Simone Menegoi

  • View of “The Feeling of Things,” 2018.
    picks August 22, 2018

    Matt Mullican

    The American artist Matt Mullican’s current retrospective, “The Feeling of Things,” is a selection of not only artworks but also of exhibitions. In this recapitulation of a nearly half-century-long career—an undertaking that well-utilizes the colossal dimensions of this Milan institution—viewers will discover the set of four monumental banners that constituted the backbone of Mullican’s 1990 solo show at Le Magasin as well as the installation of bedsheets onto which Mullican glued hundreds of drawings by his alter ego, “That Person”—exhibited in 2005’s “Learning from That Person’s Work” at the

  • Goran Trbuljak, Jazz Brush Painting (Left Hand), 1991, canvas, oil, paint, bell, 12 x 10 1/2”.
    picks July 19, 2018

    Goran Trbuljak

    In 1971, the twenty-three-year-old Goran Trbuljak, invited to create his first solo show at a public institution—the Galerija Studentskog in Zagreb—exhibited a single work: a simple poster bearing a black-and-white photograph of his face and the phrase Ne želim pokazati ništa novo i originalno (I do not want to show anything new or original), 1971. With this gesture of refusal—not only to present anything new or original but also to display any traditional artistic product—Trbuljak began to pave an artistic path of rare consistency, exploring a radical domain that was later termed “institutional

  • View of “Rick Owens,” 2017–18.

    Rick Owens

    “I would lay a black glittering turd on the white landscape of conformity,” Rick Owens wrote in the late 1990s. However bombastic this sounds, the next twenty years of the fashion and furniture designer’s career have broadly confirmed his intention. And now that the Triennale di Milano has celebrated him with a retrospective—no less sensationally titled “Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman,” presented by Eleonora Fiorani, the curator of its fashion department—the turd cited in Owens’s manifesto has found material form. In a gigantic sculpture/stage set, a black blob of sand, cement, and organic

  • Installation view of Tom Friedman’s “Ghosts and UFOs: Projections for Well-Lit Spaces,” 2018.
    picks April 12, 2018

    Tom Friedman

    Usually, the minimum condition for projecting a video is that the room is dark or at least in semidarkness. Not in Tom Friedman’s case. The videos in this exhibition—the American artist’s first works in the medium and their inaugural showing in Italy—are conceived to be displayed in fully illuminated spaces. The projected images are mostly simple outlines of light in motion, white on white walls: an ovoid that slowly rotates on an axis (One Minute Egg, 2017); the silhouette of a man—the artist—walking (Guardian, 2017); a simulated blazing sun (Sun, 2017). Friedman contrived the unusual approach

  • Liz Magor, Phoenix, 2013, wool, cotton, mica, plastic, 57  x 21 1/2 x 5''.
    picks March 01, 2018

    Liz Magor

    Liz Magor is extremely interested in the objects that we surround ourselves with, though this is neither because of their status as commodities nor because of their materials. What fascinates her is the physical and psychological relationships we establish with them––our emotional investment in objects and the aura they consequently assume.

    To bring out this animism, Magor essentially resorts to two artistic strategies. On one hand, she juxtaposes real objects with finely detailed polymerized and colored plaster casts, creating a continuous and uncanny ambiguity between original and simulacrum,

  • Harun Farocki, On Construction of Griffith’s Films, 2006, two-channel video installation, color, silent, 9 minutes.
    picks October 30, 2017

    Harun Farocki

    Make no mistake—Harun Farocki’s exhibition here is not the “retrospective” that its tagline would lead viewers to expect. It is only one part of an homage that several Berlin institutions are paying to the great German filmmaker and video artist, who died in 2014. This is the most recent installment in the series of shows that began in 2015––all involving direction or curation by Antje Ehmann (Farocki’s second wife and collaborator) and Carles Guerra––which illuminate specific aspects of the late artist’s vast body of work. This chapter focuses specifically on video installations that analyze

