Thursday, 27 February 2014

Beautiful Boxes: Custom Space, 2

Things Discussed: Marlene Dumas; Thomas Schütte; Roni Horn; How to be Liquid in Many Forms.

written by f

The aim of these posts is not to review every sigle work or exhibition choice of a visit. That's the job of more competent eyes. The thing I do feel like doing is simply mention here a couple more things. 

Like most shows based off the François Pinault Collection, there's a strong tie to the past. The past is here the Arte Povera+Mono-ha rooms downstairs and a couple of other works scattered around the Dogana space.

It is also true, though, that among the artists living and working today, there are almost no new names here. And it's not really surprising to find two of contemporary art's sweethearts: Thomas Schütte and Marlene Dumas

But while I found Schütte's Fratelli in great shape (at least proud of the shape they got), for lack of a better word I'd say Marlene Dumas' paintings had circulatory problems.

Dumas is one of the most successful painters of our time. There's no contemporary art museum I visited that doesn't at least have a couple of works by her. The appeal to me is obvious: her visual research is so subtle she treats oil on canvas as it were watercolors. Some color bleeding resembles the dreamy quality of a Munch, while some technical solutions may recall the distortions of the italian illustrator Gianluigi Toccafondo

As wonderful and powerful as her works usually are, the ones displayed here are rather subdued. It sometimes felt like someone else was painting in her style.

With exceptions, as always. 

As "old" names that were, I confess with shame, new to me, there was one I found enchanting: Roni Horn.

In every show, there's staring, and there's walking around. And here reflection is a good path to follow: a mirror with a shattered glass in the twisted Ikea-like space at the entrance, Pistoletto's inner mirror cube, the water-filled cylinder and rectangular box by Kishio Suga in front of Mario Merz's neons, all the way to the solid glass stacks by Roni HornWell and truly.

These works seem also to respond to another theme: how to be liquid in many forms. If ice is solid water, Roni Horn's are cylinders of liquid solid glass.

(my visit to Punta della Dogana exhibition Prima Materia, started in part 1, continues and concludes in part 3)

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