Critics’ Picks

Christoph Meier, Nicola Pecoraro, Untitled, 2014–2015, bronze, reed, dimensions variable.

Milan

Christoph Meier and Nicola Pecoraro

Fonderia Artistica Battaglia
Via Stilicone, 10
December 9 - February 12

Presented by the itinerant Ermes-Ermes gallery, “Lost Form” is a show that consists of a single piece by Christoph Meier and Nicola Pecoraro: a modular installation occupying an entire wing of the historic Fonderia Battaglia. The basic unit of the work is a five-way joint in bronze, which the artists molded by hand and then manufactured at a foundry. The joints connect horizontal bamboo reeds that form a grid of large squares. Vertical reeds are positioned at the intersections of the lattice, supporting it above viewers’ heads and creating an aerial structure that occupies a territory midway between sculpture and architecture, whose materials form a playfully “confusing quarrel over which is supporting what, what is displaying and what is being displayed,” as the show’s catalogue essayist, Pieternel Vermoortel, notes.

At first glance, the piece conjures Minimalist traditions, but the materials, which conjoin the irregular (and sensual) nature of the handmade with that of the organic, free the work from any sort of facile association with the industrial aesthetics favored by Sol LeWitt and his peers. But this association is most undermined by the fact that the grid—rather than adapting to the building’s design, as the formal etiquette of Minimalism would have suggested—instead imposes itself aggressively upon it: The walls have been perforated ad hoc to allow the bamboo reeds to pass through, and the structure invades every space (including the bathroom) like a parasitic plant—or, indeed, like bamboo, whose extremely rapid and voracious growth the piece seems to be emulating.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.