Critics’ Picks

View of “Amalia Del Ponte: La porta senza porta,” 2015. Background: Ars Memoriae (The Art of Memory), 2014. Foreground: La ruota della memoria (The Wheel of Memory), 2014.


Amalia Del Ponte

Galleria Milano
via Manin 13
March 5–May 9

Amalia Del Ponte’s latest exhibition presents visitors with a sensory experience of ineffable and barely perceptible signs, sounds, and passages of light and shadows. This is the first time the artist has exhibited the installation Ars Memoriae (The Art of Memory), 2014: twenty-one India-ink drawings of animal tails, which look as fleeting as ghosts, bodies that can be intuited but not seen. The animals are presented in alphabetical order.

At the center of the installation, the artist has constructed La ruota della memoria (The Wheel of Memory), 2014, in which visitors can turn two overlapping paper circles to discover fragments of discourses that come together in various ways, giving rise to surreal, incongruent phrases that leave space for the imagination, not without a sense of irony. Meanwhile, La porta senza porta (The Door Without a Door), 2015, is a paradox. It is a light projection on a wall accompanied by an emergency exit handle. Its extended luminosity finds a counterpoint in the small luminescent spot of Il nano illuminate (The Illuminated Dwarf), 2012, which is surrounded by a disproportionately large wooden frame. An LED here pulsates like a small star lost in deep space. The sound of Potnia, 1989, seems to arrive from similar depths: A lithophone made of travertine can be struck with a little hammer, making the idol-like face sculpted into its stone resound. Finally, witty reversals between seeing and imagining are condensed in a small wooden sculpture, Io (I), 2011, where the artist, via her negative profile, seems to look at herself.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.