Pier Luigi Tazzi

  • Herbert Brandl

    It took more than two decades after the Nazi annexation in 1938 before Austria could again become an authentic presence on the international art scene. When this occurred, first with the Viennese Aktionismus movement and then with the radical architecture of Hans Hollein, that presence took on a startling form The contradictions within the troubled political, social, and cultural history of Austria led to a kind of art in which individual thematic components emerged in naked or raw form, devoid of stylistic embellishments but full of symbolic weight.

    In the mid ’70s ties were renewed (not that

  • Fernando Melani

    The site for Fernando Melani’s art was the world, not in the earthly but in the cosmic sense: that shapeless mass without history, broken up into micro-episodes and charged by infinite expansion. From 1945 until his death last year at age 78, Melani focused on the uninterrupted flows of energy that only become concrete—have perceptible existence—in the surface of reality: as, in a near analogy, in the individual conscience. And these things had no form or style but were simply there, full of an intimate beauty which held a primitive power and energy.

    Long isolated in his studio/house in Pistoia,

  • Dale Frank

    During the second half of the ’70s there was a moment when the river of art burst its banks and broke into thousands of rivulets. And art, that quintessential expression of Western culture, underwent a profound transformation; what science calls a “hopeful monster” was born. It will be the task of future philologists to establish the hows and the whys, and whether the first mutation came about in Germany or in Italy, whether it emerged within an Anglo-Saxon milieu or took root on the continent between the Rhine and the Oder-Neisse, or between the Alps and the Gulf of Naples. What is certain at

  • Remo Salvadori

    In the middle of a room was the sign of the observer: the flattened outline of a camera tripod, made of three fused equal forms of cast bronze (Senza titolo, visione 6a, 1981–85). On the wall of another room was a small ring of steel cable (Senza titolo, n.d.). Framed by doorways, both these objects were visible from a third room. On the wall between these doorways was a large drawing of three colored strips—purple, red, green—interwoven in a vaguely anthropomorphic motif (Ecce homo, 1985).

    Contrasting with these few absolute signs was the rarefied density of painting: a large work on canvas (

  • Anne And Patrick Poirier

    Beginning in the early ’70s, Giulio Paolini and Jannis Kounellis revived the use of historical classicism in the iconography of the neo-avant-garde, bringing back into circulation those particular iconic signs that until that point, at least in Europe, seemed to have been deposited forever in the storerooms of museums, excluded from any possible contemporaneity. This was despite prestigious, if entirely formal, revivals by Pablo Picasso and Giorgio de Chirico in their time: these were imperfect revivals, given the immodesty of both artists, who filtered mythical suggestions and “eternal and

  • Geoffrey James

    Unexpectedly I am there, with at least two possible ways to go, to the right or to the left. The horizon or the sky is the next limit to the world. I recognize what surrounds me, seen through the horizontal aperture of an unusual photographic format. All is familiar to me: a leafy plant or tree trunk, slightly peeling architecture, or a moss-covered statue. It is Eden, the primordial garden, irremediably lost—I know I recognize it. The machine, the photographic machine, the time machine, brings me back to the eyes of memory, with the present in vertiginous flight. There is a nostalgia for a

  • Richard Artschwager

    Richard Artschwager has been an improper Minimalist, a warm Minimalist, which by definition is a contradiction in terms. His continuous reference to the object (furniture), his attention to materials and texture (Formica), and the possibility his work articulates for correlations and interrelations between these two concerns set him apart from his colleagues as far back as the ’70s. Then, his Duchampian irony imbued his work with warmth, as did his refusal to moralize and his benevolent skepticism, which at times was transformed into an amused and amusing sarcasm. Artschwager’s Minimalism could

  • Richard Foreman

    There was a period when throughout a large part of Europe theater entered a marriage with the visual arts. Italy, West Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, and (with a somewhat different sensibility) England and Switzerland all participated.The trend reached as far as Spain, on the one hand, and Yugoslavia on the other. The greatest stimuli came from the United States—from John Cage, Happenings, the Living Theater, Robert Wilson, Richard Foreman, and the dance of Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, Steve Paxton, Meredith Monk, and Joan Jonas; these influences worked both at long distance

  • Giulio Paolini

    From the beginning of his artistic career Giulio Paolini has placed himself at the end of a trajectory that starts with the structure of the view in the desexualized, monocular glance of Brunelleschian perspective, and runs through what is commonly defined as the Modern era. (One collage in this show, La cosa stessa [The thing itself, 1984), seemed to relate directly to the second of Bruneileschi’s lost tavolette.) This trajectory was challenged by 19th-century mannerism (Neoclassicism, Romanticism, the Nazarene and Pre-Haphaelite groups, Realism, and Symbolism), broken by Impressionism, and

  • Bertrand Lavier

    In times like these, when anything goes, it’s conceivable that one might see, for example, a painted-over piano that could still be played as it had been before it was painted. A certain type of intervention might transform an object into a work of art, but allow it to retain its original use; not only its new appearance but also its functions, which had been considered absolutely normal before its “treatment,” would now seem exceptional, and would acquire new connotations. Bertrand Lavier’s work exists among similar interstices in communicational codes, playing with the elements of those codes

  • Brian Eno

    From John Cage’s silence to Brian Eno’s music; from a density of signals to a scarcity and simplicity of them. Cages silence is born out of noise; Eno’s music arises from the silence that the noise provokes around us. Cages realism brings us out of our towers, or our islands, into life. Eno’s abstraction leads us from the chaos of life to the silence of the tower, of the island. But in reality the tower is threatened; in reality, the island will be invaded. Eno clearly pushes us from the artificial territory of possible worlds into the fantastic domain of the imaginary.

    Perhaps this is why his

  • Michelangelo Pistoletto

    Michelangelo Pistoletto was formed as an artist at the start of the ’60s, and, in keeping with the culture of the time, he understood form as merely that which was perceived. It was there, contingent, immediate; it was not metaphysical or absolute but simply what one saw at the moment of exhibition. Pistoletto went on to create his mirror works—objects of the clearest and most refined design, objects of total comprehension, but objects that also constituted a radical gesture. While the happenings, the Fluxus works and those of Yves Klein and Piero Manzoni, and the various Popisms were expressing