New York

Giovanni Anselmo

Weber Gallery

Giovanni Anselmo’s exhibition consisted of several small gray framing projectors located within the large room at John Weber’s and a single, wall-sized photograph on canvas in the smaller gallery. The photograph shows the artist from an aerial view running away from the camera in a field of grass on which the figure is centered. Entitled Entering Into the Work, it is an obvious play on the Abstract Expressionist notion of being “in the work” which is half pun and half a misreading of the idea of Action Painting. The huge size of the canvas, of course, includes the viewer in the work too, which is intentional, I’m sure, as is the vertigo caused by the viewing angle. Anselmo’s art exists in the tension between the idea and its realization by the viewer. You sense the work physically and intellectually, becoming aware of yourself in the process. Invisible (One Slide Saying Visible), 1971, consists of the word “visible” being visible when in focus on some solid material (the viewer’s leg) about 4'' up and 5' away from the lens of the projector on the floor. Like the tree falling in the forest, the work is invisible without the viewer to provide the intelligence to find the word and the screen for it. Tutto, 1971–72, comprises two projectors—one projecting “tut,” the other “to.” Together they add up to “tutto” or wholeness. Anselmo’s work used to be highly physical in its expressivity. Now it is narrative, literary, and humorous.

––April Kingsley