Veronica Santi

  • Davide Balliano, Untitled_0209, 2021, plaster, gesso, and varnish on linen, 20 × 20".

    Davide Balliano

    For his first solo show in Milan, Davide Balliano presented a selection of thirteen recent works, revealing the recent evolution of his rigorously abstract art. Balliano uses very few elements: plaster and gesso, which bear witness to his affinity for sculpture and architecture, plus varnish and the support, in this case linen. Color is limited to a warm white, the consistency of which changes depending on the amount of water added, and a deep black, as silky and opaque as a blackboard. The compositions follow a concise grammar, always based on a combination of semicircles and straight lines

  • View of “Ruth Beraha: We will name her Tempest,” 2022.
    picks April 18, 2022

    Ruth Beraha

    An elegant iron architectural framework carves out a domelike space within the entry room of Ruth Beraha’s solo show “We will name her Tempest.” Inside it, an armature of four megaphones hangs low, like a chandelier in a mosque. “Are you looking at me?” a somber voice repeats from the speakers. The query is occasionally interspersed by the hiss of another phrase, this time in French: “Il me fout le mauvais eoil” (You have put a curse on me). Like a thrown stone sending ripples through a pond, the installation R.U.? (self-portrait) (all works 2022) leaves the viewers with a vague sense of paranoia

  • Edi Hila, Dall’alto (From Above), 2021, oil on canvas, 45 1⁄4 × 45 1⁄8".

    Edi Hila

    While under lockdown in Tirana, Albanian artist Edi Hila conceived his exhibition “Al di là del vetro” (On the Other Side of the Glass), projecting critic Brian O’Doherty’s thinking about the white cube and its creative possibilities onto a maquette that reproduced, at a reduced scale, the exhibition spaces of Milan’s Galleria Raffaella Cortese, transforming them into what the artist calls “a creative terrain” that mirrored a personal yet universal experience of solitude.

    In this way, the maquette lost its function as a tool with which to design an exhibition and was transformed into an independent

  • Marinella Senatore, It’s time to go back to street, 2019, graphite and charcoal on paper, 8 1⁄4 × 11 3⁄4". From the series “It’s time to go back to street,” 2019–.

    Marinella Senatore

    The body as a political and poetic medium is central to Marinella Senatore’s practice. In 2012 she founded the School for Narrative Dance, a cost-free and nomadic institution based on storytelling and a horizontal system of learning. Following an open call and a series of workshops, her projects usually conclude with an art object, a film, or, most frequently, a street procession. The creative flow is made up of assonances and dissonances brought about by participating groups, free to express themselves in an extremely wide range of disciplines, among them dance, slam poetry, parkour, village

  • Jenny Saville, Odysseus I, 2020–21, oil, oil stick, and acrylic on canvas, 59 1/2 x 47 1/4''.
    picks December 21, 2021

    Jenny Saville

    Jenny Saville has invaded Florence with a sprawling multi-institutional survey, curated by Sergio Risaliti, that places her work in dialogue with the masters of the Italian Renaissance. At the Palazzo Vecchio, for example, the bombastic vortex of armored men and pawing horses in Vasari’s frescoes looks down on her celebrated painting Fulcrum, 1999, here serving as a reminder of the fragility of the body as laid siege to by Covid-19. Then there are Saville’s encounters with Michelangelo, one of her most significant influences, at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and the Casa Buonarroti. The spirited

  • Filippo Berta, “Common People,” 2021, fine art print on diasec, 20 1/2 x 29".
    picks September 28, 2021

    Filippo Berta

    Filippo Berta’s solo exhibition “Common People” consists of drawings, photographs, a sculpture, and a video, all conveying different aspects of One by One, an ambitious project the artist developed over the course of 2019 and 2020. Traveling to the barbed-wired borders of Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Greece, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Mexico, the United States, and South Korea, the artist recruited a handful of locals to count the barbs on the fencing out loud. Powerless against the physical limitations imposed by international politics, the performers in the ten-minute video

  • Ibrahim Mahama, Africa I, 2020–21, photo cutouts and archival materials on paper, 37 3⁄4 × 29 1⁄8".

    Ibrahim Mahama

    Anything can happen in an empty space. For his exhibition “As the void, vali and voli,” artist Ibrahim Mahama has confronted the history and the structures of Ghana’s Brutalist architecture, built in the 1960s under President Kwame Nkrumah’s postcolonial government and subsequently abandoned. Symbols of a new era of independence, many of these buildings remained unfinished, over time becoming emblems of conflict—and, for some, shelters for ghosts and demons.

    In fifteen notebooks as well as drawings, large collages, and a video, Mahama explores how the failure of this architecture has been translated

  • View of “Nicola Samorì: Sfregi,” 2021.
    picks July 12, 2021

    Nicola Samorì

    The approximately eighty works gathered in Palazzo Fava for “Sfregi” (Scars), Nicola Samorì’s first major retrospective in Italy, offer a baroque, nonlinear journey through techniques of construction and deconstruction, ruination and transformation, skillfully developed over the past twenty years. Plundering masterpieces from the past, particularly from the seventeenth century, Samorì reclaims subjects beloved by art history and distresses, disfigures, and strips away their surfaces. The artist’s recent statement—“I breed and torture images”—captures the dialectic at play in his work: Through

  • Taoli Havini, Answer to the Call, 2021, wooden platform, carpet, felt hangings, scaffolding, twenty-two speakers, sound. Installation view. Photo: gerdastudio.

    Taloi Havini

    For centuries, the epistemic culture of Western civilization sought reliable knowledge through such concepts as objectivity, systematic method, and empirical data. This credo has been increasingly eroded in recent decades, as postcolonial and feminist studies have considered other methodologies and practices of knowledge. Taloi Havini offers us one such alternative—derived from her homeland, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea—through Answer to the Call, 2021, a site-specific sound installation. Commissioned by TBA21-Academy, a nonprofit organization that promotes a deeper

  • Latifa Echakhch, Sun Set Down, 2020, acrylic paint, concrete, vinyl, and fiber on canvas mounted on aluminum, 78 3/4 × 59 1/8". From the series “Sun Set Down,” 2020.

    Latifa Echakhch

    With her exhibition “The After,” Latifa Echakhch led us into the memory of a collective rite, transporting us, in an era of social distancing, to the scene of some just-concluded event, perhaps a concert, in a remote place, perhaps a forest. In a gallery whose walls and floor were completely covered in black, she staged an encounter between two new groups of works, all from 2020: five sculptures, After 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, which she created using theatrical lighting trusses, and three paintings of sunrises, two of them diptychs, all titled, like the series they comprise, Sun Set Down.

    In the first

  • Rä di Martino, Allunati #10, 2020, wood, gold leaf, archival pigment print on cotton paper, 16 1/2 x 16 1/2".
    picks December 07, 2020

    Rä di Martino

    During an era of flourishing conspiracy theories, Rä di Martino seems to inverts an old one, suggesting not that we never walked the moon, but that we never left. In the pictures in this exhibition, human life-forms are flung against the lunar landscape like glimmering shadows, conjuring and connecting the mythologies of space travel and Hollywood movie magic alike.

    “Allunati” (Moon-Landed), all works 2020, consists of fifteen black-and-white photographs, mostly obtained from NASA archives, onto which di Martino has pasted human silhouettes cut from gold leaf. Culled from imagery from the 1940s