Critics’ Picks

View of “No Pasarán” (They Shall Not Pass), 2012.

View of “No Pasarán” (They Shall Not Pass), 2012.


Peter Linde Busk and Tomaso De Luca

Monitor | Rome
via Sforza Cesarini 43a Palazzo Sforza Cesarini
February 25–April 28, 2012

It is difficult today to find artists who are able to successfully come to terms with the art-historical and cultural traditions that preceded them, and even harder to find any who can translate this work into creative actions through an expressive medium. The Danish artist Peter Linde Busk is one of the rare cases who accomplish this. Using painting as his favored communicative tool, he journeys to a past with rather generous boundaries, crowded with both late-medieval and avant-garde allusions (from Die Brücke to Abstract Expressionism, Cobra to art brut). These, in turn, are connected to a boundless constellation of other references, both literary (Baudelaire, Rilke, Rimbaud) and psychological (Hans Prinzhorn’s Artistry of the Mentally Ill, 1922). This adeptness is apparent in Linde Busk’s first solo show in Italy, “No Pasarán” (They Shall Not Pass), where he exhibits six works on canvas, six works on paper, four works on copper, two woodcuts, and a ceramic piece. It becomes understandable how the aforementioned iconographic references could be supplemented by many others, some of which are tied unconsciously to the Italian twentieth-century tradition (which it would be interesting to see him confront directly one day, as evidence of an unusual wealth of intentions in his work).

A confrontation with the past also occurs, although in a different way, in the work of Tomaso De Luca, in his first solo show at Monitor. He presents The Monument, 2011, a visual diary from his recent sojourn in Rome, during which he recorded his impressions of its numerous sculptures on simple pieces of paper that are hung here with nails. Reinterpreting the monuments graphically and chromatically, he seems to suspend them in time and space. In other words, De Luca induces the same physical and intellectual disorientation that has frequently recurred along his brief but already intense creative path. His output establishes a dialogue with Linde Busk’s (particularly his metahistorical analysis), emphasizing the experimental tone that characterizes the attitude behind this exhibition at Monitor.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.