• Francesco Vezzoli, Marlene Redux: A True Hollywood Story!, 2006, still from a color video with sound, 15 minutes.

    Francesco Vezzoli

    The Power Plant
    231 Queens Quay West
    September 8–November 4, 2007

    Curated by Gregory Burke

    True Hollywood stories typically begin in places like Lawton, Oklahoma, hometown of Joan Crawford, but Sophia Loren and Francesco Vezzoli jump-started theirs in Italia. Vezzoli has always been attracted to glamour and stardom, although few viewers outside Italy would know the subjects of his early diva extravaganzas. (Iva Zanicchi or Valentina Cortese ring a bell?) Lately he has gone for the more easily recognizable—Catherine Deneuve, Courtney Love, Helen Mirren, and Sharon Stone. The centerpiece of this retrospective—roughly fifty paintings, embroideries, and films (the medium for which he is best known)—is Vezzoli’s 2006 Marlene Redux: A True Hollywood Story!, a reformulation of Maximilian Schell’s 1984 documentary on Marlene Dietrich, commissioned by supercollector François Pinault and here making its North American debut. Vezzoli’s reception in the art world has been very divided; this show could provide an opportunity for less hysterical reactions—maybe.