Critics’ Picks

  • Milena Rossignoli, Tendø, 2019, reflective nylon, wood, rope, and carbon, 76 x 48 x 24 1/2".

    Milena Rossignoli

    Ana Mas Projects | Barcelona
    Isaac Peral 7 L’Hospitalet
    April 11–June 6

    “Tendø,” the title of Milena Rossignoli’s latest exhibition, brings together the Latin verb tendere, meaning “to stretch” or “to extend,” and the mathematical symbol for an empty set, here referencing the concept of “the void.” The nonce word is an apt descriptor for the forces at play—the sculptural mainstays of tension, space, light, gravity, time—and the delicate balance Rossignoli achieves between them. The thirteen sculptures here, all created in situ, imbue the room with reticent energy, comprising an airy architecture of absence.

    Three heavy, hanging sheets of gray, nylon-coated fabric (APSU, all works 2019) divide the space in two, partitioning a small section in the gallery’s rear. The area behind these sheets is dimly lit, save for two dangling reflective nylon cylinders (Manga de viento 1 and 2). Their shimmering surfaces seem to absorb all available light. In the center of the gallery, an object made of glossy nylon resembling a ram-air parachute lies on the floor, catching and redirecting the sunrays that gently decant through the tall, frosted windows lining the wall (Tendø). A web of thin ropes pulls the edges of the taupe material toward the ceiling. Bent to its tensile limit, the maybe-parachute appears midflight, its sail full of a strong breeze, though its placement upends the logic of gravity—the target of much jesting here. Take, for example, Enuma Elish, in which a small block of concrete levitates some six inches off of the ground, raised by a string apparatus installed above. Many of the artworks appear fragile and defenseless, as if a sudden gust of wind could send them all tumbling down. But it doesn’t, and they don’t, and so out of this pervasive sense of precarity comes a tenuous harmony.