona. (Even at night Mont Blanc is 4,810 meters high. And at night the Rondanini Pietà is alone with herself. And Beethoven’s last quartet is disturbing even when no one plays it.)

    —Fausto Melotti

    THE ART OF FAUSTO MELOTTI—secret, lyrical, poetic—opens a window onto our century, illuminating the intersection between classical culture and the birth of the avant-garde. Born into an upper-middle-class Italian family in 1901,

  • Mario Merz

    Mario Merz’s installation here consisted of two large pieces: on the wall, a sequence of three paintings in blue and black, connected to the floor by a series of neon Fibonacci numbers that could be seen through three pieces of glass; and across from the wall piece, a glass and iron table that described a curve around a column of the gallery. At the center stood three iron tubes gripped around a bottle and some neon filaments.

    Usually Merz is affirmative—he charges his materials and exalts the place where he has composed his groupings. Not so here, where the atmosphere was quiet and not at all

  • Ger van Elk

    This show of Ger van Elk’s work was an extension of his recent exhibition at the Centre National d’Art Contemporain in Grenoble. The passage to this version put things in order, both chronologically and compositionally. In the earlier show, small photographs, all overlaid with a painted brushstroke, were casually arranged in three types of frames—square, rectangular, and oval. Here, there was a greater sense of order and flow. The frames were again divided into three groups. The first were oval frames containing portraits of van Elk; they were marked by singular brushstrokes in the upper portions

  • Emilio Prini

    As in heraldic coats of arms, where every bit of information is conveyed in abbreviated form within a general framework of references and exchanges of images, Emilio Prini’s prints (reproductions of pages from the artist’s notebook) contain a multitude of conventional signs. The first reading is enigmatic, as one cannot decipher the printed traces and figures. Observation is further complicated by the way in which the prints are exhibited: lined up along a wall at the center of the gallery, above a pile of sawdust heaped up at the bottom of both sides of the wall. One peruses the pages cautiously

  • Hidetoshi Nagasawa

    The sculptures of Nagasawa are characterized by a balance between Orient and Occident, a balance that was more than ever apparent in this show of seven new works (all but one from 1988). From the East, he has drawn from his experiences as a student of the martial arts (he is a karate champion), with the meditative and philosophical depth that that implies; to the West (he lives in Milan), he owes his attitude toward artmaking—as an expression of form and a translation of materials—under the constant stimulus of present and past works of art.

    The show began with Ponte di pietra (Stone bridge),

  • Jannis Kounellis

    Unlike the visually and emotionally intense environment of Jannis Kounellis’ last installation at this gallery, in 1985, in which jets of flame set against steel panels all along the walls created a “burning” field of tension, his recent installation here followed a more intellectual, constructive formula. Using some of the materials that have become familiar from much of his previous work—sheet metal, burlap sacks, an oil lamp, coal—he created works on two walls and a floor piece next to a third wall. The basic units of construction in one wall work were steel panels of two different sizes.

  • “Spunti di Giovane Arte Italiana”

    With “Spunti di Giovane Arte Italiana“ (Glimpses of new Italian art), Corrado Levi concluded an experiment in which, for over a year, he used his studio to exhibit the work of young artists. A collector, a teacher of architecture, and an artist himself, he assumed the additional roles of curator and organizer. (He put together shows not only in his studio, but also in other locations, including Milan’s Padiglione Arte Contemporanea.) Levi has said that his aim in arranging these exhibitions was to inform not just others but himself, to set up for himself a series of interesting occasions and

  • RENOVATING THE NEW: THE ART OF LUCIO FONTANA

    ONE CAN ASSOCIATE THE WORK of most artists who pass into the canon of art history with a moment of crystallization, a moment in which the identity of the art as it will henceforth most immediately be recognized, for better or for worse, coheres. Scholars often focus on this moment as central to the artist’s thinking. Yet Lucio Fontana’s art reaches a number of different peaks, which are successive but not in succession—each stage of the work does not seem necessarily to depend on the one before, and none can be taken as background for any of the others. Though these phases are by no means

