Critics’ Picks

View of “Solar Skill,” 2010. From left: Jessica Warboys, Ouroboros O Glorious, 2010; Diogo Pimentão, Linha (Suporte) (Online [Support]), 2010; Andrea De Stefani, Nel mentre che ovunque si affacci (Meanwhile It Looks Everywhere), 2008; Ugo La Pietra, Ho guardato con occhi attenti la città (I Watched the City with Attentive Eyes), 1974.


“Solar Skill”

Fluxia Gallery
Via Giovanni Ventura 6
June 4–July 24, 2010

In this exhibition, the city is a living organism consumed by sunlight. Through the works of four artists, “Solar Skill” proposes an antifunctionalist view of urban life, in which time transforms images into traces. At the heart of the show is a 1974 collage by Ugo La Pietra that pairs a newspaper clipping from that year, regarding the discovery of a young woman’s suicide, with an advertisement promoting a help line for people suffering from self-destructive behavior. The washed-out appearance of the paper echoes the adjacent sculptural installation by Andrea De Stefani, made by immersing a sheet of white industrial marble in a solution of liquid paraffin that had been heated to an extremely high temperature. The bubbling liquid increased the marble’s porosity, and transformed the slab into a diaphanous surface. A similar focus on a material’s performative component is central to the work of Diogo Pimentão, who here presents a painted wooden sculpture held together by a wire. The exhibition also features a wall-based work, Ouroboros O Glorious, 2010, by Jessica Warboys, of a blue cotton canvas covered with white circles. The piece, which was made by exposing the hand-painted and light-sensitive fabric to the sun, is a cyanotype, and yet another example of an abstract representation of the passage of time and its effects on the skin of the city.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.