• Rineke Dijkstra, Julie, Den Haag, Netherlands, February 29, 1994, C-print, 46 × 37". From the series “New Mothers,” 1994. From “La Grande Madre” (The Great Mother), 2015.

    “La Grande Madre”

    Fondazione Nicola Trussardi

    In 1994 the Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra began taking starkly minimal photographs of mothers, nude or barely clothed, cradling their newborns, some just a few hours old. The pictures, which constitute the series “New Mothers,” are illustrative of the extent to which Dijkstra limits the contextual information provided by her portraits to foreground her meticulous rendering of her subjects. And yet each of the snapshots in the series begs for an empathic response from the viewer. These women visibly bear the physical and emotional scars of the biological explosion that produces a new human being;

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  • View of “Matteo Callegari,” 2015. From left: SDGI, 2015; SDGII, 2015. Both from the series “Gradient Paintings,” 2014–15. Photo: Alessandro Zambianchi.

    Matteo Callegari

    Federico Vavassori

    This recent staging of Matteo Callegari’s new series of oil paintings, “Gradient Paintings” and “Scratch Paintings,” both 2014–15, displayed the artist’s engagement with the process of stratification. A close examination of each work reveals two layers, one superimposed over the other, featuring disparate approaches to form and mark-making. One layer appears to be a controlled reproduction of a digital image—the brushstrokes seem almost programmed—and the other layer is free and gestural. In the three “Scratch Paintings” on view, the more measured painting sits in the background, a

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