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‘2021 Triennial: Soft Water Hard Stone’ Review: What’s Old Is New at the New Museum

Wall Street Journal

November 2021

Brian P. Kelly features Christina Pataialii in his Wall Street review of the New Museum's 2021 Triennial: Soft Water Hard Stone.

"According to the introductory wall text, the title is drawn from a Brazilian proverb: “Soft water on hard stone hits until it bores a hole.” It goes on to explain that “The proverb can be said to have two meanings: if one persists long enough, the desired effect can eventually be achieved; and time can destroy even the most perceptibly solid materials.”

These alternatively enduring and Ozymandian outlooks are the fragile threads that knit the show’s incredibly varied—in terms of aesthetics, materials and quality—works together. Christina Pataialii’s paintings (in a show with very few works in traditional media) certainly seem to suggest solidarity if not perseverance, as in “Footsteps in the Dark” (2021), in which a worker’s boot, captured in muted colors with Philip Guston-like exaggeration, stomps down in the middle of the image." – Brian P. Kelly

Read more on The Wall Street Journal.

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