Critics’ Picks

Giosetta Fioroni, Paesaggio Picasso (Picasso Landscape), 1965, pencil, white enamels and aluminum on canvas 45 x 45".


Giosetta Fioroni

Museo del Novecento
Palazzo dell'Arengario Via Marconi, 1
April 6–August 26

Giosetta Fioroni studies the ebb and flow of eras, a practice on full display in this retrospective. The exhibition begins with works that express the artistic climate in which she grew up, shaped by Giuseppe Capogrossi, Tano Festa, and Mario Schifano—fellow Roman artists with Pop sensibilities associated with the School of Piazza del Popolo. The curators have skillfully juxtaposed these artists’ works with Fioroni’s. All’Alba (At Dawn), 1957, reveals an interest in material and expressionist abstraction; Lampadina (Light Bulb), 1960, shows how she grew progressively closer to figuration, which bursts forth in a series of pieces characterized by silver vibrations—definitive works created in pencil and enamel on canvas. These works, which function like slides of feelings, include Particolare della nascita di venere (Detail of the Birth of Venus), 1965, and Paesaggio Picasso (Picasso Landscape), 1967, and attest to Fioroni’s lucid understanding of the power of commercial images and how mass media exploit art.

Many works, dazzled and dazzling, resemble what we might see reflected behind our eyelids just after our eyes are subjected to a powerful light source. Over the course of the 1970s, Fioroni spent time in Venice, and she depicts a lagoon of light in works such as San Marco, 1970. But in the 1980s and 1990s, her work was characterized by an exposition of material, color, and a marked abstract, gestural component that often included rudimentary symbols such as arrows and houses. Indeed, the spirit of this show is encapsulated in Giosetta con Giosetta a nove anni (Giosetta and Giosetta at Age Nine), 2002, a synthetic-resin sculpture that depicts the artist as both an adult and a child. They are holding hands.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.