Paola Noé

  • picks June 23, 2009

    Pierpaolo Campanini

    For those who have followed Pierpaolo Campanini’s work, this exhibition might seem like a nearly impossible undertaking. And yet with the six pieces here in his third solo exhibition at this gallery, the artist shows that he is capable of immersing viewers in even more profound moments. Campanini’s drawings here have been created with different types of charcoal on canvases that are more rigid than those he has used before. The objects depicted––various sculptures made by Campanini––connect the viewer to the artist’s poetic imagination and depict objects from everyday life, such as handkerchiefs

  • picks March 10, 2009

    “Don’t Expect Anything”

    The title of this exhibition sounds like an order, commanding the viewer not to expect anything. From whom? From what? Nevertheless, this is a group show of great depth and crowded with ideas. Nina Beier and Marie Lund’s The House and the Backdoor, 2007, attests to the accidental nature of situations: A wooden box resting on a pedestal contains books that Beier’s mother discovered to be identical to those in the library of her husband when she moved in with him. The work is presented as a fragment of a library, in which the titles remain secret, as the volumes are positioned backward, hiding

  • Massimo Bartolini

    At first glance, this might have seemed to be an unfinished exhibition, its installation still under way. “Maybe it’s better to stop by later,” one might have thought. The installation, Massimo Bartolini’s Organi (Organs), 2008, stood at the back of the gallery space as if in an apse: a strange scaffolding, made of tubular metal beams like those that cover the facades of buildings under construction or renovation. The iron framework had six levels and reached almost to the gallery ceiling; it was like a spider’s web. The classic function of scaffolding was undermined by the anomalous arrangement

  • picks January 09, 2009

    Giorgio Andreotta Calò

    This gallery’s precarious new space is the perfect location for the conclusion of Giorgio Andreotta Calò’s Il Prodigioso Cristo di Limpias (The Prodigious Christ of Limpias), 2008, which included a nearly thousand-mile walk through France, Spain, and Portugal undertaken by the artist last summer. Entering the show, titled “Atto Terzo, Volver” (Third Act, Return), viewers are faced with videos that document––only partially, since the end is missing––Calò’s voyage. The same small motorboat the artist used to travel the waters of a Venetian lagoon is suspended in a rainy and gray Milan sky; it is

  • picks December 17, 2008

    Karin Kihlberg and Reuben Henry

    Viewers are bombarded, completely unexpectedly, by the intermittent sound of a racing train in this exhibition. In The Editors Intervention, 2008, the collaborative team Karin Kihlberg and Reuben Henry cite a similar noise that was added during the postproduction of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972), even though the scene in the film does not depict a station, track, or train. Through an exploration of reality and fiction, Kihlberg and Henry investigate the value and significance of the mechanisms and relationships of power that are established between artists, art, and the audience.

  • picks November 22, 2008

    Valerio Rocco Orlando

    The German company Niendorf has produced well-regarded pianos for more than a century, including one reclaimed by artist Valerio Rocco Orlando. His model, made in the 1920s, is damaged, ruined, out of tune, and in disuse after who knows how many glorious years of being played. In Orlando’s current exhibition, “Niendorf (The Damaged Piano),” curated by Caroline Corbetta, a two-channel installation offers a “four-hand”—or, more accurately, dual-spirit—light and sound composition. One screen depicts the salvaged old piano inside the Berlin warehouse where it was kept, shot with a handheld digital

  • picks October 31, 2008

    Mathieu Mercier

    In his second solo exhibition at this gallery, French artist Mathieu Mercier plays again with quotidian objects—or, more precisely, with the image and use of his chosen objects. The artist describes his sculptures as “synthesized images,” thereby revealing the process of reflection, association, superimposition, quotation, and mystification of the various codes tied to the object and to its representation: shape, color, design, function, and context. In his new works, he engages images that have been universally reduced to clichés: sunsets, men’s white shirts, and the dry leaves of autumn. A

  • picks October 24, 2008

    Alessandro Pessoli

    Alessandro Pessoli’s installation evokes an atmospheric theater set: a stage on which a mysterious story is acted out. Two paintings, one large, one small, adorn the walls; a sculpture occupies the center of the room. Even the show’s title seems the prologue to a tale: “Bucaneve testa che piange e sorride la mia faccia a Marzo” (Snowdrop Head That Cries and Smiles My Face in March). It is a nonsensical narrative that perhaps gives voice to the exhibition’s myriad images. Viewers discover that the titular snowdrop might be the sui generis enameled majolica sculpture that lies on a table reminiscent

  • picks October 15, 2008

    Gianni Caravaggio

    Gianni Caravaggio’s sculptures have always been in dialogue with questions of time, material, the artmaking process, and the demiurgic nature of the creative action. In his latest solo exhibition, the artist uses humble materials (flour, talcum powder, seeds, paper), along with marble and bronze, to craft disorienting juxtapositions of these themes.

    In the center of the main gallery lies Principio (Beginning; all works 2008), a heptagonal slab covered with seeds and spheres of different sizes and materials. The seeds signify the potentiality of a poetic, personal universe; traces of its evolution,

  • Pae White

    When writing, we Italians sign off to friends and people we are fond of by saying “baci e abbracci” (kisses and hugs). And in fact when we see each other we kiss and hug. For Pae White, as Californian as her work has always been, this mode of expression (and behavior) has become a persona that is revealed in the title she chose for her solo show at Francesca Kaufmann: “Mr. Baci e Abbracci.”

