Pier Paolo Pancotto

  • picks July 19, 2015

    Jacopo Miliani, Fay Nicolson, Jackson Sprague

    In this group show, Jacopo Miliani, Fay Nicolson, and Jackson Sprague reflect on the body and its expressive capacities through various connected means. The works benefit from an installation that emphasizes their dialectical character. See Miliani’s three sculptures—Cupid, Devil, and Adolescent (all 2015)—made [of knotted ropes cast in bronze, which represent a concrete translation of a muscular gesture. This is also underscored by the wooden bases that support the works, whose lumber’s striations echo those of the twisted rope. There are four 2015 canvases by Nicolson—Dream Job, Less Work,

  • Peter Linde Busk

    The titles of the works in “Gentlemen,” Peter Linde Busk’s second solo exhibition at Monitor, cast a gothic shadow. The artist snipped adages and fragments of prose from sources ranging from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to the script of True Detective; these (often prolix) lines together wove a narrative of desire and shame that augmented the grisly figuration in the paintings, ceramics, lithographs, and etchings that were on view. The works themselves conjure the visual vocabularies of a slew of art-historical movements well versed in extremity—from Die Brücke and Surrealism to art brut&#

  • picks April 22, 2015

    Italo Zuffi

    Italo Zuffi’s reflections on the intellectual and social dynamics of art are on full display in his first institutional solo show, organized by Cecilia Canziani and Ilaria Gianni. In a video titled The Reminder, 1997, Zuffi is seen carrying out physical exercises to explore the space around him; Territorio (Territory), 1997, mines similar themes, as a photocopy, folded into eight parts, that alludes to the geometric scansion of the room captured in the video. Similar spatial investigations occur in Go away, 2003, in which two aluminum sawhorses appear in various arrangements, causing variations

  • Eddie Peake

    At the heart of Eddie Peake’s exhibition “A Historical Masturbators” is the city of Rome—where the British artist lived from the summer of 2014 until early 2015 (and now lives part-time), integrating himself into the local social and cultural life, becoming a bit romano in the process. Twenty-one works conceived and produced during this stint are on display at Lorcan O’Neill through April 4. While they vary in medium and technique, these efforts share traces of the ironic nonchalance with which the artist constructs his associative system of ideas and images. Peake’s methodology draws from

  • picks March 26, 2015

    Francesca Grilli

    In Francesca Grilli’s first solo show at the Umberto Di Marino Gallery in Naples the artist presents five pieces she conceived during her residency at the American Academy in Rome, all focusing on the theme of anger. Gliese 581i, Gliese 581p, and Gliese 581m (all works 2015) are intaglio plates covered in ink and bile, the fluid produced by the liver, which here becomes a metaphor for fury. When the original chemical admixture is applied to the copper plates, it corrodes their surfaces (an allusion to the caustic effects of anger) into landscapes. The fantastical vista becomes heightened in

  • Seb Patane

    Anxiety was the theme of Seb Patane’s recent exhibition at Galleria Fonti. The show was aptly titled “Abdomen,” in reference to the part of the body generally struck by illnesses of emotional and psychological origin, and particularly those traditionally associated with the pathology of hypochondria. Patane’s project, inspired by the binaries found at the root of theater (reality and fiction, honesty and dissimulation), was as dense and well-structured on a semantic level as it was radical in formal terms. The presentation was simple: Two installations—one consisting of video and sound,

  • picks February 28, 2015

    “Milk Revolution”

    The exhibition “Milk Revolution” at the American Academy in Rome, curated by Andrea Baccin and Ilaria Marotta, renews the dialogue between art and alchemy. The title is inspired by an iconic 1985 photograph Allen Ginsberg took of archivist and artist Harry Smith, in which Smith is seen pouring milk from a carton. Smith playfully called his act “transforming milk into milk.” Notions of the alchemical emerge in Gabriele De Santis’s Francesco Totti sei grande (Francesco Totti You are Great), 2015, in which oil and acrylic combine to create a trompe-l’oeil, marbleized effect. Alessandro Piangiamore,

  • Patrizio Di Massimo

    Patrizio Di Massimo’s solo show “Are Ere Ire”—which included paintings, sculptures, installations, and performances, all from 2014—offered ample evidence of the multiplicity of languages he draws upon and of the vast iconographic and iconological repertory that drives his work. The exhibition’s title also suggested a literal orientation toward language, referring to the principal verb conjugations in Italian, which end in “-are,” “-ere” and “-ire.” The artist adopts these same infinitive endings to symbolically clarify the leitmotifs he explored in the exhibition: The Are piece is

  • picks January 13, 2015

    “The Coordinates of Sound”

    This exhibition, “Le coordinate del suono” (The Coordinates of Sound), curated by Vitaly Patsyukov, focuses on the relationship between sound and image with nine works taking a meaningful look at contemporary art in Russia. The first work visitors encounter is Il viaggio della luna privata (The Journey of the Private Moon), 2003–2015, a video about Leonid Tishkov’s light installation Luna privata (Private Moon). This is followed by three videos carrying a strong emotional punch: Vladimir Tarasov’s heartrending Kyklos, 2010, documenting the life of a tree through the passage of time; Vladimir

  • picks November 07, 2014

    Luana Perilli

    Nature has always been central to Luana Perilli’s artistic research. In her latest solo exhibition, the artist focuses on a particular aspect of this analysis: nature’s relationship to visual and intellectual manmade works. In short, she unpacks science/culture and ideology/ecology binary oppositions. This exhibition documents the result of these investigations, with nine pieces from 2014. Eight are executed in ceramics—a medium that Perilli has recently begun to exhibit—along with semiprecious stones such as agate and marble. These works play a dual role. On the one hand, they are sculptures

  • Alek O.

