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Francesco Vezzoli, TRUE COLORS (A Marble Head of the Resting Satyr, circa Late 1st Century A.D.), 2014, painted marble, 7 × 15 3/4 × 7 3/4".

Francesco Vezzoli

MoMA PS1

Francesco Vezzoli, TRUE COLORS (A Marble Head of the Resting Satyr, circa Late 1st Century A.D.), 2014, painted marble, 7 × 15 3/4 × 7 3/4".

Francesco Vezzoli is an ambitious artist, to be sure. A case in point is the fraught history of his recent exhibition at MoMA PS1: In 2013, the Milan-based artist sought to purchase the ruins of a nineteenth-century southern Italian church, ship the entire thing to New York City, and rebuild the structure in the museum’s courtyard, where he would exhibit his videos. But the dream was not to be: Italian courts, concerned with cultural preservation, intervened and halted the action. Until then, it seemed Vezzoli was unstoppable in achieving his visions of excess.

Enter “Teatro Romano”: Staged in a large black-walled gallery in MoMA PS1, this significantly scaled-back production spotlighted five Roman marble busts of gods and men, all dating from the first and second centuries AD. Sited on tall plinths spaced generously throughout the room, the sculptures were painted with palettes

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