Critics’ Picks

View of “Luna Ghisetti and Devin T. Mays: Leave me letters and dust,” 2021–22.

View of “Luna Ghisetti and Devin T. Mays: Leave me letters and dust,” 2021–22.

Chicago

Luna Ghisetti and Devin T. Mays

Apparatus Projects
1500 South Western Avenue, Suite 407
October 10, 2021–January 9, 2022

“Leave me letters and dust,” the inaugural exhibition at Apparatus Projects’ new home, gorgeously converges the wondrous with the commonplace. In the intimate two-room gallery, Luna Ghisetti and Devin T. Mays have orchestrated a constellation of works—drawings, objects gifted and found, light sculptures, video—that quietly revel in moments of encounter and their aftermaths.

Mays’s Line, weight, 2019– , a metal pipe fragment plunged into a block of concrete, anchors the show’s sight lines. Removed from a desolate lot in South Bend, Indiana, it quietly testifies to the gravity of caring for something cast off, neglected. The pipe bluntly points to a monitor leaning against a folding chair. It plays a loop of the artist’s sixteen-second video, At rest, a landing, 2019/2021, which features a butterfly whose fragile wings delicately flutter. Elsewhere is Mays’s Untitled (Cover), 2019, a rug bearing a leopard’s face, hanging unfurled for the first time in two years. Previously folded beneath the heft of Line, weight in the artist’s studio, it now breathes freely, separate from its counterpart yet still together.

Ghisetti likewise facilitates connections—or, rather, “contaminations,” as writer Fanny Wendt Höjer once characterized her art. She explores the affinities between the micro and the macro, as we see in “Converge 3-6,” 2021, a series of four graphite drawings hung throughout the gallery. One work acknowledges the ovum’s power of choice during the reproductive encounter; the others feature cells and cosmic bodies that float along. The artist’s cells x eyes planets, 2021—a small cylindrical light sculpture that takes center stage in an adjoining room—emits a warm glow through delicate pencil-on-paper renderings of eyes and amoebas. That this piece and At rest, a landing share a power source at a threshold between the gallery’s two spaces is poetic. Such a moment forces one to take notice of the visual rhyming that occurs with the bobble chain around the lamp’s cord and the orange ties binding the twigs of Mays’s sculpture, Together, 2021–. It sits on a windowsill, close to Ghisetti’s Coined and 3, both 2021—a selection of altered coins and a trio of metal rings, respectively, welded into one unit—objects that have been effaced by touch and certainly life.