Francesco Gennari

Galleria Zero

Contemporary artists tend to reject the view that an artist is some exalted, exceptional personality who, out of nothing, creates something highly significant to the rest of the world; today this concept is considered too aristocratic or belatedly Romantic. But among some young Italian artists, including Francesco Gennari, the idea seems to be making a comeback. Clearly, this position implies a bit of egocentrism—an attitude confirmed by the rather cryptic press release for Gennari’s recent exhibition, in which the artist went so far as to use the word demiurge to describe himself.

The show’s title, “7 enigmi per il mio loden” (7 Riddles for My Loden Overcoat), refers to six elegant, gold-plated coat hangers affixed to the wall, each of a different shape, and titled Enigma 1, Enigma 2, and so on (all works 2006). On one of these, the artist hung his overcoat. That action, which took place

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