  • Santiago Sierra, La fila (The Line), 2017. Performance view, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, March 29, 2017.
    picks May 18, 2017

    Santiago Sierra

    Santiago Sierra’s name by now brings to mind ephemeral interventions in urban and natural landscapes, aggressive institutional critique, and, above all, controversial performances that stage the exploitative dynamics of capitalism. The challenge of this retrospective of the artist’s work since he began exhibiting in 1990 is to account for all these strategies, which are largely dependent upon their original contexts. The core of the exhibition, unsurprisingly, consists of panels of text, photographs, and black–and-white videos documenting situations that are impossible to present in the round.

  • View of “Pino Pascali,” 2017.
    picks May 05, 2017

    Pino Pascali

    In a 1967 interview, artist Pino Pascali said, “The Negro sculptures have such a clarity and force that they enthrall me, they possess me. At the moment, all the art books I buy are on this subject.” Revisiting this statement as well as others by the Italian artist, “Pascali sciamano” (Pascali Shaman) juxtaposes his works with a selection of traditional artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa. Despite his anthropological background, the show’s curator, Francesco Stocchi, has deliberately turned away from expected categories concerning tribal objects, instead freely intermingling ritual sculptures and

  • View of “Roberto Cuoghi,” 2017.
    picks April 10, 2017

    Roberto Cuoghi

    When Roberto Cuoghi arrived in Milan in the mid-1990s, he was a punk. In a certain sense, he still is, and not only because of the Mohawk he still sports. Since 1996—the earliest date among the works in this midcareer retrospective curated by Andrea Bellini—the artist has remained faithful to principles of punk philosophy: particularly the systematic questioning of tradition and authority (in art contexts and elsewhere) and a DIY ethos. The latter has seen him lean toward a trial-and-error-driven autodidacticism, his techniques often yielding novel results. These strategies span his entire

  • View of “Giulio Paolini: FINE,” 2017.
    picks January 29, 2017

    Giulio Paolini

    Galleria Christian Stein has been a sympathetic supporter of Arte Povera, first in Turin and then in Milan. For his show, in celebration of the gallery’s fiftieth anniversary, Giulio Paolini has chosen the title “FINE” (End). The image that appears on the announcement is a closed curtain, a choice more suitable for a farewell than an anniversary. In fact, word is out that the gallery is rethinking its status and mission. Whether this is true or not, the feeling of an ending, of a final review, pervades the show, particularly in its Milan location, which features a large ad-hoc installation (FINE

  • Marinus Boezem, Labyrinth, 2016, fabric, aluminum, fans, 177 x 36'.
    picks January 27, 2017

    Marinus Boezem

    Marinus Boezem has long harbored a passion for Gothic architecture. One of his well-known works, The Gothic Growing Project, 1978–87, is a grove of poplar trees whose arrangement reproduces the plan of the Reims Cathedral. The recorded sound of the wind among those poplars can be heard now, in an actual Gothic cathedral, in Transformation, 2016. Installed in the magnificent Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, the show alternates Boezem’s pieces from the 1960s with his new creations. The artist takes a sensitive, measured approach to the solemn site, and the works, even when large in scale, have a delicate

  • Jay Heikes, Beyond Zebra, 2016, pigmented mortar, burlap, salt, latex, glue, steel, slag, rubber hose, wood, 37 × 29 × 1 1/2".

    Jay Heikes

    “Zorro was here!” a friend quipped upon seeing the images in “No future ism,” the Jay Heikes exhibition that inaugurated Federica Schiavo Gallery’s new Milan venue. Who could disagree? The thick paintings-cum-sculptures by this Minneapolis-based artist were studded with a series of zigzags, sometimes delineated in copper wire, sometimes drawn with iron filings and glue, sometimes simply carved into the depth of the material. The works as a whole (all from 2016 and titled Zs except one, Beyond Zebra) seemed to convey that the masked avenger had relentlessly written his signature on every available