PRINT December 2009

Benjamin H. D. Buchloh

IN THE CATALOUGE to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris’s 1991 Piero Manzoni retrospective, Nancy Spector wrote about “a temporary blindness” of American institutions with regard to the Italian genius of the postwar period. That blindness seems to have been only partially remedied now. The first American retrospective of Manzoni’s work, curated by Germano Celant, the godfather of postwar Italian art in general and of Arte Povera in particular, did not take place in a museum but in Larry Gagosian’s Chelsea gallery (January 24–March 21, 2009), a locale that has lately taken on the various categories and ambitions of the highest-caliber museum shows. (Gagosian’s earlier, and equally exquisite, Pino Pascali exhibition and the Bacon-Giacometti dialogues performed at the gallery’s uptown space might easily have qualified for “Best Show” of 2006 and 2008, respectively.) It would require

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