Mike Watson

  • picks August 10, 2017

    “From Concrete to Liquid to Spoken Worlds to the Word”

    “From Concrete to Liquid to Spoken Worlds to the Word” incorporates four solo exhibitions, by Henri Chopin, D. A. Levy, Dom Sylvester Houédard, and Karl Holmqvist, as well as screenings and performances, all of which explore the formal aspects of words.

    Holmqvist’s work features large-scale sculptures and a stage that serves as a site for concrete-poetry performances, which will run until the project’s close. Levy’s typewritten concrete poetry (or “typestracts”) is on view here, occupying the same room as hand-printed journals by Houédard, a Benedictine priest.

    The center’s third floor hosts more

  • “Homo Mundus Minor”

    In the twenty-first century, identity has become more malleable than ever before, and no version of selfhood goes untested or unquestioned. This shift provided the fundamental premise for the group show “Homo Mundus Minor,” organized by Rome’s T293. The exhibit included the gallery’s own Simon Denny alongside Lucas Blalock, Maggie Lee, Woody Othello, Hannah Perry, Lui Shtini, and Anna Uddenberg. On display were sculptural, two-dimensional, and video works that explored the titular phrase, which expresses the idea that each person contains a micro-version of the world’s essential complexities,

  • picks March 16, 2017

    Walid Raad

    More than thirty wooden transport crates form a kind of interlocking tapestry of paintings for Lebanese artist Walid Raad’s solo show. Building on an existing body of work that explores both the corruption at the heart of Lebanon’s system of cultural heritage and the Western-centric nature of the global art scene, this exhibition aims the spotlight on forgotten Middle Eastern painters. A space with a low arched, wooden ceiling appears to have been turned into an eclectic painter’s studio, with each crate featuring a reproduction of a work by an artist from the region. The pieces were painted in

  • Ditte Gantriis

    Ditte Gantriis’s second solo show at Frutta marked an aesthetic departure from the work the Danish artist showed at the gallery just two years ago. That earlier offering—titled “Body and Soul”—featured oversize woven baskets alongside brightly colored monochromes, evoking a sensation of voluptuousness and abundance. In contrast, the latest show, at the gallery’s recently relocated space in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood, brought together works made of materials including wrought iron, glass, and candles to conjure an altogether darker feeling. This transition is a tribute to the artist’s

  • picks January 27, 2017

    Gian Maria Tosatti

    The ambition and scope of Gian Maria Tosatti’s “Sette Stagioni dello Spirito” (Seven Seasons of the Spirit), 2013–16, have been translated to the institutional spaces of this museum. The series, made up of seven large-scale works arranged across abandoned buildings in Naples, draws its concept from the 1577 book Il Castello Interiore (The Interior Castle), by the mystic Teresa of Avila, in which the human spirit is divided into seven rooms. Tosatti has translated those chambers into seven site-specific monumental installations that perceive the city, and its empty edifices, as facsimiles of the