Critics’ Picks

View of  “Martin Soto Climent: Luster Butterfly,” 2014.

View of “Martin Soto Climent: Luster Butterfly,” 2014.

Rome

Martin Soto Climent

T293
Via Ripense 6
September 16–October 21, 2014

Martin Soto Climent’s latest solo exhibition, “Luster Butterfly,” nearly fills this gallery’s newly renovated and expanded space with twenty-five works that straddle painting, sculpture, and readymades, all of which are inspired by issues such as visibility, crowding, consumerism, and precariousness. Paintings, photographs, and various objects—such as sunglasses, a spray-painted statue, a metal grid, a stool, and a feather used as an ornament on a broken windshield—are arranged on the floor or walls individually or in groups, or hung from the ceiling. The totality creates an installation that is capable of conveying a slice of life with all its contradictions, virtues, and defects. The overall effect is also one of organized chaos, in the sense that the apparent confusion is ruled by a skillful visual and compositional sense of order. Moreover, the project represents Soto Climent’s ideas about the role of the artist today. Here, he mixes his own works with those by others, though it remains unclear from the accompanying press release if the figures are fictional. For example, Jesus Martinez is noted as a Mexican artist, whose work here covers windshields, Venetian blinds, and panels with graffiti, while John Brown offers painted beer cans salvaged from New York streets. Soto Climent keeps things mysterious in order to metaphorically represent a sense of ambiguity and uncertainty that characterizes every aspect of modern society, including creativity.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.