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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Liliana Porter: Man with Axe and Other Stories

Frist Art Museum / Nashville / Art

When the Argentine mixed-media artist Liliana Porter was a girl, her father, the film director Julio Porter, gambled away the family home in Buenos Aires. “My mother had to fix all the debts and move the house—you know, physically rearrange whatever mess,” Porter told Judith Olch Richards in a 2012 interview, explaining her family’s move to Mexico City. Looking at this exhibition, made of toys and found miniature objects, one wonders if its centerpiece—an axe-wielding man surrounded by the items he has destroyed—is inspired by the artist’s childhood. Porter’s work is not simply melancholy. Much like the artist herself—and her complex relationship with her father—it is darkly humorous, playful even, and amid the debris there are stunning details that speak to multiple meanings, stretching beyond the autobiographical and into the universal. —C.J.F.

Frist Art Museum 919 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, United States
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