    For her solo debut in Rome, “If There is a Last Summer Morning,” Argentinean-born, Como, Italy–based artist Alek O. presented works focused above all on the concept of time—particularly on the various semantic nuances through which it is manifested in daily life. While the individual pieces in the show have their own expressive autonomy, taken together they formed a cohesive and imaginative installation capable of completely engaging the viewer’s senses. Six of them, “curtain works,” in the artist’s informal description, are made from old curtains that she has salvaged from their original,

  • picks October 23, 2014

    Bruna Esposito

    For many years, Bruna Esposito’s art has generally reflected on the social, yet more recently, her research has concentrated on receptivity—namely, the ways individuals manifest an interest in other living beings. Her latest solo exhibition is striking in how it addresses this challenging subject with grace and poetry. Twenty-eight works from 2014 made with simple materials and everyday objects are endowed with an unexpected aesthetic quality that contrasts with their conventional utilities. For instance, in the sculptures All’aria aperta (Outdoors), Orizzonte (Horizon), and Cielo (Sky), the

  • picks October 02, 2014

    Martin Soto Climent

    Martin Soto Climent’s latest solo exhibition, “Luster Butterfly,” nearly fills this gallery’s newly renovated and expanded space with twenty-five works that straddle painting, sculpture, and readymades, all of which are inspired by issues such as visibility, crowding, consumerism, and precariousness. Paintings, photographs, and various objects—such as sunglasses, a spray-painted statue, a metal grid, a stool, and a feather used as an ornament on a broken windshield—are arranged on the floor or walls individually or in groups, or hung from the ceiling. The totality creates an installation that

  • picks July 14, 2014

    Alfredo Aceto

    The intervention Alfredo Aceto conceived for this exhibition is as simple as it is effective. In Frutta Gallery’s project room, he presents five works from his series “Mask Paintings,” 2014. These pieces were inspired by a practice followed by car companies before new vehicles go on the market. In order to downplay similarities, prototypes are disguised with adhesive panels decorated with optical motifs on a black background. With this in mind, Aceto has designed stamps of various circular abstract patterns and applied them with black ink on monochrome canvas or plasterboard surfaces.

    The works

  • passages July 04, 2014

    Carla Accardi (1924–2014)

    IN MARCH 1947 IN ROME, Carla Accardi, the only woman in an otherwise entirely male group, signed the Forma manifesto, immediately joining a debate that was animating the postwar art world, on “figuration/nonfiguration” and on whether or not to be “politically engaged.” Born in Trapani, Sicily, in 1924, she studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence and then, in 1946, went to Rome, where she would live until her death on February 23, 2014, in her studio-home on the Via del Babuino a few steps from Piazza del Popolo.

    Photos from those early years in Rome depict a very young, slender woman

  • picks June 23, 2014

    Mircea Cantor

    Mircea Cantor’s latest exhibition, titled “Ti do la mia giovinezza” (I Give You My Youth), is symbolic of what art and life are capable of expressing. The youth the artist addresses here is not described as personal data, but rather an intellectual dimension that serves as a common denominator for all the works on display.

    The installation Cantor conceived for the Kunsthalle Budapest in 2008, which was made up of seven cement volumes of various sizes that depict the contours of gift boxes, is seminal to this show’s grouping, titled Future Gifts (all works 2014), of twenty-one sculptures of equal

  • picks April 22, 2014

    Laurent Montaron

    Laurent Montaron examines reality, essentially relying on two investigative systems. One consists of the direct observation of physical and chemical conditions in the natural world; the other considers technological systems, particularly those of the recent past, and their capacity to mechanically reproduce those natural conditions with precision. Through his highly structured typology of works, Montaron visually and acoustically explicates his research. Consistently informing the artist’s creative process, which exists halfway between scientific studies and alchemical formulas, the nature-technology

  • picks April 02, 2014

    Dove Allouche

    French artist Dove Allouche has a remarkable ability to renew his own language while remaining faithful to his original working methodology. His artmaking is based on graphic, chalcographic, and photographic techniques—particularly historical ones from the nineteenth century—that together result in visual manifestations rendered mostly in black-and-white tones and, at times, in color. The subjects that inspire him constitute a pretext for examining the effects that natural and artificial events produce on them, altering their structure and how they are perceived.

    This is effectively demonstrated

  • picks March 18, 2014

    Celia Hempton

    In her first solo exhibition in Italy, Celia Hempton presents thirteen oil-on-canvas works. Their subjects are female and male sex organs, and their titles—Justine, Jo, Eddie, Alex, Caspar, and Kamal, all 2013—are the names of the friends and models who posed for anatomical portraits, either live or via video. These typically hidden body parts are here not only revealed but foregrounded. False modesty is nowhere to be found—just clarity and disarming self-confidence. The use of vivid colors and fluid, soft brushstrokes, which brings to mind the expressive radiance of Fauvism, allows these intimate

  • Ian Tweedy

    Ian Tweedy’s most recent solo show was called “My Neighbors The Von Stauffenbergs.” The title is not as fanciful as it may sound; the works in the show, all dated 2013, were inspired by the American artist’s childhood, when he lived for a period in Berlin with his family in a building also inhabited by descendants of Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, one of the authors of the failed attempt on Adolf Hitler’s life in July 1944. Tweedy had only rare and fleeting interactions with his neighbors, but apparently these were sufficient to leave an indelible mark on his memory. These recollections