Critics’ Picks

Luisa Lambri, Untitled (100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminium, 1982–86, #03), 2012, laser chrome print, 31 1/4 x 37”.

Luisa Lambri, Untitled (100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminium, 1982–86, #03), 2012, laser chrome print, 31 1/4 x 37”.


Luisa Lambri

Studio Guenzani
Via Eustachi 10
February 16–April 30, 2013

In her untitled 2012 photographic series, Luisa Lambri has somewhat changed her subject. From the interiors of modernist architecture for which she is best known, she now has moved on to photographing works that are located between architecture and sculpture. The exhibition at Studio Guenzani is based on images (just seven in all) of Lucio Fontana’s Spatial Environment, 1968; Donald Judd’s 100 Untitled Works in Mill Aluminum, 1982–86; and Dan Flavin’s Untitled (Marfa Project), 1996. (The latter two works are both at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.)

Despite this shift in subject, the photographer’s conceptual and formal approach has remained unchanged. Only a close-up detail is left of the photographed works. The resulting images obey an extremely simplified and rigorous formal scheme: a rectangular field is divided in half by a straight line. In the images of works by Fontana and Judd, the line (respectively created by one of Fontana’s famous “cuts” and by a corner of one of Judd’s aluminum solids) is vertical; in the only photograph inspired by Flavin, the line is oblique.

The principal difference within this body of work though relates to light. The photographer has always liked to capture variations in natural light, and natural light predominates in the photos inspired by Judd: It is the light of Marfa’s desert landscape, reflected in the metal and changing from one shot to another. In the images of the works by Fontana and Flavin, Lambri employs static, artificial lighting, making the Fontana photos—white fields divided vertically by black lines—almost indistinguishable from one another. It is thus their arrangement in the gallery space that becomes important, the way in which, together with the other images, they create an austere, slow, and regular visual rhythm. The layout of the photographs in their exhibition space has always been an important factor for Lambri. In her latest work, it achieves the same importance as the photographs themselves.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.