Simone Menegoi

  • Navid Nuur, There, 2012, neon, transformer, wires, 12 x 24”.
    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

  • View of “Echo Chamber,” 2012.
    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

  • View of “L’Institut des archives sauvages,” 2012.
    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

  • Anna Hughes, Lights Out, 2012, oil and yarn on linen, 27 1/2 x 20”.
    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

  • Rob Johannesma, World-Wielding, 2011, Ink-jet print, 32 x 20'. Installation view: Museo Marino Marini.
    picks March 23, 2012

    Rob Johannesma

    Rob Johannesma’s solo Italian museum debut is split between the Museo Marino Marini and AR-GE Kunst in Bolzano. (The latter show closed on March 17.) For the exhibitions, Johannesma’s created a monumental ink-jet print, both titled World-Wielding, 2011. The point of departure for the piece is a news photograph of a skull and other human remains on a meadow, shot in 1995 near Srebrenica, a site of a massacre during the Bosnian War. Johannesma digitally rephotographed the original image (a small newspaper clipping) hundreds of times and then used small portions of his shots to re-create the original

  • Hubert Duprat, Polystyrène et galuchat (Polystyrene and Sharkskin) (detail), 2011–12, polystyrene, wood, tanned sharkskin, dimensions variable.
    picks March 03, 2012

    Hubert Duprat

    With his limited output and its equally rarefied exhibition history, Hubert Duprat has received critical acclaim over the years as a sequestered alchemist of sculpture. He is known above all for incorporating a wide range of unusual materials, which he often examines in depth, exploring everything from their physical properties and vulnerabilities to their status in the history of material culture. Unlike other artists who share a similar perspective (Simon Starling, to name just one), Duprat chooses closed, “classical” forms that concede little or nothing to the narrative dimension.

    His current

  • Left: Mario Merz, Movements of the Earth and the Moon on an Axis, 2003, triple igloo: metal tubes, glass, stone, neon, clamps, clay, 19’ 7” x 16’ 4” x 9’ 8”. Right: Simon Starling, 1,1,2, 2011, carrara marble blocks, slings, pulley systems, rope, cable, shackles, dimensions variable.
    picks January 05, 2012

    Simon Starling

    Exhibitions curated by artists who use appropriation pose interesting problems. The most compelling regards status: What is the boundary between a show curated by an artist consisting of works by others, and a show in which an artist appropriates others’ work as part of his practice? Although appropriation is not at the core of Simon Starling’s work, he often incorporates design objects and sometimes works of art in their own right into his pieces. Responding to the invitation to create a project at the Fondazione Merz, Starling has selected, in addition to his own works, a heterogeneous

  • Éric Poitevin, Untitled, 2002, color photograph, 76 x 94".
    picks December 13, 2011

    Éric Poitevin

    Éric Poitevin casts the same detached, apparently neutral eye on all his subjects. As far as studio shots are concerned, he applies a uniform scheme (monochrome background, no shadows, figure centered in the frame) to photographs depicting everything from the carcass of a slaughtered ram to a weathered tree trunk to the naked body of an elderly woman. One intuits that these decisions are driven by not only visual principles but also, we might say, moral ones: What his images exhibit is a refusal to establish a hierarchy among the natural kingdoms. In photograph after photograph, what first seems

  • View of “Bill Bollinger,” 2011. Installation view, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.
    picks December 01, 2011

    Bill Bollinger, Michael E. Smith, Yael Bartana

    In the late 1960s, Bill Bollinger was considered by most critics as a leading post-Minimalist artist––his works were featured in the most illustrious shows at the time, such as the 1970 MoMA exhibition “Information.” Yet when Bollinger died prematurely in 1988, his work had already slipped into relative obscurity. This year, curator Christiane Meyer-Stoll, in collaboration with Rolf Ricke, organized Bollinger’s first traveling retrospective (it has visited the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, ZKM/Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, and the Fruitmarket Gallery). In doing so, Meyer-Stoll overcame

  • View of “Beyond the Fragile Geometry of Sculpture,” 2011.
    picks November 22, 2011

    “Beyond the Fragile Geometry of Sculpture”

    This group show poses a few significant questions for contemporary sculpture such as: What is the relationship between volume and surface? Is there a dialectic that can be forged between a figure and its physical support? The exhibition’s title is borrowed from Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 thriller Don’t Look Now, in which a fictitious book called Beyond the Fragile Geometry of Space makes a quick cameo. The protagonist of the film is an art conservator who specializes in mosaics, a medium that entails a detailed involvement with materials and alchemies for the production of images.

    Eva Berendes’s large

  • Barry Flanagan, light on light on sacks, 1969, hessian sacks, light, 6' 6 3/4“ x 17' 4 1/2” x 7' 10 1/2".
    picks November 14, 2011

    Barry Flanagan

    Sometimes the fame of certain artists is unfairly bound to a single body of work, and curiously enough, it may not always be the best work in their repertoire. Barry Flanagan is known above all for the bronze sculptures he made beginning in 1980, depicting humanoid hares that leap, dance, and play the tambourine. “Early Works 1965–1982” opportunely points out that the “bunny” phase was preceded by fifteen years of some of the most interesting sculptural experimentation in the United Kingdom, while also reminding us that Flanagan was the only English artist included in both “When Attitudes Become

  • View of “Laid Long, Spun Thin,” 2011.
    picks October 31, 2011

    Athanasios Argianas

    In 1979 Umberto Eco defined the literary text as a “lazy machine,” a device that requires the active participation of the reader to produce meaning. The sculptures of the Athens-born, London-based Athanasios Argianas are static “machines” that function conceptually, in some sense, as examples of Eco’s theory—and not without a touch of irony. Song Machine 21 (thrice two, once one) (all works 2011) consists of a long, looped band of brass that snakes around a series of slender metal wall supports. Engraved into this curving metal band is a circular text, over one thousand words long, that obsessively