Marta Silvi

  • Jason Dodge, Cut a Door in the Wolf, 2021, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view. Photo: Piercarlo Quecchia.
    picks March 07, 2022

    Jason Dodge

    In many cultures, the figure of the wolf is associated with primordial needs. Cut a Door in the Wolf, which seems to have been inspired by the idiom “keep the wolf from the door,” is the title conceived by poet CAConrad for Jason Dodge’s installation at the Museo MACRO. It consists of a single site-specific work that covers the entire ground-floor gallery with an assortment of debris including scraps of fabric and plastic, ink pens, teaspoons, pieces of sponge, batteries, lottery cards, and shredded paper. Viewers must struggle to make meaning from this mélange. Amid the carpet of rubbish,

  • View of “Anna Perach: Gasp,” 2021.
    picks September 13, 2021

    Anna Perach

    “Gasp” is the title Anna Perach's inaugural exhibition at the ADA gallery. The convulsive intake of exhaustion and shock, the onomatopoeic wheeze of those who flee, the attempt to recover one’s breath, it introduces us to the theme of this small yet stunning show: the objectification and subjugation of the female body through Western history.

    Daphne, 2021, a life-size sculpture of an acephalous and amputated female body in tufted yarn, reinhabits the pose of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s immortal nymph (1622-25), captured in marble at the moment she was touched by Apollo. Perach's work omits the male

  • Prinz Gholam, kaw paw ree uhl (detail), 2021, color pencil on canvas, 6 masks (color-pencil on paper, elastic band), 7' 5/8'' x 16' 7 5/8''.
    picks September 01, 2021

    Prinz Gholam

    A theatrical device ante litteram, a filter that protects while hiding and nullifying individual expressions and characteristics, the mask has acquired particular psychological, social, and epidemiological valances in the last twenty months. In their first solo exhibition at an Italian institution, the Berlin-based artist duo Prinz Gholam (Wolfgang Prinz and Michel Gholam) fill the Mattatoio with drawings, sculptural objects, and performative gestures reflecting on this now-ubiquitous ancestral form, a form which, as playwright and novelist Luigi Pirandello observed a century ago, belies the

  • View of “Baldo Diodato: Works from the Performance,” 2021.
    picks June 05, 2021

    Baldo Diodato

    In a previous group show, amidst works by Schirin Kretschmann and Yorgos Stamkopoulos, Baldo Diodato covered the gallery floor with an immaculate canvas so that visitors’ foot traffic acted as an unconscious brush, spreading colored pigments in involuntary shades and patterns. His current exhibition offers a visual transcription of that experience. The artist’s use of “collective frottage,” as he calls it, dates back to a 1974 performance at JFK Square in Philadelphia, which was repeated two years later at New York’s Alessandra Gallery. In each case, a sheet of carbon paper sandwiched inside a

  • View of “Carie” (Cavities), 2020.
    picks March 12, 2021

    Stefano Canto

    Since 2009, Stefano Canto has been embarking on urban excursions in search of abandoned tree trunks drained of life, slowly consumed by fungal parasites, the outer casing often left intact. Once transported to his studio, the artist fills the husks with reinforced concrete, which quickly solidifies to generate a perfect impression of its cavities, or carie, the word that titles this precise, poetic exhibition curated by Giuliana Benassi. Sometimes, using a process similar to the indirect lost wax technique, Canto sections the bark into blocks that he uses to replicate the cast numerous times,

  • Pier Paolo Calzolari, Scritture, 2019, salt, pastels à l'écu, tempera on paper, 30 3/8 x 22 5/8''.
    picks January 16, 2021

    Pier Paolo Calzolari

    In the midst of the pandemic, with museums closed and private spaces operating with reduced hours or by appointment, gallerist Sara Zanin has transformed an apartment in the San Saba neighborhood into an intimately domestic exhibition space and artist’s residence. The house, our constant visual, territorial, and mental horizon during this difficult year, becomes a place for experiencing and talking about art. The inaugural exhibition is devoted to Pier Paolo Calzolari, a key Italian artist who—while linked for many above all to his sculptural installations that arose in conjunction with arte

