Simone Menegoi

  • View of “Subtile,” 2011.
    picks October 17, 2011

    Piero Fogliati

    Despite two appearances at the Venice Biennale (in 1978 and 1986) and his 2003 retrospective in Turin, Piero Fogliati remains a relatively unknown artist, nearly absent from the market and unfamiliar to the wider public. Thus it is surprising and pleasing to see that a new Milan gallery is presenting “Subtile,” a selection of his older works, including seven kinetic sculptures that produce sound and light effects, almost all created between 1966 and 1976. A group of drawings on view, made between 1973 and the present, make the show even more delightful.

    Much early kinetic art has not aged well;

  • View of “Die Vertretung des Erschöpften” (Depicting Exhaustion), 2011.
    picks October 17, 2011

    Reto Pulfer

    Reto Pulfer’s work is best defined as painting, though it isn’t painting exactly. The thirty-year-old Swiss artist’s arrangements of dyed fabrics are not quite installations, either; they are more like paintings that extend in three dimensions, intolerant of the closed form of the conventional canvas but tied to the compositional principles of the medium. Indeed, Pulfer often thinks about his works in terms of figure and ground, and even its canonical materials (painted and drawn canvas) are borrowed from painting. His work is a form of abstraction with a subtly imaginative disposition, quiet

  • Peter Buggenhout, Gorgo # 24 (Gorgon #24), 2011, polyester, metal, cloth, horsehair, blood, plastic, iron armature, polyurethane foam, dimensions variable.
    picks June 17, 2011

    Peter Buggenhout

    The sculptures of Belgian artist Peter Buggenhout must be carefully sterilized before being exhibited. The smallest are left for several days in industrial refrigerators; the larger ones (which can be several meters wide) are treated repeatedly with chemical disinfectants. The reason is clear at first glance. The works in the series “The Blind Leading the Blind,” 2007–11, are covered in a thick layer of dust and filth; those of “Gorgo” (Gorgon), 2011, are made of materials that include blood, hair, and animal innards. They have the appearance of abandoned carcasses and chaotic accumulations,

  • Rolf Julius, Room of Stillness II, 2011, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks May 23, 2011

    Rolf Julius

    “I long thought about how one can create rooms where one can withdraw and find rest, where one can see, hear, and concentrate, where one is shut off from the external world and yet takes part in it,” wrote Rolf Julius in his 1987 essay “Room of Stillness.” Room of Stillness II, the second in a series of planned installations by the artist, has been materialized in one of the two galleries of the e/static cultural association in Turin. Unfortunately, it is also the last such space by the artist, who died this past January at the age of seventy-one. Room of Stillness II is a unified composition

  • Michael E. Smith, untitled, 2011, metal, foam, plastic, pens, magnet, 38 x 7 1/2".
    picks April 18, 2011

    Michael E. Smith

    The ground-floor gallery that houses part of Michael E. Smith’s latest exhibition is dark, with only a few neon lights left on to illuminate the works. Two videos offer a bit of supplementary light: an extreme close-up of a fish––pathetic, perhaps dying––in an aquarium; and a blurred, indecipherable image projected through the metal frame of a fan. In the shadows, the atmosphere of deterioration, entropy, and regression that characterizes Smith’s work––a milieu that speaks to the urban reality of Detroit, the artist’s hometown––takes on a sinister intensity. A sculpture made from a piece of a