Simone Menegoi

  • 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

  • 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,

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

    “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

  • picks October 31, 2016

    Jannis Kounellis

    The building that stands at Via dei Vascellari 69 was originally a church (consecrated in the ninth century, deconsecrated in 1942), then a woodworking shop. For the past two years it has been the splendidly run-down site of Gavin Brown’s gallery in Rome. Jannis Kounellis has reacted to this history-laden context, which bears the signs of both religious worship and manual labor, with a show that is dark (literally, as the light is dim), solemn, and so dense with works that it verges on horror vacui.

    Iron coffers on the floor and walls enclose old pieces of furniture or fabric wrappings that, in

  • picks January 22, 2016

    Christoph Meier and Nicola Pecoraro

    Presented by the itinerant Ermes-Ermes gallery, “Lost Form” is a show that consists of a single piece by Christoph Meier and Nicola Pecoraro: a modular installation occupying an entire wing of the historic Fonderia Battaglia. The basic unit of the work is a five-way joint in bronze, which the artists molded by hand and then manufactured at a foundry. The joints connect horizontal bamboo reeds that form a grid of large squares. Vertical reeds are positioned at the intersections of the lattice, supporting it above viewers’ heads and creating an aerial structure that occupies a territory midway

  • picks September 03, 2015

    Martino Gamper

    Industrial designer Martino Gamper is known for a nonconformist approach that often seems more befitting an artist. Some of his most renowned furniture is made from recycled parts of other pieces, whether chairs abandoned on the street or rare creations by Giò Ponti and Carlo Mollino.

    “Design is a State of Mind,” which also traveled to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London and the Pinacoteca Agnelli in Turin, has now arrived at its third and final venue. It reveals Gamper in his triple role as designer, curator, and connector of a vast group of friends and collaborators. The exhibition’s

  • picks July 09, 2015

    Jean-Luc Moulène

    Il était une fois” (Once upon a Time): Judging from its (slightly ironic) title, this solo exhibition by Jean-Luc Moulène alludes to the artist’s use of context, which is outstanding and laden with history. Numerous references connect the works on view, both preexisting and new, to the French Academy in Rome and to the splendid Renaissance villa that has housed it since 1803. Monocromi (Monochromes), 2015, sheets of bronze affixed to a wall, are the same size as certain standard sizes for historical European oil paintings; Les Trois Grâces (The Three Graces), 2012, a video based on the title’s

  • picks June 29, 2015

    Manon de Boer, Joachim Koester, and Ian Wilson

    More than one thread links the works in this sophisticated group show, which considers revisitation as a form of creation and reflection on art as an art form. Seven sheets of paper from Ian Wilson attest to six discussions he had with Daniel Buren in Paris between 1970 and 1980, and include a title page signed by both artists. Joachim Koester revisits Hans Haacke’s most famous (and controversial) work thirty-five years later for Histories. Hans Haacke, Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real-Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971. 312 East 3rd Street, Manhattan, New York, 1971,

  • picks June 18, 2015

    Anna Maria Maiolino

    Two things about Anna Maria Maiolino’s show are particularly striking: The first is the quality of her recent production. Her latest works (this show, with a few small exceptions, consists of pieces from 2014 and ’15) are among her freshest and most inspired yet. The sculptures, in raku ceramic or cement, vie with her drawings to define a profoundly personal, biomorphic language that combines the artist’s manual gestures, the nature of her materials, and chance elements. The exhibition’s second striking feature is more general: its evidence of Maiolino’s capacity to communicate on an intuitive

  • picks June 16, 2015

    Elmgreen & Dragset

    “Stigma,” a solo show by Elmgreen & Dragset at Massimo De Carlo, opened the same day as an exhibition of Ettore Spalletti’s work in Milan, emphasizing even more the curious formal similarity between aspects of this latest series by the two Scandinavians and work by the Italian artist. At De Carlo, some thirty large, urn-shaped glass vases (Side Effects, 2015) are arranged in the space on steel pedestals, variously standing alone, in pairs, or in groups of three. The vases are filled with what at first glance appears to be nothing more than powdered pigment in luminous pastel colors, particularly

  • picks December 19, 2014

    Oliver Laric

    Appropriation, copy, variation, dissemination: Oliver Laric’s work hinges on these fashionable concepts. What distinguishes his output from other “post-Internet” artists is the way in which he also investigates similar notions beyond the present, establishing fascinating conceptual parallels between, for example, the reprocessing an image undergoes when it is put out on the Web and the evolution of Greek and Roman sculpture, where both, to different extents, are the result of collective and anonymous processes.

    The two works exhibited in this show confirm this approach and cover a broad chronological

  • picks November 08, 2014

    Marion Baruch

    Marion Baruch has a long history: Born in Romania eighty-five years ago, this cosmopolitan woman has passed through and experienced many countries, languages, and artistic phases. Her most well-known chapter coincides with Name Diffusion, a company (duly incorporated) that the artist used to develop participatory and relational projects. Since 2009, Baruch has again been using her own name, and the works she creates are disarming in their simplicity: She collects rejects from textile companies (monochrome cloth remnants that remain when shapes used for making clothing have been cut out). She

  • picks October 23, 2014

    Franco Guerzoni

    In the early 1970s, Franco Guerzoni began using photographic prints as supports, to which he applied fragments of painted or silk-screened plaster, saltpeter crystals, charcoal fragments, and other photographs. The result was a body of refined and unclassifiable works that exist at an intermediary point between painting, conceptual photography, sculpture, and collage. He had commissioned a “rookie” photographer and close friend—Luigi Ghirri—to take the photographs that served as the starting point for these pieces.

    The exhibition “Franco Guerzoni. Nessun luogo. Da nessuna parte. ‘Viaggi randagi

  • picks October 13, 2014

    “Soleil Politique”

    Soleil Politique” features a heterogeneous mix of works and documents that include two wooden Christ figures from the fifteenth century, studies by architect Carlo Scarpa for the renovation of the Museo del Castelvecchio, and a 1972 collage by Marcel Broodthaers that also gives the show its title. The conceptual core for these diverse works—patiently selected by curator Pierre Bal-Blanc over a three-year period—is a Foucauldian idea of architecture as both a reflection and a tool of political power and social hierarchies. Bal-Blanc investigates this idea, using as a case study Südtirol’s capital