Veronica Santi

  • picks April 18, 2019

    Prateep Suthathongthai

    Contrary to the common pattern of rural populations migrating to big cities for work, Prateep Suthathongthai moved from Bangkok, where he was born, to Maha Sarakham province, in the northeastern region of the country known as Isan. This area was a major site of the United States’ anti-communist efforts against Laos during the Cold War, and, subsequently, a setting for the country’s rapid urbanization and Westernization. With the distance of belonging to the generation born after this period, Suthathongthai began collecting and faithfully reproducing publications—some of which were part of the

  • Josep Grau-Garriga

    Experimenting with materials in an ambiguous and disturbing manner, Josep Grau-Garriga (1929–2011) pushed the art of tapestry into new territory. His work is marked by his human and civil commitment—which put him in conflict with the Franco regime in Spain—and by his personal dedication. This first solo show in Belgium, with tapestries and drawings spanning nearly forty years, provided a full overview of the Catalan artist’s pioneering oeuvre.

    Born in Sant Cugat del Vallès, near Barcelona, Grau-Garriga’s promising career in textile art took a decisive turn when, in the late 1950s, he went to

  • picks January 31, 2019

    Domenico Mangano & Marieke Van Rooy

    High up on a wall like metopes on a Greek temple hang ten images that serve as a focal point of “Sonnet Cycle,” the latest exhibition by artist duo Domenico Mangano and Marieke van Rooy. The series, “The Pure Truth about Strange People” (all works 2018), is the result of a photographic bricolage created across three phases. First, the artists collected digitized miniatures taken from the thirteenth-century Dutch poet Jacob van Maerlant’s book Der naturen bloeme (The Flower of Nature). A sort of medieval Wikipedia, the manuscript provides a catalogue of exotic animals, plants, and people based

  • Rosa Barba

    In the fledgling gallery Vistamarestudio, Rosa Barba presented “Pensiero Spaziolungo” (Longspace Idea), a constellation of works that seemed heterogeneous at first glance but that all interrogated the conceptual and material elements of language and cinema by way of astronomy. In dialogue with the work of the American astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868–1921), Barba employed neon, video, glass, canvas, felt, projectors, filmstrips, and screens, addressing themes that, while not new in her practice, here attained an intimacy that is perhaps without equal in her most recent production.

    The

  • picks May 25, 2018

    Robert Kushner

    “I just want to be a good visual seducer.” So Robert Kushner declared in a 1981 interview. And as we see in his current exhibition here, “Reverie: Dupatta-topia,” the artist—a pioneer of the Pattern and Decoration movement—confirms his approach to ornament as a specific way of seeing and moving through the world. In these canvases and panels, Kushner refrained from adding paint to his surfaces until the gilding and fabric collaging were finished. Though the works recall some of Kushner’s earliest pieces, what we see before us feels utterly new.

    In Large Red Dahlia, 2017, outlines of the flower

  • picks April 06, 2018

    Bradley Eros

    In “All that is solid melts into eros,” Bradley Eros modifies a famous phrase from the first chapter of the Communist Manifesto, adding human life to the concepts of natural philosophy that Marx uses to explain societal changes and political systems. Through elementary forms and ephemeral objects created with common materials such as ash, foil, and paper, Eros restores ideas of nature and natural processes, where culture had prevailed with arrogance.

    Eros’s pieces, hymns to impermanence, are continually reshaped through spare, playful, and ritualistic actions (viewers are also encouraged to aid

  • picks February 16, 2018

    Laurel Nakadate

    There is a different Laurel Nakadate on view in this exhibition. The woman here—no longer a catalyst in extreme social experiments, as she was in a number of well-known earlier projects—is a mother who reflects on her own family and personal history.

    In “The Kingdom” (all works cited, 2018), the series that gives the show its title, thirty-four digital photomontages depict Nakadate’s infant son inserted into vintage photographs of the artist’s mother, who died shortly after his birth. The little boy, traversing space and time, appears in a variety of scenarios: resting peacefully in his grandmother’s

  • picks November 10, 2017

    Martín Ramírez

    The current exhibition of work by the late Martín Ramírez, “A Journey,” leads viewers in exploring the world of outsider art through one of its most illustrious practitioners. Ramírez was thirty years old when, in 1925, he decided to cross the Rio Grande, leaving his pregnant wife and three children in Mexico behind for the US. He arrived illegally in his new country, where the dream of finding a better life shattered after he started laboring on the California railroads and in mines. In 1931, Ramírez was unemployed and in a state of confusion, and the police found him on the street. He was then

  • picks October 20, 2017

    Danilo Correale

    The first article of the Italian constitution reads: “Italy is a democratic Republic founded on labor.” But what form of government could presume a social order not founded on labor? And what would this society look like? Italian artist Danilo Correale confronts these issues in his installation At Work’s End (all works 2017), his first solo show in New York.

    In one room, the artist invites viewers to relax, close their eyes, and lie down on one of a set of chaise-lounge sculptures while listening to a record that plays the voice of a hypnotherapist (Reverie, On the Liberation from Work). On side