  • View of “Mvah Cha,” 2020. Photo: Andrea Veneri.
    picks November 12, 2020

    Namsal Siedlecki

    “Nothing grows on diamonds / flowers grow in the dung,” goes a 1967 verse by Fabrizio De André, one of the most beloved Italian singer-songwriters of all time. Mvaḥ Chā, the word that provides the title for this exhibition by Italian American artist Namsal Siedlecki, refers to the compound of clay, cow excrement, and pula (a casing made from rice grains) traditionally used in Nepalese foundries to protect the wax forms that make way for bronze castings. This rough mortar, extracted from waste, constructs a coarse and resistant layer that adheres to the wax core, imprinting sinuous, abstract

  • Caroline Achaintre, Bfor, 2013, hand-tufted wool, 59 x 27 1/2 x 7 7/8''.
    picks September 25, 2020

    Caroline Achaintre

    In Caroline Achaintre’s one-person exhibition, watercolor, ceramic, bamboo, and wool are the protagonists of a narrative that seems to emerge from the viscera of creative expression. The French-born artist’s works take possession of the gallery space like three-dimensional biomorphic entities, even when simply hung on the walls like paintings. The porosity of their materials (paper, wool, clay) absorbs color, returning it to the gaze already digested, transformed. The viewer who enters the show is drawn down a meandering path that encourages the eye to continually shift from distanced looking

  • Alessandro Scarabello, Phoenix, 2018, oil on canvas, 34 x 28 3/4".
    picks February 17, 2020

    Alessandro Scarabello

    The title of Alessandro Scarabello’s sixth exhibition here, “I Still Paint,” is both ironic and emblematic. The artist has always immersed himself in the language of painting, pushing his practice to engage with the medium’s myriad possibilities. In recent years, alongside a move from Rome to Brussels, Scarabello has begun to abandon his interest in the human figure (evident in his scarecrows and masks, for example). He hasn’t given up, however, the seduction of disguise, theater, mystery, or myth (see Prometeus [Prometheus], 2017); now his subjects seem to emerge from a metaphysical imagination,

  • Giuseppe De Mattia, Espositore di frutta e verdura vera e finta, Roma (Display of real and fake fruit and vegetables, Rome), 2019, iron, wood, polypropylene cells, fresh fruit and vegetables, ceramic, pigment, 112 1/4 x 98 1/2 x 47 1/4".
    picks December 17, 2019

    Giuseppe De Mattia

    This exhibition welcomes viewers with Frutta e verdura (all works 2019), a neon-green sign that names Giuseppe De Mattia’s ostensible subject, “fruit and vegetables.” The text’s font, created from the artist’s handwriting, “signs” the intervention as his own, while a strong odor of plants fills the surrounding green void. The next room, accessed by walking under the neon, contains Espositore di frutta e verdura vera e finta, Roma (Display of real and fake fruit and vegetables, Rome), an exaggeratedly vertical, stainless-steel display of an array of produce. Colored tissue paper printed with a

  • Stano Filko, Transcendency—Genie, ca. 1985, acrylic and photo-printing on canvas, dimensions variable. Photo: Giorgio Benni.
    picks October 23, 2019

    Stano Filko

    Scattered throughout Stano Filko’s artistic production—pneumatic sculptures, utopian architectures, cosmograms, and more—are the same well-articulated conceits that defined his life. In a 2006 interview, Hans Ulrich Obrist called Filko’s house “a universe of fluctuation and instability.” It was there that the artist gave material existence to his ideas, using a transcendent, complex system that subdivided his home into five different areas designated by colors— red indicating the space of biology, green the area of social activity, white the sphere of existence, blue the dimension of the cosmos,

  • Claire Fontaine, Untitled (:(), 2019, painted canvas, wood, magnet, coins, 39 x 29 1/2”.
    picks April 19, 2019

    Claire Fontaine

    La borsa o la vita (“your money or your life”) is a typical old-school demand used by bandits in Italy. Wordplay is nothing new for Claire Fontaine, the Palermo-based conceptual collective, and it is evident in the title of this retrospective exhibition, “La borsa e la vita” (Your Money and Your Life): o (“or”) becomes e (“and”), reminding us that borsa in Italian means both handbag and stock exchange. As if the gallery were still undergoing installation, the floor is covered with pages of newspaper—selections from the financial broadsheet Il Sole 24 Ore (Newsfloor, Il Sole 24 Ore, 2019), evoking