The 5 Best Shows to See During Miart

From Costanza Candeloro at Martina Simeti to Anicka Yi at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Saim Demircan gathers his top picks from Milan

BY Saim Demircan in Critic's Guides , EU Reviews | 31 MAR 22

Costanza Candeloro

Martina Simeti

30 March – 03 May 2022

Constanza Candeloro, ‘Envy & Gratitude’, 2022, exhibition view, Martina Simeti, Milan. Courtesy: the artist and Martina Simeti, Milano; photograph Andrea Rossetti

For ‘Envy & Gratitude’, her first show at Martina Simeti, Costanza Candeloro reflects on growing up in a society still weighted by binary opposites while making oblique references to literature – from Jane Austin to teen magazines. Laid out on the floor at the gallery’s entrance, drawings of two pairs of eyes – penned in an adolescent, anime style – represent the oppositional feelings that lend the show its title (Envy & Gratitude or Graphology & Personal Growth, all works 2022). Antonyms reappear in the names of several intricate sculptures whose resemblance to scales could allude to striking a balance, or possible co-existence, between such distinctions (Integrity & Decadence, Urban & Provincial and Abstraction & Figuration). Elsewhere, a series of deconstructed children’s clocks made from bread (Marx the Girl 49) refer to Jean-François Lyotard’s reading of Karl Marx as a young girl in his 1974 book Libidinal Economy.

‘Il sogno di una cosa’


29 March – 28 May 2022

‘Il sogno di una cosa’, 2022, exhibition view, Fanta-MLN, Milan. Courtesy: the artists and Fanta-MLN, Milan; photograph: Roberto Marossi

Since his solo show at Fanta last year, Jason Hirata’s Painted Square (2021) has remained permanently installed on the gallery floor. For ‘Il sogno di una cosa’ (The Dream of a Thing), Painted Square reappears in the checklist of this group show, which looks at artistic gestures that attempt to problematize site-specificity or, in Angharad Williams’s performance, criminalize it; the artist picks flowers in public spaces at night until she is stopped and then arranges her nocturnal findings in the pockets of a tailormade suit (My first suit, 2020). Similarly, Christian Philipp Müller’s project Green Border, which was originally shown in the Austrian Pavilion at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993, abuses boundaries. The artist illegally crossed the borders of the eight countries that surround Austria, documented here in Untitled (1993/2005), a photograph of Müller hopping over into Liechtenstein.

Anicka Yi

Pirelli Hangar Bicocca

24 February – 24 July 2022

Anicka Yi, ‘Metaspore’, 2022, exhibition view, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Courtesy: the artist and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan; photograph: Agostino Osio

The vast open space of the former Pirelli tyre factory, which was turned into HangarBicocca’s exhibition space in 2012, provides the perfect vessel in which to gather voluminous work from throughout Yi’s practice for ‘Metaspore’ – a neologism of the artist’s own making – her most comprehensive show to date. In many ways, this exhibition charts how Yi has developed her use of organic materials as signifiers of survival and metabolism, as well as the formative beginnings of an ongoing enquiry into bacterial processes. Skype Sweater (2010/2017), for instance, is an early installation of surreal objects (including a transparent Longchamp bag containing a cow stomach in hair gel) displayed around a billowing military parachute. Where ‘Metaspore’ rekindles senses that have been nullified, Yi’s five transparent quarantine tent-like structures covered in abstracted biohazard symbols, such as Fontanlle (2015), which were originally made in responses to the Ebola epidemic, are a reminder that contagion is still unavoidable.

‘Every lie has an audience’


02 April – 06 May 2022

Stuart Middleton, Beat, 2017, film still. Courtesy: the artist and Carlos/Ishikawa, London

As the show’s title implies, curators Attilia Fattori Franchini and Felix Gaudlitz ask us to consider how we respond to the things that are put before us and what forms of dissent artists use to counter the impact of living in a hyper-mediated world. Amongst the works providing possible answers here are Seiko Mikami’s transparent suitcases containing packaged contaminants, which were originally shown on a miniature airport carousal in the 1993 installation The World Memorable: Suitcase. D’Ette Nogle’s series of subverted advertising banners (Banner, 2020) loudly proclaim ‘ART WILL MAKE YOU FREE’ over still images of an emancipated yet ultimately doomed Marianne Faithfull from the 1968 countercultural film The Girl on a Motorcycle. Yet, Stuart Middleton’s stop-motion ragged dog in his short film Beat (2017) appears to suggest a need for restlessness without stimulation, as it impatiently wags its tail and barks at nothing alone in an empty space.

Carla Accardi

Francesca Minini

March 22 – 14 May 2022

Carla Accardi, ‘Scrivere con il colore’, exhibition view, Francesca Minini, Milan. Courtesy: the artist and Francesca Minini, Milan; photograph: Andrea Rossetti

Following Carla Accardi’s first posthumous survey at Museo del Novecento in Milan in 2020-21, and ahead of her inclusion in Cecilia Alemani’s ‘The Milk of Dreams’ at this year’s Venice Biennale, Francesca Minini is showing a selection of mostly later works by the influential painter and co-founder of Italian feminist group Rivolta Femminile (Women’s Revolt) that equate Accardi’s artmaking with writing, syntax and punctuation. Stella (Dieci triangoli rossogialli) (Star [Ten Red-Yellow Triangles], 1981) is literally bracketed by Parentesi n.1 and Parentesi n.3 (Bracket No. 1, 1981, and Bracket No. 2, 1982), both of which see Accardi’s return to raw canvas after pioneering a technique of painting on transparent Sicofoil stretched over wooden frames. In the press release, curator Lorenzo Benedetti notes that many of Accardi’s drawings and paintings from the 1980s onwards lifted titles from poetry. The centrepiece of this show is Fregio (Frieze, 2004), a series of 15 abstract ink drawings that correspond with verses by Valentino Zeichen, the Italian poet from whom she most frequently drew inspiration.

Main image: Costanza Candeloro, Envy & Gratitude or Graphology & Personal Growth, 2022, installation view, Martina Simeti, Milan; photograph: Andrea Rossetti

Saim Demircan is a curator and writer. He lives in Turin, Italy. He recently curated ‘Exhibition as Image’ at 80WSE, New York, USA.