Critics’ Picks



Palazzo Fortuny
San Marco 3958
May 13–November 26, 2017

Immodesty has perhaps never appeared so putrefying as it does in 2017, year of the pretentiously sweeping curatorial gesture. Following a now near-universal trend, curators—more like mystical Band-Aid applicators—of this summer’s verifiably grotesque Grand Tour spectacles attempted to pass their sludgy discourse off as genuine, to a chorus of yawns comprising the more honest critical reactions. Thankfully, there were other, immersive pathways to wander on this season, the most important one being “Intuition,” organized by a team led by Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti. The very notion of this exhibition’s simple theme is largely being ruined, done away with, and murdered in the twenty-first century by any number of forces. But this sacred orgy, in which hundreds of works copulate gracefully with the Venetian Gothic exuberance of the Palazzo Fortuny’s fixtures, clashes with the straining for relevance and dehydrated conceptual checklists so prevalent today. The show allows the works to speak, nay, sing for themselves, rather than serving as a mere support for some cultural bureaucrat’s politically correct, career-boosting propositions. The inclusion of Joan Miró’s late curvilinear works, Park Seo-Bo and Dominique Stroobant’s respective Écriture incursions, Henri Michaux’s miserable miracles, Cy Twombly’s cursive splat, Yuichi Inoue’s calligraphic lashings, and Yuko Nasaka’s illustrations of infinity clearly demonstrate that the curators prefer the direct transmission of gestures. The sexiness of the mark lies in its anarchic proliferations of consequentiality.

These artists are united by an understanding that the savage duty of their vocation was/is to become an alien. And not just to the world, but to oneself; and through the work, to multiply one’s selves, constantly; a process of endless othering. Where intention is pure, it requires no explanation; it simply stabs you in the face. It was great to be assaulted in this manner, reminded that nothing else is needed but to have your vision and die. I’ll still be pondering “Intuition” the next time I am subjected to some jet-set windbag with a suitcase full of cash bemoaning the global migration crisis.