Maria Chiara Valacchi

  • View of “Giovanni Kronenberg,” 2016.
    picks October 07, 2016

    Giovanni Kronenberg

    Giovanni Kronenberg’s debut exhibition at this gallery opens with a large rock crystal in which a black baroque pearl is embedded. With a selection of new works, the artist delinates a path, lit by theatrical spotlights, through the gallery’s three rooms. The pieces are made with objects Kronenberg has collected over time, curios from his personal archive. Recognizing their polysemous qualities, he brings them into the present tense, prudently enriching or in some cases detaching them from their meanings.

    In the second gallery, an untitled graphite drawing takes on a sculptural look. Created

  • Ivan Seal, vulch grinning, 2016, oil on canvas, 59 x 59".
    picks September 19, 2016

    Ivan Seal

    The memory of a childhood event—a car accident Ivan Seal survived with his family, riding in a yellow Chevette—is the genesis for his third solo show here. The gallery, located in a former garage, is an ideal stage for the revival of this memory. These oil paintings, on display for the first time, are complex constructions whose point of departure is the dismembering of cars with vibrantly colored, crystal-shaped excrescences that provide a visual balance. Six large pieces in a first room seem to suggest they are a body, with two works in the second room making up its heart and brain. The

  • Salvatore Arancio, Loblolly Jack Gray Knobcone, 2016, glazed ceramics, MDF, dimensions variable.
    picks August 25, 2016

    Salvatore Arancio

    In this solo exhibition curated by Luca Cerizza, Salvatore Arancio’s sublime and psychedelic site intervention—full of both actual and imaginary references—functions as an homage to his native Sicily and its volcanoes, with their mystically and erotically tinged aesthetic elements. The show opens with eight caprices of sorts: black-and-white photo etchings (dating from 2006 to ’14), which the artist generated by digitally cutting out and recomposing landscapes from Victorian texts, manipulating them to efface both their dated aspects and their human touch. In the room where they are installed,

  • View of “Anish Kapoor,” 2016
    picks June 16, 2016

    Anish Kapoor

    Anish Kapoor’s first solo show at this gallery’s Milan location features a group of fourteen sculptures in mirrored steel. Vertical extrusions of flat geometric figures and symbols, from waxing moons to hourglasses, are typical of the artist’s work. Twisting along axes at up to ninety degrees, they represent smaller versions of his monumental “nonobjects,” fluid and reflective sculptural elements that seem to flout our understandings of coordinate geometry and include and dissolve the surrounding space.

    The installation is severe, with a grouping of twelve reflective pieces on glazed bases in

  • View of “Francesco Simeti,” 2016.
    picks June 10, 2016

    Francesco Simeti

    For this solo show, Francesco Simeti has stepped away from his usual wallpaper-like creations of kaleidoscopic bucolic fantasies to deliver an installation that focuses almost exclusively on ceramic and bronze sculptures. “Armed, Barbed and Halberd-Shaped,” curated by Nicola Ricciardi, reflects on nature’s impetuous states, ignoring flowery and sedate idylls in favor of wild meadows inspired by the emotional landscapes painted by Charles Burchfield in the early twentieth century. The exhibition begins in the gallery’s main room with three ceramic works, on Leoncillo-inspired plinths, that resemble

  • Sturtevant, Gober Partially Buried Sinks, 1997, plaster, wood, wire lathe, enamel paint, artificial grass, dimensions variable.
    picks May 05, 2016

    Sturtevant

    In April 2015, Gavin Brown opened a new location, in the deconsecrated church of Sant’Andrea de Scaphis. It was in this evocative setting (the building dates to the year 820), deliberately left unaltered since the seventeenth century, that Sturtevant, who died in 2014, had decided to exhibit Gober Partially Buried Sinks, 1997. Sturtevant became famous for re-creating works of well-known contemporary artists, in meticulous adherence to technical process. Here, in a perfect copy of Robert Gober’s Two Partially Buried Sinks, 1986–87, that Sturtevant created in Paris, the titular objects—sculptural

