Laura Matei

Gian Carla Zanutti

For her first solo gallery show, Laura Matei, a young Romanian artist living in Italy, forged an unexpected union between canvas and sewing needles. Four white canvases hanging in a row tracked the progression, from left to right, of an acrobat walking a tightrope. The figure was “drawn” by passing black thread through the eyes of needles stuck through and protruding from the surface of the canvas.

Exact in its geometric conciseness, fascinating in its airy lightness, Funanbolo, 1999, is also ironic, since, while remaining almost disembodied, it presents itself as a kind of bas-relief. Matei has said that it is precisely this element of contradiction that she is after, working with “almost nothing” as material, using elements that are minimal, impalpable, and improbable. Thus her art stems from a challenge and becomes an investigation into the very conditions of visibility.

Three other

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2000 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.