Pier Paolo Pancotto

  • View of “Paola Pivi,” 2012–13.

    Paola Pivi

    Paola Pivi’s exhibition “Tulkus 1880 to 2018” was open to various levels of interpretation, full of the interweaving articulations and nuances that characterize the larger project of which it is a part. This show represented only the initial phase of a program comprising a number of exhibitions that will unfold over the next six years, with the second stage currently taking place at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam. This exhibition takes on the tradition in Tibetan Buddhism surrounding a tulku, the recognized reincarnation of a great master. Often the tulku, having

  • View of “Nicholas Matranga: I only drive automatic,” 2012.
    picks December 17, 2012

    Nicholas Matranga

    Nicholas Matranga’s first solo show in Italy features ten new works that are both eclectic and representative of his development as an artist. Formally speaking, they can be divided into three groups: social, pictorial, and three-dimensional. The first category consists of four colored Plexiglas surfaces with silhouettes of various foods that, while decidedly exotic and geographically specific, can now be found everywhere thanks to globalization and are being corrupted to the point of losing their identities as they take on newer, hybrid ones. The second category is made up of three geometric

  • View of “The Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata,” 2012.

    “The Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata”

    Can an exhibition structured historically extend its reach to the very recent past without losing its scholarly legitimacy in favor of offering a reflection on contemporaneity? Can it adhere to a sense of the present better than an exhibition focused on more recent work? The answers are yes and yes, as proven by “The Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata,” promoted by the Fondazione Prada and curated by Germano Celant. Installed at the Ca’ Corner della Regina in Venice, this large-scale show reminds us that, in the modern era of art’s technical reproducibility—here defined as the period from the

  • View of “An Installation,” 2012.
    picks October 04, 2012

    Max Renkel

    Max Renkel’s latest exhibition, “An Installation,” is striking in its honesty. Not only because it presents itself as what it is—the show consists of one work, which is, incidentally, an installation—without resorting to literary mystifications or intellectual manipulations, but also because it exposes the “in process” nature of the artist’s research around perception and composition, which inspired this piece. Here, Renkel (born in 1966 in Munich and based in Rome) has integrated the mode of work he is most known for, abstract oil paintings, with drawing, sculpture, and readymades.

  • Francesco Arena, Orizzonte (Horizon), 2012, iron, Lampedusa soil, 7 7/8“ x 23' 10 1/4” x 3 3/4".

    Francesco Arena

    Francesco Arena’s recent solo show featured two pieces, both from 2012. Orizzonte (Horizon) consists of a nearly twenty-four-foot-long metal beam mounted between the walls of the room at a height of approximately five feet—that is, at the artist’s eye level. The top of the beam is covered with earth, about three-quarters of an inch deep, taken from the primary shelter site where immigrants arrive on the island of Lampedusa, near Sicily; much closer to Tunisia than to mainland Italy, the island is a primary location for illegal entry to Europe. Riduzione di mare (Sea Reduction) is a block

  • Henrik Olai Kaarstein, Catch, Fall, Tonight, 2012, mixed media on wooden bed base and stand, dimensions variable.
    picks June 18, 2012

    Henrik Olai Kaarstein

    Henrik Olai Kaarstein, a student at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Frankfurt, spent the summer of 2010 organizing the houses of several people who had died, emptying out the dwellings and arranging their contents in large containers. While doing this he was struck by the aesthetic and semantic value of the women’s possessions, particularly those made of fabric (towels, sheets, rugs, tablecloths, curtains, and traditional Norwegian quilts, both antique and modern), which he felt were able to preserve the memory of the former owners and bear witness to their stories. Inspired by

  • Luca Bertolo, Proof, 2007, oil on canvas, 86 1/2 x 78 3/4".
    picks April 25, 2012

    “A Painting Cycle”

    Each of the invited artists in “A Painting Cycle” offers an original take on painting today, from both a technical and a semantic standpoint, representing some of the many aspects of this broad and complex panorama. The exhibition, curated by Cecilia Canziani and Ilaria Gianni, consists of five installments that will be presented sequentially over the course of two and a half months. The first of these, which was on view for the second week in March, featured British artist Jessica Warboys, who merges pictorial gesture and performance in works like the video Stone Throat, 2011, the three-dimensional

  • Iván Navarro, Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog), 2012, neon lights, one-way mirrors, bricks, 63 x 31 1/2".
    picks April 16, 2012

    Iván Navarro

    The drama of World War II and the dark, tragic atmosphere of the 1945 film Rome, Open City—which depicts the period from September 1943 to June 1944, when Nazis occupied Rome—are central to the installation Iván Navarro has conceived for his debut solo show, curated by Antonio Arévalo at the Fondazione Volume! Until now the artist has been an infrequent presence on the Italian exhibition scene––excluding his participation in the 2009 Venice Biennale, where he represented his native country of Chile. This makes his current show in Rome, a project inspired by the historical and logistical context

  • View of “No Pasarán” (They Shall Not Pass), 2012.
    picks March 26, 2012

    Peter Linde Busk and Tomaso De Luca

    It is difficult today to find artists who are able to successfully come to terms with the art-historical and cultural traditions that preceded them, and even harder to find any who can translate this work into creative actions through an expressive medium. The Danish artist Peter Linde Busk is one of the rare cases who accomplish this. Using painting as his favored communicative tool, he journeys to a past with rather generous boundaries, crowded with both late-medieval and avant-garde allusions (from Die Brücke to Abstract Expressionism, Cobra to art brut). These, in turn, are connected to a

  • View of “Jean-Marc Bustamante,” 2012.
    picks February 28, 2012

    Jean-Marc Bustamante

    With this wide-ranging retrospective of work from the past thirty years, Jean-Marc Bustamante is making up for his absence––with the exception of his participation in the French pavilion during the 2003 Venice Biennale––from the contemporary Italian art scene. Curated by Éric de Chassey, this show offers a fresh reading of the entire creative path of this French artist who, after training as a photographer and working with Denis Brihat and William Klein in the 1980s, became one of the pioneers of large-format color images and later went on to create three-dimensional installation and pictorial