    The first gallery space was occupied by one of the mobiles for which White has become well known. Suncloud (all works 2008; her title here, as always, based on a natural phenomenon that is not seen) is made

  • picks July 17, 2008

    Dafne Boggeri

    The title of Dafne Boggeri’s current show, “Vorrei che il cielo fosse bianco di carta” (I Wish That the Sky Were White with Paper) expresses a longing fulfilled by the exhibition’s central work. For the evening of her opening, Boggeri turned three compact cars into barricades by placing them lengthwise along the thresholds of the gallery’s doors. To enter, visitors were compelled to crawl into one of the automobiles, slide across its backseat, and exit on the other side, emerging to discover the gallery adorned with a paper sky. This false ceiling comprises panels of white cardboard, referencing

  • picks June 03, 2008

    Mario Airò

    Mario Airò has created a “dancing” installation, based on a personal compilation of twenty hours of music from medieval cantatas to contemporary investigations, from pop and rock songs to classical music. In the gallery’s large space, the Tuscan artist has positioned six simple wooden panels at various heights, suspended, parallel to the floor, from steel cables, which are in turn hooked to ropes that traverse the room from one wall to another. Beneath each panel, two or three resin-preserved magnolia leaves swoop to and fro, tied with nearly invisible threads to a track mounted under the board

  • picks May 17, 2008

    Nasan Tur

    Berlin-based artist Nasan Tur’s first solo exhibition in Italy, which addresses the realities of individual and social life in cities like Milan, has the oxymoronic title “Public Privacy.” This contradiction is evident in the work Milano Says (all works 2008), in which a selection of traditional graffiti that one might see smeared on the city's walls, from the most vulgar and provocative to the most private and personal, is transcribed word for word in beautiful handwriting at eye level around the perimeter of the gallery’s lower room. Milan speaks through mute cries, sometimes banal and

  • picks May 08, 2008

    Rirkrit Tiravanija

    “Foster, You’re Dead,” Rirkrit Tiravanija’s third exhibition at Emi Fontana—done in collaboration with architect Neil Logan—is titled after Philip K. Dick’s 1955 science-fiction story about a family who cannot afford a bomb shelter, an item that has become a status symbol in their town. Tiravanija reinterprets Dick’s tale as a macabre children’s game: In one room of the gallery, the artist has placed boxes of jigsaw puzzles on low wooden tables; as participants put together the pieces, they realize that the images they are building are of mushroom clouds. (The number of pieces in each puzzle

  • picks May 01, 2008

    Luis Molina-Pantin

    The main focus of this photographic series by Venezuelan artist Luis Molina-Pantin can be surmised from the show’s title alone: “An informal study of the hybrid architecture, vol. 1—The narc-architecture and their contributions to the community (Cali-Bogotá, Colombia).” While human figures never appear, the artist evokes the ghosts that inhabit the edifices seen in his photographs. It is no accident that Molina-Pantin calls his subject hybrid architecture—the description aptly evokes the mysterious and dangerous presences that infuse and merge with the otherwise earthly monuments and buildings.

  • picks April 07, 2008

    Gedi Sibony

    In Galleria Zero’s unfinished but cathedral-like space—and even in the uneven path leading to its entrance—Gedi Sibony could not have found a better match for his work. Sibony’s sculptures form an exacting narrative in the context of the recently built gallery’s still-rough interior. The pieces and the exhibition space both contain primary, minimalist elements that play crucial roles in this exhibition. Descriptions of Sibony’s practice frequently fail to address his concern for formal investigation and the illusion of objectivity. It is no accident that the show’s pieces reference blank, closed,

  • picks March 17, 2008

    Craigie Horsfield

    Shortly over a year ago, the Monica De Cardenas gallery opened a new exhibition space in Zuoz, a village in the lower Engadin valley, not far from Saint Moritz, in a seventeenth-century house with a broad, sloping roof, massive stone walls, parquet floors, and wooden wainscoting and partitions. Its pared-down exhibition program currently features English artist Craigie Horsfield, who is presenting part of “Madrid Conversation,” his recent project on the city of Madrid. An imposing thirteen-foot-square photograph on one wall immortalizes an “instant” of amusement enjoyed by the dancing young

  • picks March 12, 2008

    Ali Kazma

    In his first solo exhibition in Italy, organized by Maurizio Bortolotti, Istanbul-based artist Ali Kazma continues his almost obsessive exploration of the activities of contemporary industrial and artisanal production. In Kazma’s work, this is not a matter of mere documenting. His strength lies in interpreting and—through only fragmentary glances and narration—conveying problems and realities that are undeniably human, without ever being pejorative. Such an approach is seen, for example, in his video Jean Factory, 2008, which depicts Turkish women engaged in manufacturing designer jeans, a

  • picks February 15, 2008

    Daniele Puppi

    Hangar Bicocca, in its immensity and in the simplicity of its brick, cement, and sheet-metal construction, is the subject of London-based Italian artist Daniele Puppi’s latest work, in what is his first solo show in Italy. As anticipated by the posters advertising the event throughout the city, which depict a finger plugging an ear as if to protect it from noise, Puppi’s FATICA 16 (EFFORT 16), 2008, makes the former Asaldo plant reverberate with overwhelming “sound” in 2/4 time. On crossing the threshold, like entering a contemporary cathedral, one is immersed in darkness, and the eye is drawn

  • picks February 11, 2008

    Athanasios Argianas

    This is the first solo exhibition in Italy for Athanasios Argianas, a Greek artist born in 1976 who has resided in London for the past ten years. Argianas is an experimental composer, known by the name Gavouna, and the realm of music undoubtedly informs his visual work. Argianas moves agilely across different aesthetics and registers—musical and visual, past and present—as he interprets the myths of modernism and Constructivism, producing work that is imbued with enigmatic and nostalgic qualities. His sculpture Arrangement Proposal for Broken Mirror (with ambiguous hierarchy), 2008, a structure