Paola Nicolin

  • View of “Ceal Floyer,” 2014.
    picks April 23, 2014

    Ceal Floyer

    A long white line lies at the heart of Ceal Floyer’s current solo exhibition in Milan, which offers a selection of her works and underscores her interests in perception, our relationships with space, and the erosion of traditional mediums, resulting in atmospheres charged with a sense of the absurd and irony. Floyer’s Taking a Line for a Walk, 2008—for which she drove a line-marking machine through the gallery, tracing a continuous streak in white, water-based paint—both guides and diverts the visitor between the two floors of the space, between above and below. While the title references a

  • View of “Forty Years of Contemporary Art. Massimo Minini 1973–2013,” 2013–14.
    picks January 15, 2014

    “Forty Years of Contemporary Art. Massimo Minini 1973–2013”

    “My first meeting with Massimo Minini was when he visited my show at Toselli Gallery in Milan in 1972. He invited me to do a show at his small gallery, humorously called Banco . . . Massimo’s approach to art was similar to mine at that time—a mix of the conceptual with humorous discourse.” This is how Dan Graham recalls the beginning of his relationship with Massimo Minini and his gallery (first titled Banco and later Galleria Massimo Minini), which has been in operation since 1973 in Brescia, Italy. In just a few forceful phrases, Graham conveys the spirit, interests, and attitudes of a beacon

  • View of “Rudolf Stingel,” 2013–14.
    slant December 12, 2013

    Paola Nicolin

    AFTER TWO DECADES of Silvio Berlusconi’s leadership, Italy is now witnessing a deep cultural shift and a number of questions: What is the role of critique today in the country’s cultural landscape? Is the nation still investigating the roles of preservation and tourism as core businesses and cultural strategies? Is Italy ready for contemporary production on a larger scale? Grappling with such inquiries, the best shows of 2013 faced a daunting task: to persuade the public to enjoy art that grasps at the complexity of contemporary languages, without neglecting the contexts that inform its viewing.

  • View of “Let the Stars Sit Wherever They Will,” 2013.
    picks November 24, 2013

    Matteo Rubbi

    Inspired by his studies in Arizona in 2012, Matteo Rubbi has recently worked on increasingly complex, narrative-based sculptures, through which he has developed his ability to establish intimate relationships with the viewer while maintaining his sense of lightness. For his current exhibition, Rubbi has drawn inspiration from an ancient Navajo legend in which a coyote addresses the First Man, who is busy arranging stones as stars in the sky. The coyote says to him: “Let the stars sit wherever they will.” The phrase gives the show its title; its use here indicates that the artist is speaking to

  • Rosa Barba, Color Studies, 2013, two-channel film installation, color, silent, 2 minutes.
    picks July 03, 2013

    Rosa Barba

    Color Studies, 2013, is perhaps the most enigmatic and alluring installation in Rosa Barba’s latest exhibition, “The Mute Veracity of Matter.” It consists of two projectors on the floor, objects without a base. Facing each other, they share a single screen where they project Barba’s recordings of photographic filters in red, yellow, and blue.

    These two machines establish a dialogue through the veil of projection, and infinite possibilities and variations of color are created. In once again investigating the material properties of film, here Barba also employs a musical approach: The screen is

  • Gabriel Sierra, Untitled (mattress, drying rack, cheap white folding chair, and two expensive black folding chairs), 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks July 03, 2013

    Gabriel Sierra

    Gabriel Sierra’s current exhibition “Thus Far” provokes a dialogue about architecture, or more precisely about the relationship between Space, Time, and Architecture, to cite part of the title of a celebrated 1941 book by Sigfried Giedion, which comes to mind, through affinity or difference, while traversing the Colombian artist’s installation. While the show is meant to be experienced in relation to the passage of time, Sierra has chosen to transfer this relationship to the succession of rooms tied to the gallery’s schedule: Every day one can see only one space and its furnishings. Yet chairs,

  • Rosalind Nashashibi, Carlo’s Vision, 2011, still from a color film in 16 mm, 11 minutes.

