Simone Menegoi

  • 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

  • picks May 20, 2014

    Superstudio

    Superstudio was a sui generis architectural studio. Like other major players in the international movement that Germano Celant called “radical architecture,” its members were interested not in constructing buildings to add to those that already existed, but rather in debating the very idea of architecture through theoretical writings and deliberately unbuildable projects, ambiguously suspended between utopia and dystopia, dream and nightmare. Superstudio’s production consists of collages, films, and more or less paradoxical design objects, a small selection of which are presented here. Then

  • picks March 18, 2014

    Micol Assaël

    From the start of her career, Micol Assaël has conceived of her works as total sensory experiences that engage—often rather aggressively—sight, sound, smell, and touch. This miniretrospective in Milan (with the unwieldy title “ILIOKATAKINIOMUMASTILOPSARODIMAKOPIOTITA,” a sort of tongue twister made up of both Greek and invented words) comprises five installations that can be accessed by two or three viewers at a time. Of these, only one principally depends on the audience’s vision: Sub, 2014, a metal and glass box created for the occasion that contains a rudimentary Kelvin generator producing

  • picks February 24, 2014

    “The Empty Pedestal. Ghosts from Eastern Europe”

    Hosted by Bologna Arte Fiera, the annual festival of contemporary art, this exhibition of work from the former Eastern Bloc is partially an homage to the Italian art collections that provided all of the pieces on view, most of which were made after 1989. (It should be noted that while the selection criterion might seem limited, private collections in Italy are often more extensive than public ones.) The impressive list of forty-five artists spans at least three generations and ranges from the Kabakovs to Kateřina Šedá, from Július Koller to Roman Ondák, and from Yona Friedman to Victor Man.

  • picks January 06, 2014

    Steven Claydon

    Steven Claydon is fundamentally a postmodern artist. The fierce heterogeneity of his sources and the horizontal, nonhierarchical way he combines them in his work leave few doubts in this regard. But since postmodernism is a notoriously slippery term that calls for more precision, Claydon’s version of it could be compared to that of writer Thomas Pynchon. The chaotic variety of materials they both draw upon is never gratuitous, but rather necessary to the critical deconstruction of the notion that the history of culture (and history full stop) follows a coherent, linear, and progressive developmental

  • picks January 03, 2014

    Toni Grand

    Audacious and original, the French sculptor Toni Grand has a devoted following in his own country but remains little known abroad, even after his work appeared in the 1982 Venice Biennale and Documenta X. As a result, Grand’s current retrospective in Geneva—“Nature et Artefact” (Nature and Artifact)— becomes all the more valuable: It systematically documents the many influential series that make up his oeuvre, beginning with his early sculptures created in the late 1960s when he was associated with the Supports/Surfaces group. These pieces—tree trunks and branches—all bear the signs of simple

  • picks December 12, 2013

    Omer Fast

    Many presume that, despite its fictitious premises, pornography at least contains moments of physiological truth. After all, penetration cannot be acted, so to speak. Or can it? Omer Fast questions such assumptions in Everything That Rises Must Converge, 2013, a four-channel film that interweaves three principal story lines. The first follows the lives of four real porn actors in Los Angeles over one day. Fast inserts himself into the second story: A character named Omer interviews a porn director and then helps an actress rehearse a monologue. The third story, which follows a female protagonist

  • picks December 08, 2013

    Fernanda Gomes

    There is a thread linking Brazilian Neo-concretism, which began in 1959, and the work of Fernanda Gomes, a Brazilian artist born one year later. Like the artists of that key movement, she marries abstraction with subjective expression and a phenomenological experience of space. But she carries both aspects to extremes. On the one hand, Gomes loves the geometry of the line and the right angle, and she uses no colors other than white in her work, laying claim to some of the most radical instances of twentieth-century abstraction (from Malevich on). On the other hand, she systematically chooses

  • picks March 19, 2013

    “Revolution from Within”

    In her book Revolution from Within (1992), feminist writer Gloria Steinem takes an approach that is considerably different from that of her beginnings. She speaks of self-esteem, meditation, and of channeling one’s “inner child”; what’s more, she seems just as concerned with men’s well-being as with women’s. The choice of the book’s title as a reference for this exhibition of twelve female artists (who vary greatly in age and geographical provenance) expresses a particular position with regard to feminist art: perhaps not “post-feminist” but one that certainly belongs to a flexible understanding

  • picks March 19, 2013

    Luisa Lambri

    In her untitled 2012 photographic series, Luisa Lambri has somewhat changed her subject. From the interiors of modernist architecture for which she is best known, she now has moved on to photographing works that are located between architecture and sculpture. The exhibition at Studio Guenzani is based on images (just seven in all) of Lucio Fontana’s Spatial Environment, 1968; Donald Judd’s 100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminum, 1982–86; and Dan Flavin’s Untitled (Marfa Project), 1996. (The latter two works are both at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.)

