Marco Tagliafierro

  • picks June 08, 2015

    Patrick Angus

    This impressive exhibition revolves around a group of paintings and drawings installed in close proximity, encouraging a linear read of Patrick Angus’s work. Sunday Stroll, 1978, a watercolor on paper, depicts a dazzlingly sunny California seaside populated by young people. A study for this work—a drawing in pencil on paper—hangs alongside the painting. While the theme of homosexual culture is typically present in Angus’s oeuvre, it is equally true that it can be interpreted through the lens of an extremely polished sense of irony, one explicated through means other than content. For example,

  • picks May 15, 2015

    Ull Hohn

    Ull Hohn’s debut exhibition in Italy opens with Untitled (Nine Landscapes), 1988: nine wooden boxes painted with bucolic scenes in yellow. Hohn applied the paint using brushes and palette knives, in the manner of Gerhard Richter, who was Hohn’s teacher at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. Hohn went on to participate in the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York in the second half of the 1980s and showed this work for a related exhibition in 1988. It must have been one of the only paintings on view, given the fervor for institutional critique in those days.

    Throughout the show, a dialogue

  • picks May 04, 2015

    Pietro Roccasalva

    Through a process of successive condensation and rarefaction, Pietro Roccasalva is known for developing paintings that lead to three-dimensional compositions, which are then further concentrated back to painting. As the artist’s process of research and analysis gradually unfolds, the story lines in his work become denser, moving to the hypertextual. In his latest solo show, “The Wooden O,” Roccasalva presents paintings and drawings in which even an apparently long-forgotten sign can peek through unexpectedly. In the drawing Study for Just Married Machine, 2015, for example, Roccasalva transfigures

  • picks April 07, 2015

    Charles Mayton

    Visitors to Charles Mayton’s solo show at the American Academy in Rome first encounter four paintings, all the same size. Two depict an enormous bunch of purple grapes that competes with two gigantic eyeballs to dominate the pictorial space. The two other paintings, installed between these works, employ two different forms of Abstract Expressionism, one tending toward a vague idea of spatial architecture constructed through various brushstrokes, and the other with brushstrokes that come together in a strongly gestural manner. Continuing through the exhibition, one encounters several overturned

  • picks April 07, 2015

    Maria Morganti

    Maria Morganti’s four-panel painting Polittico a ritroso (Polyptych in Reverse), 2013, lights up this gallery with color and offers an irrepressible vision. In a process of reverse sedimentation, four canvases were obtained by superimposing one layer of color after another, leaving only a thin trace of the individual stages along the upper edge. Also on view is Grumi (Clots), 2013, which consists of a series of sponges hanging on a string and saturated with the same colors that are layered onto the polyptych’s canvases. There is one color for each sponge, and, strung together, they stand out

  • picks March 30, 2015

    Gary Hill

    Visitors entering the gallery’s ground floor of Gary Hill’s exhibition encounter a play of projections on a wall for the work Choir Box, 2015. As the projections and the wall are practically the same color, the building’s structure becomes the work’s subject. This would seem to create an ambiguous spatial-temporal breakthrough, though that turns out to be a hermetic perception. In reality, the walls in the projections are those of the artist’s studio, which seem to overlap thanks to the rapid and vibrant sequence of images displayed. Composed of numerous pieces, this exhibition unfolds from here

  • picks March 13, 2015

    William E. Jones

    Psychic Driving, 2014, a video projection, is undoubtedly the most significant presence in this show by William E. Jones, offering a succession of colorful vibrating lines where each frame is like an elaborate abstract painting. In the work’s sound track, a narrator describes the effects of taking LSD. Other voices that chime in about the drug seem to be those of subjects in an experiment or a documentary. Yet the viewer, who sees only successions of lines—bringing to mind American AbEx painting—comes to eventually understand that what is being discussed is the history of research on mind control

  • picks March 10, 2015

    “Le regole del gioco”

    The Studio Museo Achille Castiglioni, which became the Fondazione Achille Castiglioni in 2011, is located on the ground floor of a building in the heart of Milan. Currently, visitors encounter one of Castiglioni’s most well-known projects, his 1962 Arco lamp, at the Fondazione’s entrance. Careful observation reveals, however, that this is not an authentic model, not even an original prototype, but rather a fake by Christoph Meier: Untitled (Achille), 2014. What a strange beginning for “Le regole del gioco” (The Rules of the Game), a group show curated by Luca Lo Pinto under the artistic direction

  • picks February 28, 2015

    “Oggetti su piano”

    A texture, an arabesque, obtained by painting a wooden surface in several shades of red, completely covers the walls of the rooms of the exhibition space. The installation piece, by Flavio Favelli, evokes the chromatic experience of picture galleries from eras past, where the walls were never white but red or ocher, or otherwise painted in colors that seemed to make the art on view reverberate and vibrate in the space. Favelli also has paintings on view, but the exhibition itself seems like one gigantic still life, the paintings positioned the red walls like fruit or flowers in traditional

  • picks February 05, 2015

    Dario Guccio

    In the nine collage-based paintings on view, anthropomorphic and abstract pleather forms overlap, thrown together like layers of digital imagery, creating color contrasts that evoke the Fauves. The iconic power of these compositions derives not only from their diverging shapes and colors (blue, black, and white) but also from their arrangement in the gallery. The installation of these collages of leather fragments has been carefully conceived so that they appear suddenly and unexpectedly as the viewer moves through the space, thanks to several slightly oblique walls which meet to form unusual

  • Alessandra Spranzi

    Those familiar with the trajectory of Alessandra Spranzi’s practice might recognize her series “Obsoleto” (Obsolete), 2013–, as a culmination of several ongoing investigations; those unfamiliar with her oeuvre might simply be affected by the series’ evocative power. These conceptually complex but aesthetically cogent photomontages, which were the focal point of “Maraviglia,” Spranzi’s recent exhibition at P420, are each composed of two images: The first—a page pulled from a book or magazine on a subject such as geography, astronomy, or botany—serves as a background or frame for the

  • Becky Beasley

    Three bronze branches, each suspended horizontally from the ceiling by a brass rod, slowly rotated in the main gallery of Francesca Minini for the duration of Becky Beasley’s recent exhibition. Powered by small motors, the sculptures spun at one and a half rotations per minute—like disco balls in a dance hall. For this series, “Bearing” (all works 2014), the artist cast broken fragments of twigs in bronze, then recombined and fused them together to create longer forms. The branches incorporated into the sculptures here were collected by the artist’s father in her hometown of Portsmouth,