A review of five exhibitions not to be missed this week in Italy, with the common thread being iron

Irony is the key to this selection of appointments, starting with Gianni Cella (and his debut group Plumcake), in exhibition at the Stelline Foundation.

His pop version of the contemporary is reflected in another exhibition, the 'acrobatic' consideration of today's worker in the shots of Isabel Wenzel, hosted in the areas of a construction site at Bicocca (Milan).

Space and irony also lead to the works of Mario Cresci, storytelling photographer from Campania (at the Maxxi in Rome), and in the two exhibitions that open this week at the Parco Arte Vivente in Turin .

A landscape between abstraction, minimalism and figurative always connected to the contemporary is then that of Schifano which is told in Naples in 50 works.

Plastic Appearances. From Plumcake to Gianni Cella, Fondazione Stelline< /a>, Milan, until 25 June

This exhibition is a celebration: it celebrates 40 years of activity by Gianni Cella. And for this appointment Alberto Fiz has curated an exhibition itinerary capable of narrating his artistic experience, which began in the 80s of the last century with the collective Plumcake (together with Romolo Pallotta and Claudio Ragni) who would then participate in the Nuovo Futurismo group (of which Lodola was also a member), to arrive at Cella's individual work.

We travel among ultra-pop objects by the Plumcake group, capable of synthesizing cultured and popular art, design and craftsmanship, such as Rocket (1983), an object with a mysterious shape with a stylized character who seems to be sleeping on a cloud up to the ancestral Lizard Mountain, a kind of sanctuary for small reptiles which, however, spread in the environment.

The serious and the humorous, as well as the irony that snakes its way, like lizards, in each work of the Plumcakes seems to find greater depth in Cella's individual works, concentrates of satire such as Snow White and the seven dumbest men in the world (2001), and Lombroso's Clock (2011), with the hours represented by very disreputable figures, up to rebuses in plastic format, without forgetting a tribute to three masters, the Marx Brothers.

Who will like it: those who like applied arts, those who never stop playing with words and those looking for artistic elements in design.

Useful information: Palazzo delle Stelline, Corso Magenta 61, Milan, open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 - 20.00.

Isabel Wenzel, BIM, Milan, since 7 June to 15 September

Take a photographer capable of impossible stunts and a construction site. Mix everything carefully and pour the cocktail over an evolving urban landscape.

The result is called BIM, Bicocca Incontra Milano, an incubator of artistic projects open to citizens, active in a portion of the former Pirelli area where urban regeneration is underway.

In the area of the construction site (and throughout its duration) BIM organizes cultural events, with the aim of transforming the "waiting time" of the construction site into an opportunity to plan the future in a sustainable and inclusive way, inviting citizens to discover and experience the areas undergoing redevelopment as a meeting and aggregation space.

The project opens with Isabel Wenzel, a German photographer and acrobat who investigates the dimension of the body in working dynamics.

Not without irony: the shots of her on display portray her in impossible positions, thanks to short acrobatic performances that she puts in place in front of her camera. The body then is pure form, no longer a person, in a disturbing depersonalization. In collaboration with the independent magazine C41, the exhibition is hosted in the C41 Gallery spaces which are inaugurating on this occasion.

Who will like it: those who love the contamination between urban planning, architecture, art and the public, those looking for creative spaces in the regeneration of cities.

Useful information: C41 Gallery, viale dell'Innovazione 3, Milan, open from Tuesday to Friday from 11.00 -13.00 and 14.00 -17.00. Monday, Saturday and Sunday only by appointment via email at: info@c41magazine.com.

Wurmkos, Going with the roots and The parliament of things, Parco Arte Vivente, Turin, from 10 June to 22 October

The double exhibition at the PAV of the Milanese Wurmkos group opens on Saturday in dialogue with young artists from NABA, the New Academy of Fine Arts.

Ecology is at the center of both exhibitions, with particular attention to human relationships, to be rethought and shared. Wurmkos starts from the plant world by focusing his attention on reciprocity: many examples of alliances between plants, fungi and other life forms show how survival in unsuitable conditions is possible thanks to mutual support.

