Paola Nicolin

  • Maurizio Cattelan

    Maurizio Cattelan first appeared on the scene around 1990 with nearly imperceptible performance actions that manifested a fear of failure and an intolerance of every constrictive system. In recent years, however, he has occupied increasingly visible terrain. Galleries and magazines—and also outdoor spaces—are among the arenas where Cattelan strikes to the heart of those “things” he often states he wants to touch upon: death, abandonment, forgetfulness, a sense of inadequacy or guilt, and a fascination with power and its refusal. These themes returned in this exhibition in Milan, organized around

  • View of “U-Drawings,” 2010.
    picks October 18, 2010

    Luca Pozzi

    While visiting Luca Pozzi’s latest exhibition, “U-Drawings,” I found myself thinking about the ideas of the Hungarian artist and theorist György Kepes, particularly his essays in Language of Vision (1944) that describe light as a “creative medium,” capable of creating “a fresh sense of space.” Pozzi’s new work explores how light can be employed in the process of drawing, and also how drawing can be used a tool of awareness.

    Spin Foam Network (all works 2010) is a structure of twelve aluminum tubes arranged in Y-shapes, with each end terminating in a metal plate that is incised with the outlines

  • View of “Solar Skill,” 2010. From left: Jessica Warboys, Ouroboros O Glorious, 2010; Diogo Pimentão,  Linha (Suporte) (Online [Support]), 2010; Andrea De Stefani, Nel mentre che ovunque si affacci (Meanwhile It Looks Everywhere), 2008; Ugo La Pietra, Ho guardato con occhi attenti la città (I Watched the City with Attentive Eyes), 1974.
    picks June 28, 2010

    “Solar Skill”

    In this exhibition, the city is a living organism consumed by sunlight. Through the works of four artists, “Solar Skill” proposes an antifunctionalist view of urban life, in which time transforms images into traces. At the heart of the show is a 1974 collage by Ugo La Pietra that pairs a newspaper clipping from that year, regarding the discovery of a young woman’s suicide, with an advertisement promoting a help line for people suffering from self-destructive behavior. The washed-out appearance of the paper echoes the adjacent sculptural installation by Andrea De Stefani, made by immersing a

  • Adrian Paci, Britma, 2009, still from a color video, 5 minutes 18 seconds.
    picks April 20, 2010

    Adrian Paci

    Adrian Paci’s latest exhibition, “Gestures,” features Britma, 2009, a video projected in a small room near the gallery’s entrance. The work offers blurry glimpses of two children in a meadow; their actions are nearly imperceptible due to the slowed-down pace of the film. Like Paci’s previous output, the video declares the Albanian artist’s interest in symbolic rituals and the gestures that are exchanged during festivities, but there is no pretense of documenting a specific fact. Instead, Britma presents the vague emotional charge of an abstract and ambiguous sequence, prompted by a fragment of

  • Perarolo09

    Perarolo di Cadore, Italy, resembles no place else on earth. A village of fewer than four hundred souls lost in a snowy valley in the province of Belluno in the Dolomites, it was once a renowned vacation destination. Today it is nearly a ghost town, devoid of tourists. However, the Perarolo09 project has made a difference, transforming emptiness into a sense of expectation. The program consists of a sequence of solo exhibitions by five emerging Italian artists: Alberto Tadiello, Nico Vascellari, Diego Marcon, Andrea Galvani, and Christian Frosi. (Another artist, Matteo Rubbi, designed and produced

  • Guiseppe Stampone, Repeat, 2010, still from a color video, 5 minutes.
    picks February 26, 2010

    Giuseppe Stampone

    Through a range of references that allude to gambling, as well as to Fra Angelico, the first solo exhibition by the Milan-based artist Giuseppe Stampone, “The Rules of the Game,” evokes a casino, where the game of chance is a metaphor for the dynamics of everyday life. The show, curated by Marco Scotini, includes slot machines, a baccarat table at which there is a large chair that seems like a throne, a video, and other game-related devices. The artist offers, in sum, a spectacle of failure. The theatrical charge is intensified in the sole video, Repeat, 2010, which is inspired by Pier Paolo

