Liliana Porter: Man with Axe and Other StoriesFrist Art Museum5 February – 2 May 2021

The Frist Art Museum presents Liliana Porter: Man with Axe and Other Stories, a large-scale installation that will be shown with additional works by the Argentina-born artist. Liliana Porter is renowned for arranging discarded everyday objects to create theatrical vignettes that are philosophically provocative and slyly humorous. 

The centerpiece of the exhibition, Man with Axe and Other Stories (2017), on loan from the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, offers a bird’s-eye view of a civilization being reduced to rubble. The sprawling work features a small plastic figure of an axe-wielding man who appears to have demolished an array of items, from dollhouse furniture to vases, clocks, and a full-size piano. “The tableau illustrates that, like time itself, a tiny thing—a virus, a dangerous ideology, or a lone person—can bring down a kingdom or a world,” writes Frist Art Museum chief curator Mark Scala. “Rich with melancholy and humor and despair and hope, the installation shows the man with the axe as a sociopathic embodiment of time itself, forever frozen in a single moment, forever unfolding in a pattern of violence and renewal.”
Liliana Porter will be in conversation with Mark Scala on February 11 at 10 am PST for the Frist Art Museum’s Artist’s Perspective program. Register for the virtual conversation here.

Hosfelt Gallery will present Liliana’s newest video, The Riddle / Charada, alongside her conceptual prints from the late 1960s and early 1970s, opening at the gallery on March 13.