  • View of “Allison Katz,” 2016.
    picks March 03, 2016

    Allison Katz

    Canadian painter Allison Katz’s first solo show at Giò Marconi, titled “AKA,” is a postscript of sorts to “All Is On,” an exhibition of her work that first opened at the Kunstverein in Freiburg. Here, ten paintings, seven never shown before, appear in a gallery space that has been partitioned by three large triangles that block viewers from taking in the entire show at once. Meanwhile, seeking to underscore the perpetual question of whether color or line becomes the dominant driver of painting, Katz seemingly structures the exhibition as a palindrome, investigating these fundamental elements,

  • Diango Hernández, Hurricanes, 2016, iron rods, dimensions variable.
    picks February 17, 2016

    Diango Hernández

    “Hurricanes,” Diango Hernández’s second solo show at Federico Luger’s new gallery in Milan, takes as its starting point the specific site of intervention: The space is a former strong room in which the artist has metaphorically enclosed seven of the most disastrous hurricanes of the twentieth century, all of which passed through Cuba: Diane and Ione in 1955, Flora in ’63, Hilda in ’64, Camille in ’69, Agnes in ’72, and Marilyn in ’95. The artist thus transforms an area of refuge into a theater of disclosure. Like that of Castro’s revolution, the history of each of these violent natural disasters

  • Benjamin Senior, Northen Arcade, 2015, oil on linen, 47 1/4 x 59".
    picks January 22, 2016

    Benjamin Senior

    In “Parade,” English artist Benjamin Senior’s second solo show at this gallery, seventeen new paintings on canvas and panel are distributed throughout the entire space and, for the first time in this artist’s work, feature dynamic and multiethnic scenes, urban and suburban in their feel. From depictions of subjects in gymnastic poses, Senior moves on to portray refined and vivid urban architectures, in which pedestrians can be seen engaged in ordinary acts such as reading or taking walks. The artist has always hewn to classical pictorial models, and he connects drawing to painting using chiaroscuro

  • View of “Calvin Marcus,” 2015–16.
    picks December 11, 2015

    Calvin Marcus

    For his debut solo exhibition in Italy, Calvin Marcus has created a body of work that delves into different formal registers. Based on the gallery’s architecture, wherein three rooms unfold one after the other, the installation reveals dual aspects of solids and voids. The show’s path is laid out so that it appears dense with works as one progresses through the show but empty as one returns to the exit. As a result, the site is perceived first as an exhibition space and then as an untouched domestic environment.

    In the first room, the artist has positioned eleven small ceramics on three plinths.

  • View of “I ♥ John Giorno,” 2015.
    picks December 10, 2015

    “I ♥ John Giorno”

    “I ♥ John Giorno,” a group exhibition conceived by Giorno’s longtime boyfriend Ugo Rondinone, is a massive love letter to the celebrated poet of the New York underground, with contributions from art-world luminaries such as Billy Sullivan, Verne Dawson, Elizabeth Peyton, Michael Stipe, and Pierre Huyghe, among others. Florence Ostende, the curator of the show, has divided it into eight chapters. Her challenge: to transform Giorno’s vast archive of documents, some going back as far as 1936, into a legible and celebratory spectacle.

    The exhibition begins with Scott King’s titular wall painting and

  • Gillian Wearing, Self-Portrait as My Mother Jean Gregory, 2003, ink-jet print, 59 x 51 1/2".
    picks October 15, 2015

    “The Great Mother”

    For the exhibition “The Great Mother,” curator Massimiliano Gioni borrowed the title of a book by psychologist Erich Neumann—an analysis of divine female archetypes throughout history—and studied texts such as Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born, and Carla Lonzi’s Let’s Spit on Hegel. The result, with works by 139 artists from 1900 to the present, is a multifaceted and intimate portrait of women and the maternal phase’s role in the creation of ego. The exhibition begins with a Freudian play of symbolism and analysis via Magdalena Abakanowicz’s formal renderings of