rome

View of “Lara Favaretto: Good Luck,” 2015. From left: Homage to Ambrose Bierce, 2015; Homage to Thomas Pynchon, 2015; Homage to Amelia Earhart, 2015; Homage to Nikola Tesla, 2015.

Lara Favaretto

MAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo

View of “Lara Favaretto: Good Luck,” 2015. From left: Homage to Ambrose Bierce, 2015; Homage to Thomas Pynchon, 2015; Homage to Amelia Earhart, 2015; Homage to Nikola Tesla, 2015.

IF, AS THEODOR ADORNO once famously asserted, “museums are the family sepulchres of art,” last spring’s presentation of Lara Favaretto’s 2010–15 series “Good Luck” transformed Rome’s MAXXI into a full-blown cemetery—albeit a quasi-Minimalist cemetery seemingly designed by Donald Judd with input from Walter De Maria and the stalwarts of Arte Povera. Each of the series’s twenty sculptures (there are eighteen on view in this exhibition) commemorates a different historical individual. But you wouldn’t know it at first glance: The monuments—composed of various arrangements of wood, polished brass, soil, and iron boxes—are obdurately nonreferential, stripped of any information hinting at the figures they memorialize (or, for that matter, that they are memorials in the first place). No wall texts, no names, and certainly no epitaphs—only a map is available to help

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