In 1984, for the 41st Venice Biennale, the German artist Lothar Baumgarten dug up the gallery’s floor. He replaced the honey-colored marble with his own tiles, so that he could add words and signs: “America,” the names of seven South American rivers—including “Amazonas” and “Xingu”—and four abstract graphic symbols. This site-specific installation, titled “America Señores Naturales,” won Baumgarten The Golden Lion Prize, the biennale’s highest honor. Now it’s back—in Paris. The installation, which uses the tiles from 1984, is part of a retrospective of Baumgarten’s work. Of his early pieces, there’s the acclaimed Tupi Indian myth-inspired film Origin of the Night (Amazon Cosmos), a selection of photographs, and several sculptural installations. Nature, topography, the impact of colonialism—these are Baumgarten’s enduring themes. —J.D.
Marian Goodman Gallery 79 Rue du Temple, 75003 Paris, France Get Directions »