Critics’ Picks

Installation view, 2006.

Brescia

Sabrina Mezzaqui

Galleria Massimo Minini
Via L. Apollonio 68
May 13–July 31

In Sabrina Mezzaqui’s work, beauty acquires a disruptive and conceptually provocative character, and has the potential both to evoke and to explain emotions. For this exhibition, titled “Quando le parole atterrano” (“When Words Touch Down”), the artist follows her usual methodology to create a rarefied installation of ethereal works, all dated 2006. The works operate in a nonnarrative register: A white-on-white wall text is a parable of life and knowledge (Si diventa ciò che si contempla [You Become What You Contemplate]); five small snakes made of colored beads seem to vibrate on the floor (La star di serpenti [The Star of Serpents]); a cutout drawing covers another wall and brings to mind the ornamentation of a Gothic rose window (Senza titolo [Untitled]); a video shows a ray of light reflected in the icy branches of a tree near a river (Fuochi [Fires]) and is accompanied by a haiku spelled out in transparent beads. During the opening, a man walked around the gallery dressed in a garment made of little bells (Vestito di campanelli [Bell Dress]).

Mezzaqui’s patient, manual practice transfigures banal materials into precious images. Ornament plays a fundamental role in this manifestation of the magic of the everyday. At the same time, however, the organizational and cognitive impulse of the mind is revealed, which is why Mezzaqui’s works are so subtle, and their sensitive beauty becomes both conceptual and marvelous.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.