    Despite this shift in subject, the

  • picks January 17, 2013

    Miroslaw Balka and Roni Horn

    Gespräche über persönliche Themen” (Dialogues on Private Subjects), the title of this exhibition by Miroslaw Balka and Roni Horn, is appropriate, particularly because the show truly is about a gespräch, a dialogue. The two artists are shown together (sculptures for Balka, sculptures and photographs for Horn) in a single installation that takes over the gallery’s two venues, located just a few steps away from each other, which creates unexpected resonances between their respective works. And it is, in fact, “private subjects” that are dealt with, deeply rooted in the sensibilities of the two

  • picks September 27, 2012

    Gabriel Orozco

    Don’t search for the word roiseaux in the French dictionary—you won’t find it. It is a hybrid of “roseau” (reed) and “oiseaux” (birds), which Gabriel Orozco invented as the title of a series of new sculptures now on view at Chantal Crousel. It describes exactly what the works are: bamboo reeds whose leaves have been replaced by feathers of birds (partridge, pheasant, duck, and goose). Twisted around themselves and hung from the ceiling with invisible nylon threads, free to float on the air currents like clouds, the plumed reeds resemble fanciful interpretations of Alexander Calder’s mobiles—organic

  • picks September 27, 2012

    Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain

    Although their works engage with various media, the artist duo Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain are faithful to particular ideas, chief among them languages, notation systems, and maps—in other words, the systems that we develop to describe and comprehend the world. Within this framework, the pair have explored different themes over the years, demonstrating an increasingly marked interest in space, time, and how to articulate those concepts. Their latest solo exhibition in Paris primarily explores time. Two Voices (all works 2012), the digital animation that gives the show its title, accelerates

  • interviews September 19, 2012

    Camille Henrot

    Camille Henrot’s latest exhibition, “Est-il possible d’être révolutionnaire et d’aimer les fleurs?” (Is it possible to be a revolutionary and love flowers?”), is on view at Kamel Mennour Gallery in Paris until October 6. Here she discusses the ikebana-inspired sculptures in the show, the first of which premiered in “Intense Proximity,” the 2012 triennial at the Palais de Tokyo. Work by the Paris-based artist is also currently on view in “A Disagreeable Object” at SculptureCenter in New York, and will be included in the Biennale Benin from November 8, 2012 to January 13, 2013, and at Philadephia’s

  • picks June 18, 2012

    Alis/Filliol and Navid Nuur

    Since 2011, Stefano Raimondi and Mauro Zanchi have been curating “Ogni cosa a suo tempo” (All in Good Time), a series of exhibitions that pair two artists (or collectives) in a fascinating site that is usually closed to the public: the women’s galleries of the Romanesque basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, two large rooms with stone vaults. Given the anything-but-neutral nature of the setting, the artists are always encouraged to create site-specific works. For the fourth iteration of the exhibition, the curators have invited the Turin, Italy–based artists Alis/Filliol (Davide Gennarino and Andrea

  • picks April 15, 2012

    Melvin Moti

    In the accompanying brochure for this exhibition, Melvin Moti states that the show ventures “way out of [his] comfort zone.” This statement may seem surprising in light of the fact that his latest work dials into the same basic coordinates that have characterized Moti’s output thus far, namely his poetic investigations of obscure people and episodes from history. Here, Moti concentrates on Ludwig Gosewitz, a Fluxus artist whose best-known works are astronomical diagrams transformed into geometric abstractions. Some pieces in tempera from this body of work appear in the show alongside Atlas

  • picks April 03, 2012

    L’Institute des archives sauvages

    The challenge taken on by the five curators of “L’Institute des archives sauvages” (Institute of Savage Archives)—Jean-Michel Baconnier, Christophe Kihm, Florence Ostende, Marie Sacconi, and Eric Mangion—was a difficult one: to create a large exhibition based on the idea of the archive, a theme that has been, along with the “atlas” and the “collection,” one of the most investigated, discussed, and exploited by artists and curators alike in recent years. Aware of the difficulty, the francophone team took three years to select some thirty artists to participate and to develop the criteria for

  • picks March 26, 2012

    Anna Hughes

    English painter Anna Hughes’s current solo show in Verona is titled “Waypoint,” but it could just as easily be called “Turning Point,” since it signals a rather significant step forward in her work. The artist’s basic ambition remains the same—to interpret the atmospheres of a certain type of romantic landscape painting from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through the lens of a contemporary sensibility. Her predilection for creating easel paintings in oil on canvas also remains unchanged. The new works, however, indicate a decisive move toward abstraction. While her earlier works were