Milan

View of “Marco Bagnoli and Remo Salvadori,” 2018. Background: Remo Salvadori, Nel momento (In the Moment), 1993–2007; Foreground: Remo Salvadori, Continuo infinito presente (Continuous Infinite Present), 1984–2009.

View of “Marco Bagnoli and Remo Salvadori,” 2018. Background: Remo Salvadori, Nel momento (In the Moment), 1993–2007; Foreground: Remo Salvadori, Continuo infinito presente (Continuous Infinite Present), 1984–2009.

Marco Bagnoli and Remo Salvadori

Galleria Christian Stein | Pero

View of “Marco Bagnoli and Remo Salvadori,” 2018. Background: Remo Salvadori, Nel momento (In the Moment), 1993–2007; Foreground: Remo Salvadori, Continuo infinito presente (Continuous Infinite Present), 1984–2009.

Marco Bagnoli and Remo Salvadori both belong to that generation of Italian artists who had to come to terms early in their careers with the across-the-board return to painting after more than a decade of Arte Povera and Conceptual art. Bucking the trend, they chose to pursue work characterized by a strong cerebral component and an enormous variety of experimental materials and linguistic modalities. The breadth of media (including sound and video elements) and the technical, stylistic, and formal nonchalance of the work in this two-person exhibition demonstrate not only Galleria Christian Stein’s capacity for mounting museum-quality exhibitions but also the connections posed by the practices of Bagnoli and Salvadori. Both artists can be seen as a sort of ideal bridge between the historical investigations of Arte Povera and more recent generations, which is precisely why categorizing their creative paths has been so consistently difficult.

Bagnoli is the principal figure at both of the gallery’s locations. On Corso Monforte in central Milan, selections of his work from the ’70s and ’80s are presented in dialogue with one another in a shadowy space, accentuating the ambiguity of his oeuvre’s signification. There is also a large wall piece, Namaskar. Italian Garden a Auroville, 2014, made up of ninety-six alabaster elements and gobo light projections. And in the gallery’s new space in Pero, a few miles outside Milan, he projects video footage of the opening of his studio in Florence last May. Access to the exhibition is mediated by a large installation, La parola. Come la colonna ogni parola nel silenzio una colonna (The Word. Like the Column Every Word a Column in Silence), 1991/2017, which forces the viewer to find a path through multiple wooden walls, installed in such proximity to one another that they saturate the space. As one walks through the piece, a soundtrack emphasizes the mystical and alienating effect of the regal colors painted on the end walls, standing in contrast to the humble wood of the structure itself.

The other portion of the exhibition in Pero features works by Salvadori, including La stanza delle tazze (The Room of Cups), 1985–2017, in which eight large copper elements are organized on the wall in an orbital arrangement to delineate the infinity symbol. As in the other pieces on display—including Triade, fontana (Triad, Fountain), 2017, created specifically for this occasion—Salvadori works with primary elements such as water, pure color, and metal cut and folded in different configurations, often of a symbolic nature. In Nel momento (In the Moment), 1993–2007, for example, the square, a sign of the terrestrial dimension, is contrasted with the circle, a metaphor for celestial geometries. Combining chemistry, alchemy, symbolism, and sensory experience, Salvadori’s work allows both a physical and a mental experience, causing viewers to reflect through their senses. Encountering the works of both artists, visitors constantly feel they are at a threshold to the infinite.

Francesca Pola

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.