  • Gianni Colombo

    THE CONTEXT FROM WHICH Gianni Colombo (1937–1993) emerged was that of late-’50s Milan, where, after the period of art informel, artists were attempting to make work that reflected new ideas about how we perceive time and space, drawing not only on the legacy of Futurism but also on Gestalt theory and scientific studies. Among the figures who left their mark on Colombo, Lucio Fontana offered a means of exploring the performative and temporal dimensions of spatial structures, while Bruno Munari, another elder artist, focused on Surrealist techniques, the role of the machine in modern society, and

  • Philipp Fürhofer, 6X36W, 2009, acrylic and oil on spy mirror, light box, newspaper, pencil, 71 x 63 x 6".
    picks January 24, 2010

    Philipp Fürhofer

    Philipp Fürhofer’s solo exhibition “Life Is Out There” consists of three paintings on light boxes, one sculpture, and a new installation. The artist paints on acrylic glass and employs a reflective film, known as “spy mirror,” which he uses to coat the interior of the pictorial support. Smartly, Fürhofer presents a duality in these works: smooth (and picturesque) on one side, textured (and sublime and terrible) on the other. Yet it is the project room––a former concierge’s desk in this historic building in the center of Milan––that contains the exhibition’s site-specific installation, Untitled

  • View of “The Rustle of Language,” 2009.
    picks January 13, 2010

    “The Rustle of Language”

    Candice Breitz’s Double Karen (Close to You), 1970–2000, best conveys the curatorial conceit of “The Rustle of Language,” a group exhibition featuring twelve international artists. Taken from the series “Four Duets,” 2000, the work consists of two facing monitors that loop fragments of Karen Carpenter performing “Close to You” (1970) on a television show. (One screen shows Carpenter singing, “Me, me, me,” while the other responds, “You, you, you.”) Through the obsessive and incisive repetition of the pronouns, the overlapping voices construct a sound environment with an impenetrable meaning.

  • View of “David Adamo,” 2009. From left: Untitled (Concert Harp #2), 2009; Untitled (Cane), 2009.
    picks November 08, 2009

    David Adamo

    David Adamo’s first solo exhibition in Italy is installed in a small, muffled room dedicated to site-specific projects. Without any windows, the gallery appears as a cubic volume carved out of the depths of the building; with Adamo’s works in it, the space functions as a Wunderkammer. Here, a concert harp hangs from the ceiling and a cane whittled away by an ax rests against the wall, surrounded by its own splinters, a memory as much of the artistic gesture as of the implement’s original use.

    Just outside the room, a tiny blue stool is barely visible, while in the gallery office a little red

  • Meris Angioletti

    At a recent lecture in Milan, the physicist Nicola Cabibbo spoke of “new possibilities offered in the study of the invisible within matter. . . . Anything that can be measured—atmospheric pressure, stock market prices, the fever of a sick person,” he explained, “can be transformed into an image.” It is precisely this relationship between the invisible and its representation that is central to the works of Meris Angioletti, who ably engages the tension between contemporary artistic research and the exact sciences. The artist is interested in translation, depiction, and site-specificity, mixing

  • Barbara Probst, Exposure #65: N.Y.C., 555 8th Avenue, 11.26.08, 6:11 p.m., 2009, UltraChrome ink on cotton paper, each 44 x 44".
    picks June 12, 2009

    Barbara Probst

    The photographs in Barbara Probst’s first solo exhibition in Italy are dissections of a single moment: not one but numerous shots made at the same instant, in the same place, and from different viewpoints––thanks to a system of radio controls and synchronized cable releases. The twelve works in the show date from 2001 to 2009 and depict faces of adolescents, private interiors, urban scenes, and studio sets. Viewers must imagine a three-dimensional reconstruction of the situation depicted in each work, which provokes a reflection on the production of photographs; Probst’s seem to hover between