Marco Tagliafierro

  • picks May 08, 2018

    Giosetta Fioroni

    Giosetta Fioroni studies the ebb and flow of eras, a practice on full display in this retrospective. The exhibition begins with works that express the artistic climate in which she grew up, shaped by Giuseppe Capogrossi, Tano Festa, and Mario Schifano—fellow Roman artists with Pop sensibilities associated with the School of Piazza del Popolo. The curators have skillfully juxtaposed these artists’ works with Fioroni’s. All’Alba (At Dawn), 1957, reveals an interest in material and expressionist abstraction; Lampadina (Light Bulb), 1960, shows how she grew progressively closer to figuration, which

  • picks August 21, 2017

    Domenico Gnoli

    Constructed as an all-encompassing archive of his drawings for the theater, the installation features anthracite-gray walls hung with sketches in museum-style passe-partouts. The exhibition (the design of which was produced by Giovanni di Natale with Giorgio Gentili) and its catalogue (by di Natale) have an interdependent relationship and

  • picks July 26, 2017

    Valerio Nicolai

    Prospettiva di una matrioska” (Perspective of a Matryoshka) showcases Valerio Nicolai’s propensity for producing multimedia works that cohere as if they were a single piece. Offering a blend of installations, sculptures, and paintings, the show was inspired by a system: the Chinese nesting box. It is an approach that verges on narration, almost turning the entire exhibition into a large work.

    Upon entering, visitors encounter Matrioska con spacca finestra (Matryoshka with Broken Window) (all works 2017), a faded brick-red mattress covered in canvas and surmounted by a ceramic object that, while

  • Nathalie Du Pasquier

    There is no doubt that the expressive freedom of painting extends far beyond the techniques with which it has historically been associated. Yet oil painting—a relatively traditional method—continues to define the medium. This fundamental continuity lies at the heart of Nathalie Du Pasquier’s fascination with painting, and is the reason she continues to breathe fresh life into the finite space of the two-dimensional painted image. The two works that opened the show contained both paintings and three-dimensional wooden elements—a plinth and a shelf—that seemed to evoke

  • picks February 27, 2017

    Mario Milizia

    For some years, visual artist Mario Milizia wrote poetry using a cut-up technique. Wanting to unearth his poems’ imaginative potential, he had some of them translated into Latin and then translated back into Italian. During this period, he also submitted a saliva sample for DNA testing (using a kit advertised in a National Geographic insert) in order to reconstruct his ancestors’ movements and migrations. In Milizia’s case, his forbears had Portuguese, Spanish, Greek, and, obviously, Italian roots. He had his poetry translated into these languages and then published, as well as immortalized on

  • picks February 14, 2017

    Riccardo Beretta

    A large sculpture of inlaid wood, Paravento (First Victims Playground), 2015–17, is the cornerstone of Riccardo Beretta’s current solo show. This work, two years in the making, required the tremendous patience of a Renaissance cabinetmaker or lute maker. It consists of fifteen separate panels joined together to form a sort of mobile wall doubling as a door—its sinuous form simultaneously dividing and connecting. The sections are connected by various types of rounded and pointed flat archways. Built from MDF, many of the panels feature three layers of veneer on both sides, inlaid with an incredible

  • picks December 08, 2016

    Michele Zaza

    This retrospective is a journey into the personal motivations behind the work of Michele Zaza. The show begins with Simulazione d’incendio (Simulation of Fire), 1970, which Zaza shot to document an action he created in Molfetta (in southern Italy): exploding smoke bombs close to a town park, in an unexpected and incomprehensible event. People scattered about, unaware and in disbelief of what was taking place. Here, Zaza brings the social tensions of that period into the rural world of his native Puglia.

    In Naufragio euforico (Euphoric Shipwreck), 1974, and Dissoluzione e mimesi (Dissolution and

  • Paolo Gioli

    Paolo Gioli’s extraordinary survey at Peep-Hole demonstrated that the artist has progressed far beyond photography during the span of his four-decade career, consistently producing work that expands and extends the limits of the medium by incorporating drawing, painting, and filmmaking. The exhibition, distributed over eight rooms, included works dating from 1962 to 2010, and reconstructed the artist’s major themes and recurring concerns. The first room presented work mining classical art-historical tropes, from still life to landscape, often developed in an idiosyncratic personal manner and

  • picks July 01, 2016

    Kerstin Brätsch

    This exhibition winds through the gallery along an unmarked path, yet visitors intuitively pick up on an intended route, as if by a sort of tropism. Indeed, the rhythms and rituals of nature are the premise for Kerstin Brätsch’s current exhibition, which draws inspiration from Full-Fall, a sequence of art rituals that take place in rural settings in conjunction with the solstices. Full-Fall was conceived and organized by the artist Davide Stucchi and the theoretician Mattia Ruffolo, who together invited Brätsch to contribute a work based on the notion that an animist energy underlies all matter.

  • picks May 05, 2016

    Lorenzo Vitturi

    In this staging of Lorenzo Vitturi’s photographs, environments are constructed as extensions of the images’ content, reflecting how the artist utilizes his chosen medium for its inherent ambiguity between representation and reality. This solo show, curated by Fantom, is thematically built around the Droste effect, a term coined by the journalist and poet Nico Scheepmaker in the late 1970s to describe so-called recursive images, or pictures that repeat the image within themselves. His idea was inspired by a box of the eponymous Dutch chocolate featuring an image of a nurse holding a tray with a

  • Judith Hopf

    A strange sight greeted visitors to Judith Hopf’s third exhibition at Kaufmann Repetto: two large feet, each made from bricks held together by mortar. Ambiguous objects, the works (both titled Brick-Foot, 2016) have a humorous charge, but situated as they were just outside the gallery doors, they constituted an obstruction.

