Paola Nicolin

  • Linda Fregni Nagler, Contemplation of Death, 2014, selenium-toned gelatin silver print on telex paper, 47 1/2 × 41". From the series “Pour commander à l’air” (To Lead the Air), 2012–.

    Linda Fregni Nagler

    “My work is based on the analysis, recouping and recontextualising of pre-existent images,” Linda Fregni Nagler writes in her 2013 monograph The Hidden Mother. Its subject is a homonymous body of work for which the Italian artist focused her gaze on the iconographic conventions found in a certain genre of early daguerreotypes, tintypes, and cartes de visite. All these images depict young children held by their mothers, who remain hidden, outside the frame, or shrouded in blankets, steadying their babies during the slow exposure times required by early photographic technologies. Fregni Nagler

  • La Grande Madre

    For this exhibition, Gioni will flood the Palazzo Reale with the work of more than 120 artists, all under the umbrella of one “Great Mother.” While the roster is not limited to a single gender, the show, which also revives a legendary but unrealized proposal by Harald Szeemann, focuses on the active role of women—from the historical avant-garde through the present—in defining modernity. It features artists who delve into personal mythologies (Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Louise Bourgeois, Eva Hesse, and Dorothy Iannone, for example) and those who challenge hierarchies

  • View of “Land Marks: Structures for a Poetic Universe,” 2015.
    picks May 18, 2015

    “Land Marks: Structures for a Poetic Universe”

    The one hundred pieces in this show, which include drawings and architectural models, offer a sophisticated reflection on the relationship between architecture and sculpture, and examine the gestural nature of drawing and its potential as a tool for visualizing an architect’s deepest intentions. The exhibition progresses through a series of sudden changes in scale and thematic conventions, proceeding from landscape to object. There are observations of nature (see Cedric Price’s competition proposal for Paris’s Parc de la Villette, 1982), interventions in the landscape (such as drawings for the

  • Andrea Bowers, Radical Hospitality, 2015, stainless steel, aluminum tubes, wood, chain, neon signs, cable, 118 × 39 × 39".

    Andrea Bowers

    For Andrea Bowers’s debut exhibition at Kaufmann Repetto, the Los Angeles–based artist turned her grassroots-activist eye to the struggle for immigrants’ rights in the United States. Rooting her investigation of this topic in an exposure of the underlying imbalance of power between colonized cultures and former colonizers—a disequilibrium that is still dramatically visible in the border regions between Mexico and the US—Bowers conceived a sprawling installation consisting of archival materials, graphite drawings, political posters, photographs, video, and sculpture. This project, titled

  • Adelita Husni-Bey, Politicians, 2014, C-print, 57 3/4 × 43 1/4". From the series “Agency-giochi di potere” (Agency Power Games), 2014.

    Adelita Husni-Bey

    “2014, Italy: The national youth unemployment rate has reached 40 percent. Factories are closing. The number of families living beneath the poverty level has increased. The government is finding it difficult to project growth. Soon there will be new elections. How would you like this situation to change? What are the positions held by various groups and what requests would they like to make?” The voice of New York–based Milanese artist Adelita Husni-Bey can be heard at the beginning of Agency-giochi di potere (Agency Power Games), 2014, a video work born from her recent social research. She has

  • View of “Paolo Icaro,” 2014–15. Foreground: Cumulo rete (Aggregation Net), 1968. Background: Foto, nicchie (Photos, Niches), 1974.

    Paolo Icaro

    The work of Paolo Icaro, who was born in Turin in 1936, has long been marked by his radical investigations of form, language, and meaning. “Appunti di Viaggio,1967–2014” (Travel Notes, 1967–2014), the artist’s recent retrospective at Peep-Hole, brought together a selection of his anti-monumental volumes rendered with unfinished plaster and postindustrial materials. Although these works elegantly pose questions about the objective form of sculpture, the role of images and words in the evocation of a spatial-temporal gesture, and the emotional value of an idea, the most surprising element of this

  • Rä di Martino, Authentic News of Invisible Things (model for a dummy tank), 2014, wood, 6' 6 3/4“ × 14' 1 1/4” × 7' 8 1/2".

