curated by Diego Sileo and Douglas Fogle
PAC is proud to present Luisa Lambri’s first large-scale solo exhibition in Italy, a project designed and developed specifically for the Milanese pavilion.
Lambri’s photographic work is characterised by her commitment to a vast range of subjects that revolve around the human condition and its relationship with space, such as the politics of representation, architecture, the history of abstract photography, modernism, feminism, identity and memory. The relationship between her photographs and the space in which they are exhibited is an integral part of Lambri’s work. Every new space that hosts one of Lambri’s installations presents unique qualities with which the artist interacts, making every one of her project’s site-specific.
The title of Lambri’s exhibition at PAC pays homage to the eminent art critic Carla Lonzi who, before devoting herself exclusively to feminist politics, published a series of interviews with fourteen artists from the 1960s avant-garde under the title “Autoritratto” (Self-Portrait) (1969). Lonzi’s discussions give the reader a first-person glimpse into the private lives of these artists and the ways in which they articulated how they saw themselves in the context of the art world and the world at large. Lambri similarly constructs personal and intimate readings of her subjects and in doing so encourages a dialogue between the viewer, the artwork and the space in which they interact. Her specific and meticulous investigation of space can be read as a form of self-exploration, or a self-portrait, in a manner similar to that of Lonzi’s book.
The project for PAC will focus on the relationship between Lambri’s works and the architecture of Ignazio Gardella. The photographs on display will become a true extension of the exhibition space, making the architecture and the subjective experience of the visitor an integral part of the artist’s work. The large selection of works on view in this exhibition were made between 1999 and 2017 and highlight Lambri’s tendency to work in series. Some of these works will be exhibited in Italy for the very first time. In these photographs Lambri enters into intimate dialogues with works by artists such as Donald Judd, Robert Irwin, Lygia Clark and Lucio Fontana, as well as architects Álvaro Siza, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe, Luis Barragán, Rudolph Schindler, Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Giuseppe Terragni, among others.
The installation of Lambri’s series Untitled (Sheats-Goldstein House) (2007) in the parterre of PAC also involves a dialogue with another important Italian architect, Lina Bo Bardi, who designed the then-new São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (MASP) in 1957. The ten photographs selected for the parterre are displayed on glass and concrete easels created by Bo Bardi for the Brazilian museum and reproduced here in collaboration with the Instituto Bardi in São Paulo.
Born in Como, Lombardy, in 1969, Luisa Lambri currently lives in Milan. Her work has been exhibited at the Rome Quadriennale (2020 and 2005), the Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art (2018), the Chicago Architecture Biennial (2017), the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art (2010) and the Venice Biennale (Architecture 2010 and 2004; Art 2003 and 1999). Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Met Breuer in New York (2017), the Isabella Stewart-Gardner Museum in Boston (2012), the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2010), the Baltimore Museum of Art (2007), the Menil Collection in Houston (2004) and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge (2000). Her work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions at institutions such as the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh (2019 and 2006), Tate Modern in London (2018), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2009), among others. Lambri’s works are also included in several institutional collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Co-curated by Diego Sileo and Douglas Fogle, the exhibition will be accompanied by a bilingual catalogue including images of all the works on display, installation views and newly commissioned essays by the co-curators and by Silvia Bignami and Paolo Rusconi, associate professors of Contemporary Art History at the University of Milan.
Photo: Luisa Lambri, Untitled (Sheats-Goldstein House, #14). Courtesy Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milano e Thomas Dane Gallery