    Rosalind Nashashibi

    Rosalind Nashashibi showed her new 16-mm film, Carlo’s Vision, 2011, at spaces in both Milan and Rome. The dual venue signified not only a coproduction but also an amplification of the effect of a work that, in just eleven minutes, conveys a simultaneously lyrical and crude cross-section of a profoundly troubled country. The film was inspired by an episode in Petrolio (Oil), Pier Paolo Pasolini’s fragmentary and cryptic unfinished last novel, which was published posthumously in 1992. Petrolio made a crucial contribution to our understanding of events that occurred in Italy in the 1960s and ’70s,

  • Adrian Paci, Via Crucis, Stazione 10, Gesu' e' spogliato delle vesti (Via Crucis, Station 10, Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments), 2011, print on Dibond, 34 x 21”.
    interviews July 14, 2011

    Adrian Paci

    Adrian Paci is an Albanian artist based in Milan. His work explores the boundaries between the personal and the political as well as the identities and rituals that are forged along those borders. Here, Paci explains his process in re-creating one of the most iconic stories in Catholicism, Christ’s torture and crucifixion.

    IN DECEMBER 2010, I was asked by curator Stefania Morellato to create a via crucis, the stations of the cross, for the Church of San Bartolomeo in Milan. Given that it was a via crucis, the theme and subjects were already decided: fourteen stations, each with its own scene.

  • View of “Are You Glad to Be in America?,” 2011. Foreground: Marianne Vitale, Barn Again, for Milan, 2011. Background: Glenn Ligon, The Period, 2005.
    picks April 11, 2011

    “Are You Glad to be in America?”

    This exhibition borrows its title from a 1980 album by the distinctive blues guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer, and it engenders a compelling dialogue between contemporary art and American musical culture. Like a polyrhythmic symphony, the show offers a selection of fifty songs of the past half century (from Say It Loud––I’m Black and I’m Proud by James Brown to The Way I Am by Eminem) alongside works by Jack Goldstein, Glenn Ligon, Robert Longo, Nate Lowman, Steven Parrino, Richard Prince, Kaari Upson, and Marianne Vitale. The exhibition creates an environment both familiar and foreign, where crude

  • Gabriele Basilico, Le Touquet, 1985, black-and-white photograph, 11 3/4 x 15 3/4". From the series “Bord de Mer 1984–85” (Seaside 1984–85).

    Gabriele Basilico

    Two threads emerged from this sophisticated mini-retrospective devoted to Gabriele Basilico: the investigation of the nature of the photographic medium and the discovery of a new identity for the figure of the author-photographer. The exhibition, organized in two rooms, presented a selection of twenty-six vintage black-and-white prints, linked to three documentary and interpretive projects that Basilico undertook in the 1980s and early ’90s. In the first room were photographs from the “Beirut 1991” series, bearing witness to the devastation of the Lebanese city at the end of the civil war there.

  • Alessandro Ceresoli, Linea Tagliero—Prototipo 06 (Tagliero Line—Prototype 06), 2009, glass, mirror, white neon, 40 x 21 x 16".
    picks February 24, 2011

    Alessandro Ceresoli

    Pondering the effect that George Kubler’s book The Shape of Time (1962) had on the work of Robert Smithson and Robert Morris, Alessandro Ceresoli’s investigation of the relationship between primitivism and modernism can be framed in a broader perspective: an appropriation of forms from the past as an unstable model of the history of civilization. This exhibition, which emerged from the artist’s six-month stay in Asmara, the capital of former Italian colony Eritrea, reflects the city’s profound influence on his work. A driving force behind this show was the artist’s encounter with the Fiat Tagliero

  • View of “Reading Dante IV,” 2010.
    picks January 16, 2011

    Joan Jonas

    For over forty years, the revered American artist Joan Jonas has blurred the boundaries between art and life, working and living within a hybrid territory that could be categorized as the experimental realm of artistic research. This sustained approach to her practice has made Jonas one of the pioneers of performance art, and her continuing importance to this evolving genre is abundantly clear in her latest Italian exhibition, “Reading Dante IV.” The show is a component of her ongoing work Reading Dante, which began three years ago as a personal interpretation of the Divine Comedy (1308–21) by