Marco Tagliafierro

  • Nicola Martini

    Nicola Martini’s exhibition “Sippe,” whose title is a German word meaning “tribe,” “clan,” or “kin,” brought to mind the facades of houses in centuries-old Italian villages, their outer walls plastered with water-based paints that become bleached by the sun or washed away by rainstorms. The evanescent colors of these surfaces look as if they could fade away before your eyes. But in this show, the colors were on inner rather than outer walls. And the hues were dark, even somber, the walls in question having been treated with bitumen of Judea, a photosensitive asphalt that grows lighter over time,

  • Gabriel Kuri

    The new home of the Franco Noero gallery is a former factory located in an area that once housed mostly light industry and is now being converted into a cultural hub. The work of Gabriel Kuri, while not site-specific, is completely in tune with the gallery’s architecture. This was apparent in, for example, Punto y línea en paisaje vertical (Point and Line in Vertical Landscape; all works 2013), which established a natural correspondence with the large square windows across from it. This massive wall drawing is a blowup of pages from a school notebook, with two boulders affixed to it, as if

  • picks August 26, 2013

    Mario García Torres

    Mario García Torres spent eight years excavating the history of One Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, the site where Alighiero Boetti lived (and helped found) after moving to Afghanistan in 1971 and where Torres eventually lived himself. And it is these two stories—of both artists and their respective experiences at this hotel—that constitute García Torres’s solo exhibition “The Boetti Lesson (Searching for One Hotel, Kabul).” The show consists of a variety of documentation, including faxes and postal items, wooden and metal plaques, postcards, and graphic materials culled from the years the artist

  • picks June 24, 2013

    Giorgio Ciam

    Ritratto in controluce (Portrait Against the Light, 1993) is the title of a color photograph in Giorgio Ciam’s latest exhibition—curated by Elena Re—that epitomizes the complex creative process of the photographer, who is known for his contributions to the body art movement in the 1970s. Ciam’s images are best qualified through their use of stratified interruptions—layers of numerous images included within the same photograph, croppings, erasures, and collages of varying photographic fragments. The show progresses through a series of rooms, making it possible for the viewer to parse through the

  • Rudolf Stingel

    A photograph of an old kilim was the source for the more than eighty thousand square feet of carpeting with which Rudolf Stingel has covered most of the floor and walls of the Palazzo Grassi. Such carpets are often created to pose enigmas to which their makers allude without giving viewers enough information to solve them, thus keeping open all interpretive possibilities. Likewise, viewers cannot completely comprehend the complex symbolic architectures that this particular surface covering expresses, since the photo from which it derives is grainy as a result of its enlargement. Consequently,

  • picks May 01, 2013

    Carlo Benvenuto

    A C-print photograph in Carlo Benvenuto’s latest exhibition (all works untitled, 2013) depicts a table covered by a white tablecloth. In the middle, a silver fruit dish filled with pears, an apple, and a banana seems to hover above the rest of the scene’s relative flatness. To create this effect, Benvenuto first took a picture of the fruit and then took another exposure of the table. Before printing these images, he superimposed them on the same negative, achieving an optical halo around the fruit bowl reminiscent of a collage. The objects, resulting image, and even Benvenuto’s process seem

  • picks April 11, 2013

    Giuseppe Gabellone

    An enormous purple cotton carpet greets visitors as they enter the first of two rooms of Giuseppe Gabellone’s current exhibition. The expansive floor covering, Grande Viola, 2012, stretches throughout the space and commands respect, making it difficult for one to overcome an onset of embarrassment when left with no choice but to tread upon it. Alternatively, the ratio of walking room to covered floor could persuade one to go barefoot, allowing for other senses like touch to grasp the nonvisual properties of the velvety exterior and its acrylic stuffing. Also in this room, three epoxy resin pieces

  • Luca Francesconi

    Visitors to Luca Francesconi’s recent solo show “Geode Cupa” were welcomed by Untitled (Eel) (all works 2013), a metal fishhook hung from a linen thread anchored to the ceiling and supporting a damp, dripping eel skin. Moving on, one couldn’t help but stop to examine black traces of soot, evidence of a fire that the artist—not to be confused with the composer of the same name—had set in the gallery and then allowed to burn out. Near the large windows that distinguish the gallery space, light from the exterior courtyard was slightly dimmed, since not far from the glass panes several

  • picks March 25, 2013

    Andrea Kvas

    For his first solo museum exhibition in Italy, Andrea Kvas has installed his untitled Minimalist artworks (all works 2012–13) in the underground chapel of the Museo Marino Marini, named after the twentieth-century Pistoian artist whose colorful sculptures often resemble three-dimensional paintings. Kvas’s latest work locates painting not on the frontal surface of a canvas but rather inside of rooms, the space reserved for objects.

    One included work consists of twenty wooden planks, each measuring over six feet in length, neatly stacked on top of one another and wedged weblike in between the walls

  • picks January 11, 2013

    “FW2013RTQ (KUDOS)”

    “FW2013RTQ (KUDOS),” presented by a lively Milanese nonprofit space known as Gasconade, involves both Roman and Milanese artists, and, according to the press release written for the occasion, it has been organized to break down the distance that from time immemorial has separated the cultural scenes of those two cities. Gasconade press releases are often written as declarations of intention. The tone of this one is emphatic but also elegant and sophisticated, and the objective here seems to be to stir the conscience of the young Italian artists.