    The show was distributed throughout three spaces and a courtyard. In the first room on the left there were three small concrete serpents, from of the series “Untitled (Serpent),” 2015–. A fourth, smaller snake, Untitled (Serpent), 2016, traversed the wall and peered into the

  • picks February 26, 2016

    Francesco Vezzoli

    There are two related exhibitions that have taken over this institution: the first retrospective of Francesco Vezzoli’s sculptures, which are on view through May 16, and a show the artist has curated of historical works from the museum’s collection, which runs through November 6. Collectively titled “Museo Museion,” the double exhibition begins with a large wallpaper installation that blows up a painted Roman vista by Giovanni Paolo Pannini (Gallery of Views of Modern Rome, 1759). Sandwiched between two burgundy velvet curtains, the work seems to exist in a state of continual unveiling, and it

  • picks February 13, 2016

    Barbara Bloom

    Los Angeles artist Barbara Bloom’s solo show at Galleria Raffaella Cortese consists of separate installations in two of the gallery’s three Milan spaces. In one, seven carpets seem to float at various short distances above the floor. Made of smooth moquette, each features a distinctive pattern of raised dots—Braille text, to be precise. Six of the carpets contain respective fragments of text from Bloom’s favorite authors: Raymond Chandler, André Gide, James Joyce, Gabriel García Márquez, Cormac McCarthy, and Haruki Murakami. Her excerpts are universally relevant, containing descriptions of

  • picks January 06, 2016

    “Ennesima”

    Ennesima,” best translated as “umpteenth,” is a meta-exhibition as it reflects on itself. It is divided according to seven working hypotheses that make it possible to interpret and reinterpret the past fifty years of Italian art through seven exhibition formats and 170 works by more than seventy artists. Curator Vincenzo De Bellis has clearly worked from a desire to express the natural coexistence of these formats, without locking himself into one project that attempts to show stylistic connections at all costs. Already in the first section, “Per la scrittura di un’immagine” (For the Writing

  • picks December 21, 2015

    “Susy Culinsky & Friends”

    Blue velvet adorns the walls of Fanta Spazio for this curiously titled group show. A year ago, the artist Beatrice Marchi, who curated the exhibition, gave thirty-eight emerging female artists, all around the same age as her, an assignment to create works about sex on A4 paper without using digital techniques, which she has gathered here. The velvet that covers the walls evokes a theater curtain, and on it are the resultant drawings of phallic forms and a multitude of other erotic signs, all identically framed.

    When asked about the show, Marchi astutely describes it simply as an encounter among

  • picks December 21, 2015

    Brigitte March Niedermair

    A contemplation of the horizon marks South Tyrolean artist Brigitte March Niedermair’s current solo exhibition at the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (MAMbo). This study connects two different photographic investigations: “Are You Still There,” 2011–14, and “Transition_Giorgio Morandi,” 2012–13. The latter series was made possible by a program the Museo Morandi has developed in recent years that encourages contemporary artists to measure their art against the great master’s. Working with the collection, which is housed at MAMbo, Niedermair considered Morandi’s historic studio on the Via Fondazza

  • Matteo Callegari

    This recent staging of Matteo Callegari’s new series of oil paintings, “Gradient Paintings” and “Scratch Paintings,” both 2014–15, displayed the artist’s engagement with the process of stratification. A close examination of each work reveals two layers, one superimposed over the other, featuring disparate approaches to form and mark-making. One layer appears to be a controlled reproduction of a digital image—the brushstrokes seem almost programmed—and the other layer is free and gestural. In the three “Scratch Paintings” on view, the more measured painting sits in the background, a

  • picks November 09, 2015

    Paloma Varga Weisz

    What if memory were not a trustworthy and responsible means for gauging a life? And what if the simple reason for this was that memory does not give priority to the truth? Is memory actually more pragmatic, devious, and cunning? Not in a hostile or malicious manner—on the contrary, it might act to satisfy our needs. This exhibition by the German artist Paloma Varga Weisz poses such substantial questions. It is a show of anthropomorphic sculptures endowed with mysterious protuberances, which appear as ideal extrusions of our sensory systems. The sculptures seem to be the result of a syncretic

  • picks October 29, 2015

    “Nobody Home”

    Everything about this exhibition leads one to conclude that the building where the gallery is located is its true subject. It is a place simultaneously precious and fragile in its decorations and frescoes, and the curator, Gigiotto Del Vecchio, has skillfully created a reverberation between the artists’ gestures and the sumptuous rooms. Enchanting are Natalie Häusler’s slabs of acrylic-painted cardboard atop a floor piece and completed by a sound recording in Monika/Subway, 2012. Two works from Christina Mackie’s “Filter” series, 2014, are equally magical and fascinating—featuring cones made

  • picks October 28, 2015

    “Imaginarii”

    The debut exhibition at the Fondazione Carriero brings together the work of Gianni Colombo, Giorgio Griffa, and Davide Balula. There is no apparent or immediate connection between the three different artistic stories in the show, which curator Francesco Stocchi has conceived of as a dialogue. However, the exhibition focuses on the works’ relation to time and space. Stocchi states that the pieces here “do not exist through their physical presence but because of what we see.”

    Griffa is represented by a set of paintings showing lines of color on raw canvas, which, even in their extreme reductiveness,