Simone Menegoi

  • Micol Assaël, 432 Hz, 2009,
 sound, wood, wax bees, honey, 13 x 10 x 8'.
    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

  • Vyacheslav Akhunov, “Abandoned Pedestals (The Empty Pedestals Intended for Monuments of Leaders)” (detail), 1978, pencil on paper, dimensions variable.
    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.

  • View of “Steven Claydon,” 2013.
    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

  • View of “Toni Grand,” 2014.
    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

  • Omer Fast, Everything That Rises Must Converge, 2013, four-channel digital film, 56 minutes.
    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

  • Fernanda Gomes, untitled, 2013, silk and nylon, dimensions variable.
    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

  • Birgit Juergenssen, Untitled (Improvisation), 1976, gelatin silver print, 5 x 6 3/4".
    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

  • Luisa Lambri, Untitled (100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminium, 1982–86, #03), 2012, laser chrome print, 31 1/4 x 37”.
    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

  • View of “Gespräche über persönliche Themen” (Dialogues on Private Subjects), 2012.
    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

  • View of “Gabriel Orozco,” 2012. Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris.
    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

  • Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, Timewaves (Chapters IV and V), 2012, looped black-and-white animation.
    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

  • View of “Est-il possible d’être révolutionnaire et d’aimer les fleurs?” (Is it possible to be a revolutionary and love flowers?”), 2012.
    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