Critics’ Picks

View of “Marc Camille Chaimowicz,” 2016.

View of “Marc Camille Chaimowicz,” 2016.


Marc Camille Chaimowicz

Viale Alemagna 6
October 14, 2016–January 8, 2017

French artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz, one of the early proponents of a multidisciplinary approach to art that dovetailed performance and installation, now orchestrates a project devoted to the architecture of its venue, La Triennale di Milano. Chaimowicz compares the aesthetic affinities of this space to the oneiric aspects of metaphysics. “Maybe Metafisica,” curated by Eva Fabbris, follows a circular trajectory that—beginning with Giorgio de Chirico’s painting Figliol Prodigo (Prodigal Son), 1973—retraces in stages Chaimowicz’s expressive forms, seen in decorative panels, furniture, and highly theatrical installations, all either created or restaged for the occasion. The first work comprises a curtain draped over an installation of various objects––three small gashes in the fabric reveal a fox stole, flowers, lights, and architectural elements—accompanied by a perpetually gushing fountain (We Chose Our Words with Care, That Neon-Moonlit Evening; It Was As If We Were, Party to a Wonderful Alchemy, 1975–2008). In the melancholically monumental space of the main room, visitors encounter two sections of wallpaper with graphic elements that evoke Jean Cocteau. Three large arches (Arches, 1975–2016), similar to those in the museum’s vestibule but which cut off midway, rest defenselessly on the walls and floor, and lead to a space occupied by stairs with treads (Two-Speed Staircase, 1975–2016), as well as desks and floodlights in blue and red.

Visitors move on to encounter Rope Vase(s), 2014, ten glazed pastel-hued ceramics created in Italy with the help of a ceramics workshop in Faenza. The exhibition then concludes with nine empty bronze shelves (Venezia, Venice, 2016) made in collaboration with the Milan Battaglia Foundry. The work is made up of supports that hold nothing but instead function as demarcations of space, punctuating eight drawings on paper.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.