Critics’ Picks

  • Bruce Conner, Easter Morning, 2008, 8 mm, color, sound, 10 minutes.

    “Mostra Inaugurale”

    Thomas Dane | Naples
    Via Francesco Crispi, 69 (1º Piano)
    January 25 - March 24

    For this gallery’s first exhibition in its new space in Naples, works by Bruce Conner, Steve McQueen, Catherine Opie, Caragh Thuring, and Kelley Walker are installed across five rooms of a Neoclassical apartment overlooking the Gulf of Naples. Opening a branch of the gallery here seems less tied to marketing and more like proof of the seductive pull that this city still exerts. An open-air loggia here provides a view of Vesuvius, a site also depicted in Thuring’s painting Day, 2017.

    Opie investigates identity, untethered from conventions of portrait photography, in Melisa, 1993, which depicts a friend from the West Coast leather scene, a community where the artist found the kind of freedom cities have always promised. A suite of Walker’s digital collages—Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Lucio Amelio, Napoli Aprile, 1980 Photo di Mimmo Jodice, 2007–17—explicitly quotes the historic meeting of Beuys and Warhol by appropriating an image of them that was featured on the poster for their exhibition at Galleria Lucio Amelio in this city in 1980.

    McQueen’s film Running Thunder, 2007, can now be read as a warning about what is happening today in the historic centers of Italian cities. The work depicts a horse, stretched out in a meadow, with open eyes. Thanks to the image’s vibration and sound as a reel on an old projector, the horse almost seems to breathe, even though it is, in fact, dead. Finally, a digitized version of Bruce Conner’s 8-mm short film Easter Morning, 2008, an expansion of his memorable Super 8 film Easter Morning Raga, 1966, is a harmonious and festive composition of lights and colors, with music by Terry Riley.

    Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.