Image: Anita Glesta, Pedazos (In Pieces), mixed media /  ©Anita Glesta    ©Black & White Gallery/Project Space

 Image: Anita Glesta, Pedazos (In Pieces), mixed media / ©Anita Glesta  ©Black & White Gallery/Project Space


A path of weathered and seemingly ancient paving stones formed a monument to the traces that everyday human activity wears into even the most monolithic architecture in Anita Glesta's work for the gallery's courtyard. A "river of concrete," in the artist's words, the road stretched from the indoor gallery to the far wall of the space, where a small ramp led up to a pillar of stacked concrete bricks. On either side, steeper ramps formed pedestals on which sculpted feet were mounted like the remnants of long-forgotten figures. At first glance, the work seemed austere like a timeworn ruin, but small details that at once softened and enlivened the structure with traces of human hands eventually revealed themselves. Literal hand and foot prints dotted the stones. The pillar seemed roughly formed—it was actually made from bread cast in concrete. And interspersed with the paving stones, small, red shapes of cast resin rested on the ground. Occasionally mixed with feathers or sewing thread, the objects resembled human hearts or large drops of coagulated blood. Set against a slab of blue sky and Glesta's gray landscape, the tiny ovals created humble punctuations of warmth and color in the work. "I liked the concrete physicality of the space, and the sky really functions like the roof," said Glesta. "Even though it's open to the elements, it's a very controlled environment, where I was able to light and color like a painter." The installation marked the first time that Glesta had created a floor piece, although it formed an important point of departure for her later work—so much so that an expanded version of it is now installed in her Brooklyn studio.