Critics’ Picks

View of “Alessandro Pessoli,” 2015.

View of “Alessandro Pessoli,” 2015.


Alessandro Pessoli

Nouveau Musée National de Monaco | Villa Paloma
56 boulevard du Jardin Exotique
July 9–September 27, 2015

Curator Eva Fabbris has selected fifteen works by Alessandro Pessoli for the project room of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, triggering a dialogue with Fausto Melotti’s retrospective also on view. These exhibitions are tributes to the Italian ceramics tradition and investigate and reveal regional and cultural affinities that are not connected to any predefined historical reference point. Pessoli shares Melotti’s poetic sentimentality, an uncertainty of open forms, sometimes made of colored fabrics, and the placement of various materials in symbolic theatrical spaces.

Pessoli’s works here emphasize a skepticism regarding the future, language, and society (particularly that of Italy), which he mocks in eleven small ceramic slabs from 2013, where he has painted, drawn, and carved satirical scenes of faces and depicts the social wretchedness of a state gone astray. The artist turns drawing into sculpture, developing a transversal that is able to set in motion a series of ambiguous relationships between different mediums, becoming independent of any recourse to tradition. Held up by thin iron supports and positioned centrally, the sculptures are delicate, precarious compositions of corrupted subjects: anamorphic disintegrations that transpose the artist’s paintings into volumetric coordinates, in part thanks to the fluid use of chromatic tonalities.
One large screen, a little theater of silk and velvet, surmounted by the words “Il paese” (“The Country”—also the work’s title), 2014, presents a projection of nine hundred images of transitory sculpture created over a few months in his studio. It is a timeline of classical subjects and symbols from the history of art, compositions of stories and their natural dissolution—a spectacle of the void and the futile, a cynical reflection on mental solitude.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.