    Rä di Martino

    Rä di Martino’s recent solo exhibition “Authentic News of Invisible Things” was fueled by the artist’s investigation of the IVECO Defence Vehicles factory in Bolzano and her subsequent discovery of an archival photograph and film footage from London’s Imperial War Museum: Both are black-and-white, taken in Lille, France, in 1918, the day after the end of World War I. In them, a group of civilians can be seen gazing at a German dummy tank (a wooden fake used to trick enemies) abandoned in the street. The pictured men and women appear to have conflicting responses to this object, as though it were

  • View of “Silke Otto-Knapp,” 2014.

    Silke Otto-Knapp

    Silke Otto-Knapp is a painter, and, as Matisse wrote, “A painter doesn’t see everything that he has put in his painting. It is other people who find these treasures in it, one by one, and the richer a painting is in surprises of this sort, in treasures, the greater its author.” Indeed, Otto-Knapp’s solo show “Cold Climate” demonstrated that the closer viewers got and the more they concentrated on the works, the more they discovered a series of thoughts about the richness of the pictorial medium. The exhibition presented a selection of seven canvases painted in watercolor and gouache, set on

  • View of “Marcello Maloberti,” 2014.
    picks October 23, 2014

    Marcello Maloberti

    Marcello Maloberti once sent me a Christmas greeting, which read: “Le formiche fanno fatica sulla neve” (“The ants struggle on the snow”). More than ten years have passed since that text message, and now, for his current solo exhibition, the Italian artist has committed many of his lightning-quick and oneiric phrases to paper. In fact, almost this entire show—which marks the opening of the gallery’s new exhibition space—is made up of words.

    Inside, Maloberti has installed four pale wooden tables. Beneath each one are packages of orange soda still wrapped in plastic. On each tabletop is a ring

  • View of “Diego Perrone: void-cinema-congress-death,” 2014.
    picks September 17, 2014

    Diego Perrone

    Diego Perrone’s latest exhibition engages the viewer in a conversation on the relationship between morphology and history. In the first room of this gallery/apartment, Perrone has chosen to “cool” the space, covering the floor with black linoleum onto which he has drawn a large red dragon. This legendary animal is here an iconic element, or rather an extraordinary motif, which is linked to two nearby sculptures in cast glass, each approximately thirty inches tall. Inspired by Alexander McQueen’s “Armadillo” shoes, these latter works feel like a kick to the face, and on close examination reveal

  • View of “Robert Overby,” 2014.
    picks June 15, 2014

    Robert Overby

    Robert Overby’s oeuvre is a disenchanted reflection on the relationship between time and matter—a relationship the American artist has long rendered poetic with his sensitive investigations. This traveling retrospective curated by Alessandro Rabottini includes over fifty pieces, created between 1969 and 1987, and conveys the complexity of an eclectic and polysemous artistic practice maintained by a figure who existed outside of the main channels of 1970s Conceptual art. While Overby’s graphic work reveals an aptitude for assembling a diversity of texts and images—he trained as a graphic designer

  • Stephan Balkenhol, Frau in schwarzem Kleid (Woman in Black Dress), 2013, painted wood, 67 x 7 7/8 x 7 7/8".

    Stephan Balkenhol

    Auguste Rodin famously studied the Belvedere Torso, and one of the primary lessons he learned from it was that an inert and fragmentary muscular posture can impart a profound sense of internal tension and intense psychological activity. This realization was Rodin’s point of departure when he began working on sculptures and groups such as The Thinker, 1880–81, and The Gates of Hell, begun in 1880 and still unfinished at the artist’s death in 1917. While in the first case he wanted to convey an intellectual drama through the representation of a male nude, characterized by a still body and tormented