Earlier this fall, art group For Freedoms commissioned art billboards in all fifty states. Vietnamese artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s For Spaceship Earth was alongside Route 95 in Pawtucket for two months, though the billboard didn’t seem to attract much attention. It’s an interesting juxtaposition with the latest show at PC–Galleries, a historic exhibit about a similar project in 1970s Italy. It was a gloomy and violent time for the country – an era of assassinations and high-profile ransom kidnappings – though that’s only hinted at in the art. Curator Enrico Crispolti commissioned a wide-ranging and mostly unrelated group of artists to produce fine art billboards, a comment on the proliferation of advertising in urban Italy. This show includes eight of the billboards, arranged in black and white along one wall, with extensive photographic documentation of the original installations in various cities around Italy. It’s part of the Galleries’ ongoing “Many Cities, One Providence” series, a roughly annual deep dive into art in other parts of the world.
pictured: Ugo Respali, “Lavorare, lavorare, lavorare” (1973)