Marco Tagliafierro

  • 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,

  • picks October 14, 2015

    Giulio Frigo

    From the outset of the exhibition, Giulio Frigo demonstrates an interest in materials that have been used by man since the dawn of human history. A painterly silk panel imprinted with an image of hematite seen under an electron microscope opens the show. The microscope has read the black fragment electromagnetically, allowing for a clear and magnified view of the material. Interestingly, the etymology of the word hematite goes back to the Greek αἴματος, or aimatos (blood): Once the material crumbles, the black color turns to red. Visitors next encounter a silk-, oil-, and tempera-on-linen piece

  • picks September 14, 2015

    “Saluti da Rimini”

    A large billboard currently installed in Rimini immortalizes a man with a well-trimmed beard. Wearing a jacket and tie, he seems to look out mockingly at the tourists who have arrived in the city on holiday. Depicted lounging in an armchair, he is covered in tagliatelle romagnole (a local pasta). Another billboard shows the belly of a man who seems engaged in a test of strength with his own erection, and in yet another, a girl firmly holds a glass into which she receives a golden liquid from an unspecified source.

    The artists behind these works, Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, created

  • picks July 29, 2015

    Enej Gala

    A large window in this space opens onto a small Venetian street, from which even the most distracted pedestrians stop to look at Enej Gala’s large sculpture inside, titled Hyrach, 2015. This solo show’s installation evokes hayloft structures used in the artist’s native Slovenia for drying grass and other forage crops. Normally these are built from a series of dry poles braced by horizontal planks, but in this case the artist has used a variety of materials to fashion his—including silicone and oil paint—so that the structure in question looks like a three-dimensional painting. Throughout the

  • picks July 08, 2015

    Reto Pulfer

    Pieces of fabric floating freely welcome visitors to Dehydrierte Landschaft (Dehydrated Landscape), Reto Pulfer’s debut solo exhibition in a Swiss institution. For the centerpiece of this show, MMMS Reticulum Dehydrierte Landschaft, 2015, the Berlin-based artist has skillfully painted and soaked these textiles in pigments, with results that in some cases appear to represent a Giottoesque sky, or the clear sky of Greece, or the absolute blue of Derek Jarman. The floor is ultramarine, and it echoes the sea.

    This is painting in a state of emerging. Typically, Pulfer adopts a modest method, using