    The work follows suit: Andrea Romano’s Spotter 2,

  • slant December 07, 2012

    Marco Tagliafierro

    THIS YEAR, three exhibitions shared a similar theme: the science of building bonds that are capable of signifying multiple and unexpected connections between the past and the present, between inside and outside, and among various social, aesthetic, and behavioral concepts. “Caption,” the first retrospective of Alberto Garutti’s work, which is curated by Paola Nicolin and Hans Ulrich Obrist and is on view at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea (PAC) in Milan until February 3, 2013, is one such show. A standout piece consists of twenty-eight devices for recording audio in the galleries, and is

  • Mattia Bosco

    A bare, rough stone floor modulated into a shiny, anonymous, reflective surface: The first floor of the Federico Luger gallery in Milan appeared in this new state thanks to an intervention by Mattia Bosco (all works Untitled, 2012). Over almost the entire accessible floor surface, the young Milanese artist had deposited seventy-two tiles of a type of gray granite known as beola bianca; the project initially called for eighty-eight tiles, but the artist adapted his plan to the dimensions of the gallery. Each module measures about twenty square inches, while their thickness varies from less than

  • picks November 07, 2012

    “FUORICLASSE. 20 anni di arte italiana nei corsi di Alberto Garutti”

    Alberto Garutti is one of the most important artists working in Italy today. He is also a constant point of reference for many younger artists in this country. Numerous students have competed to gain entry to his courses over the years, at the fine arts academies in Bologna and Milan and at the University IUAV in Venice. For this exhibition in the celebrated eighteenth-century halls of the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, curator Luca Cerizza has been entrusted with the task of establishing resonant relationships between works by nearly sixty artists who studied with Garutti and the on-site masterpieces

  • picks November 01, 2012

    Sam Pulitzer

    A scattered lot of black vinyl signs stand out against the white walls of the exhibition space of the Fondazione Pastificio Cerere in Rome. Some feature universally recognizable symbols: moons, towers, bats, stars, snakes, and crystal balls. Other symbols come from specific creative niches or obscure realms of graphic design. A few are simply symbols derived from marketing campaigns. Sam Pulitzer manipulates the viewer with these glyphs, which can lead viewers to think that they understand the logic of these combinations, but the images are, in reality, puzzles. If it is true that most human

  • Petrit Halilaj

    The installation It is the first time dear, that you have a human shape (all works 2012) opened this solo show by Kosovar artist Petrit Halilaj. One might be tempted to describe it as a sort of neo-Povera assemblage made up of imposing hollow metal structures that wind around the floor of the exhibition space, from which spill quantities of stone, some of it ground fine. Contemplating these large objects at greater length, one gradually began to realize that their forms are reminiscent of jewelry: a necklace, a pin, a pair of hoop earrings, and a pair of drop earrings. The form of the pin

  • picks October 15, 2012

    Valerio Carrubba

    Ian is not on Sinai (all works 2012), one of just four paintings in Valerio Carrubba’s current solo exhibition, is a fantastic, surreal portrait of an individual, seemingly male, who has the waxen and pale complexion emblematic of historical aristocrats. His face is almost completely hidden by an abnormal mass of red hair that leaves just his ears and chin uncovered. His clothing evokes Asian countries, but like the other thickly mixed signs in this show, it leaves one with several doubts as to its specific provenance. All of the other subjects portrayed share this subject’s hypertrichosis and

  • Riccardo Beretta

    “To re-enter Bude, one has to cross a space cluttered up with piles of cross-beams and metal frames. The steel cable of a crane cuts across the road, and Alex catches hold of it to climb over: Donnerwetter, he looks at his hand black with thick grease. In the meanwhile I have joined him. Without hatred and without sneering, Alex wipes his hand on my shoulder, both the palm and the back of the hand, to clean it; he would be amazed, the poor brute Alex, if someone told him that today, on the basis of this action, I judge him and Pannwitz and the innumerable others like him, big and small, in

  • picks September 10, 2012

    Ferruccio Ascari

    A multitude of white terra-cotta forms—eighty-four in all, to be precise—clamber up nearly the entire height of the wall of an inner courtyard at the Museo Comunale d’Arte Moderna Ascona. These objects by Ferruccio Ascari, dazzling as only the ancient architecture from the artist’s native Puglia can be, resemble small white mountains, perhaps volcanoes, each one pierced by a central, dark, deep hole that might resemble a crater. Though created much earlier than the period during which this exhibition was conceived, the installation, Latte nero (Black milk), 2008, nonetheless resonates perfectly

  • picks July 11, 2012

    Addio anni ’70

    Addio anni ’70” (“Goodbye to the ’70s”), curated by Francesco Bonami and Paola Nicolin, is a very broad and complex exhibition, featuring seventy-six artists and collectives. In an apposite nod toward 1970s desires for revolution, the exhibition offers free admission: The ticket office has been dismantled and in its place are tables and chairs, designed by Enzo Mari, which provide visitors an opportunity to study zines and publications from the era.

    Addio anni ’70” also bravely attempts to come to terms with the wishes to astonish, assault, and provoke that we associate with that tumultuous

  • picks May 13, 2012

    Andreas Angelidakis

    A pile of large cardboard boxes in the center of the gallery greets visitors to this exhibition by the Athens-based artist and architect Andreas Angelidakis. Upon careful observation, it becomes clear that the heap is an angular igloo, or even a mountain, which visitors can enter by passing through a cavity on either side. From the inside, it is evident that the structure could be inhabited, as there are two chairs and two benches, which vaguely evoke the radical sensibility of Ettore Sottsass. The assembly, which is held together by strips of black adhesive tape, consists entirely of packaging