The work Going with the roots starts from this reflection, which began in the spring of 2020 and is the result of a path of self-reflection and transformation that has as its subject the methodologies adopted by the group itself. Because Wurmkos is a collective born in the late 80s in Sesto San Giovanni, as a 'Basagliana' experience that relates art and mental discomfort.

Artists, with and without discomfort, critics and people who participate in the multiple actions of the group take part and cooperate in her projects in a process based on the practice of mutual support of the militant thinker Pëtr A. Kropotkin, who considers it the guiding principle of the evolution of life on earth.

Thus the projects of the collective are activated and thus this exhibition also unwinds, starting from a walkable device, imagined to be experienced as a ground, a square, a universe, a flow that hosts a plant community alien to anthropocentric visions, up to conceiving space as an experiential environment without hierarchies.

The works of the young artists of NABA who exhibit in the group show Il Parlamento delle cose are confronted on this thought. Chiara Antonelli, Davide Barberi, Alessandro Cavallini, Traian Cherecheș and Chiara Scodeller, bring to the surface aesthetic forms of overcoming the opposing categories of nature and culture and gender to give new meanings to autobiographical and collective experiences.

The starting point is the theories and practices of political ecology and ecofeminism which, starting from the second half of the last century, have shaken and dissected the compact and monolithic soil of the neoliberal and heteropatriarchal model. The revolution is in the roots and in the things of nature!

Who will like it: those looking for profound explanations on the state of things, those who want to discuss thoughts without categories, boundaries and prejudices.

Useful information: PAV Parco Arte Vivente - Experimental center of contemporary art, via Giordano Bruno 31, Turin, open on Fridays from 3 to 6 pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 12.00 to 7.00.

Mario Cresci. An exorcism of time, MAXXI, Rome, until October 31st

Mario Cresci arrives in Tricarico, a small village near Matera, in 1966. His job was to collaborate in the drafting of the town master plan. The result is a precise and anthropological photographic investigation of the territory and of the communities that inhabit it, while Cresci itself becomes a point of attraction for young creatives and photographers from Basilicata.

The story of 20 years spent by the Ligurian photographer in Basilicata has come together in this exhibition, created in collaboration with the Mario Cresci Archive and the CSAC Archive.

The red thread is the landscape, the natural one, the urban one and the domestic one, made up of interiors and personal details, including the Interni Mossi series, where blurred and almost ghostly presences tell the places. People and their memory, as well as traditional objects complete the scientific investigation, carried out through the photographic lens.

The exhibition itinerary, curated by Marco Scotini and Simona Antonacci begins in Matera, with a sequence of 95 shots never exhibited before that had been included in the 1975 book Matera.

Images and documents, to reach Tricarico, narrated between landscapes and portraits, but also through old photographs, family archives that give shape to memory in that exorcism of time that gives the title to the exhibition.

Who will like it: those who love photography and investigations into time and space, those who love interior landscapes.

Useful information: Maxxi, via G. Reni 4A, Rome, open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 7pm.

Mario Schifano: the new imagination 1960 - 1990, Gallerie d'Italia, Naples, until October 29

They call him the Italian Warhol to underline the creative strength of Mario Schifano, with a name that labels the best-known production of this brilliant artist.

However, he was able to reveal the best of himself in lesser-known, often unpublished works, which tell of his ability to interpret the contemporary and anticipate its instances.

This is precisely the theme at the basis of the Neapolitan exhibition which, through 50 works from public and private institutions, both Italian and non-Italian, tells the phases of Schifano's artistic research.

We begin chronologically with archeology in dialogue with monochromes, to move on to investigations into the landscape and complete the journey with large-scale paintings made in the last thirty years.

Who will like it: those who love experimentation and artistic avant-gardes, those who like the work of Mario Schifano.

Useful information: Gallerie d'Italia, via Toledo 177 Naples, open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 to 19, Saturday and Sunday until 20.