Of Mies and Men
The American Academy in Rome, Italy
The spare set elements serve as a modified Miesian framework within a neoclassical building. A low wall is marked with a grid of alternately shaved and unshaved torsos pasted in a checkerboard. Plastic tubing of mostly unnecessary electric conduit snakes over the surface of the white stucco walls making a filigree of contractors’ vernacular. During the exhibition three men struck poses on pedestals—vaguely “The Three Muses” in drag—“regular” guys voguing ten-minute stances for an audience with a backdrop of buff torsos.
The display is a modernist assemblage into which figurative pieces are inserted. The rectilinear plays off of the curve, torsos against the repetitive grid, conduit against the lines of the space, with figures set apart by the pedestals. The piece connects reflections on Baroque art, ornamentation and high modern architecture.