  • Maurizio Mochetti

    If when we think of technology what comes to mind are interminable video works, new and unusual art materials, or aggressive sound and light demonstrations that assault our audiovisual organs, well then, there is nothing of this in the calm and gentle realm of Maurizio Mochetti’s art. Mochetti uses technology in his work, but without any pretentiousness or grand effects; rather, he makes it seem completely natural. He is convinced that if modern artists can adopt anything at all as a material for art, then they can also adopt the technological. And yet, the typical reaction to this show, as to

  • Georg Baselitz

    The struggle between good and evil—vice against virtue, as in the 12th-century bronze doors of Novgorod’s St. Sofia Cathedral or a 13th-century window of Naumburg Cathedral—gives a Byzantine blessing to Georg Baselitz’s current work. This exhibition consisted of three “Kampfmotive” (Fight motifs, 1986)—each one a group of 12 charcoal-and-tempera drawings arranged in three horizontal rows—and 16 paintings executed in 1985 and 1986. As in all of Baselitz’s work since 1968, some of the images are inverted, but his interest in the head as an object of representation is, as it were, expanded. Other

  • Andy Warhol

    “The Last Supper,” 1986, a series of silkscreened canvases, is Andy Warhol’s last work. It is also the most complex work that he produced in the years after his celebrated silkscreen prints of famous personalities. This time the subject is a famous painting, perhaps the most famous of all: Leonardo da Vinci’s portrayal of the goodbye supper of Christ and his Apostles, The Last Supper, 1495–98, in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie here in Milan. It is ironic that the exhibition of Warhol’s variations on this farewell scene opened just a few days before his death.

    Warhol’s “Last Supper” is

  • Mario Nigro

    Mario Nigro’s most recent exhibition displayed his talent for pure, uncontaminated painting. The visual field of the works in this show was more reduced than in the show before, which in its turn was already more basic than in the show that preceded it, and so on.

    The line is the protagonist in Nigro’s process of pictorial radicalization. Starting with Terremoto. Analisi della linea (Earthquake. Analysis of line, 1980), the straight line undergoes irregularities, becoming a broken line; then the segments of the broken line are set at an angle, or at different angles; then each trace is a different

  • Luciano Fabro

    Inscribing a circle around the rule, or squaring the circle, seems the subject of Luciano Fabro’s latest installation, Prometeo (Prometheus, 1986). The work is difficult, concentrated, and complex, but looks simple, with a minimum of elements present. Prometeo probably falls into that class of Fabro works in which an entire period contracts and a new period announces its traits.

    The density of the work’s formal, mathematical, and spatial content may be perceived in a description: a triangle and a pentagon are inscribed within an unseen circle. The triangle and the pentagon are made from surveyor’s

  • Richard Bosman

    Aerial visions and acrobatic flashes of a tragic skirun animate this show by peintre maudit Richard Bosman. Bosman’s reputation as a lover of the criminal, the cruel, and the frightening preceded his arrival in Milan for this, his first show of paintings here. His images are accelerated film frames, instantaneous takes, and rapid sequences, translated into paintings. The Skier, 1985, is like a film: an unsettling subject unfolds amid the snowy landscape. The images follow the descent: an immaculate setting, crisp air, trees enveloped by wind, the purifying vista of nature; then a flight, the

  • Ooghoote: Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum 1936–1986

    The Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum hasdedicated an exhibition to itself on the occasion of the 50th year since its founding. The museum has placed its entire collection on display, using supplementary space near its own quarters. Yet the objective of the show is not the celebration of an anniversary but, rather, a dissertation on the museum itself, or at least a reflection upon issues surrounding the significance of a modern museum. Rudi Fuchs, director of the Van Abbemuseum, and Piet de Jonge, curator, have mounted a living experiment, a continuation of Fuchs' investigation into the meaning of a

  • MEDARDO ROSSO

    IN WESTERN ART FROM the classical period up to and including Impressionism, the artwork is located within a space. In the sculpture of the Italian artist Medardo Rosso, who in a number of ways may be seen as standing at the threshold of the early-20th century avant-garde, the space becomes part of the sculpture. Rosso’s work from the early 1880s on marks the syntactical beginning of a new conception of form, for the Modern art that in the first decades of the 20th century appeared as a kind of autonomous image, an unprecedented break with the past, is actually the result of a structural modification