reviews

  • Bernard Piffaretti, Untitled, 1999, acrylic on canvas, 78 3/4 x 98 3/8".

    Bernard Piffaretti

    Kate MacGarry

    “Calligram” was Bernard Piffaretti’s first solo show in London. With nine paintings dating between 1988 and 2017, it also provided a tiny snapshot of his range and approach. Born in Saint-Étienne, France, in 1955, the Paris-based artist has since 1986 been making abstract paintings that are always divided in half along a central, zip-like, painted line, with one side a near repetition of the other. Always, the center line is the first move, the starting point; whether he then continues by painting on the left or the right varies from work to work. A subtler continuity within Piffaretti’s oeuvre,

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  • Marianna Simnett, Worst Gift, 2017, LEDs, liquid, medical syringes, vials, video (color, sound, 18 minutes). Installation view. Photo: Jonathan Bassett.

    Marianna Simnett

    Matt's Gallery

    Marianna Simnett’s film installation Worst Gift, 2017, is a Wizard of Oz for the Botox age. Simnett worked with physician and singer Declan Costello to tell the story of a voice surgeon who injects prepubescent boys with a substance to lower their voices, creating a surreal fairy-tale musical that is part hallucinatory daydream, part nightmare. Shot in a field, a Botox factory, and an operating theater, the film stars the artist herself as a Dorothyesque character—wearing a girly white dress and turquoise sparkling slippers—who is on a journey to be transformed via the same substance.

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  • Vittorio Scarpati, Untitled, 1989, felt-tip pen on paper, 8 1/4 x 5 1/8".

    Cookie Mueller & Vittorio Scarpati

    Studio Voltaire

    “Putti’s Pudding” names a group of forty-five felt-tip drawings culled from the pages of the Italian artist and cartoonist Vittorio Scarpati’s notebooks. They were made in 1989, while Scarpati was hospitalized, dying of pneumonia as a complication of AIDS. A repeated motif is the bedbound artist, his lungs rigged up to so many pipes and machines that they bubble with water “like tropical fish aquariums,” in the words of his wife, Cookie Mueller, who would also die of AIDS-related causes just two months after her husband. The drawings were first published that same year, with an extended preface

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