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Tell a Roman you’re on your way to Casa Mario Praz, a stone’s throw away from the River Tevere, and you might encounter a startled expression. During his lifetime, it was widely believed that Praz, a critic and scholar whose works include An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration, possessed the evil eye, and the art- and antique-filled residence on the third floor of Palazzo Primoli where he lived for three decades until his death in 1982, still has an unlucky reputation among locals. The residence — now a museum — is best illustrated in Praz’s spatial autobiography, The House of Life (1958), which delivers a cinematic room-by-room account of the home and its contents. The text draws a portrait of Praz through the objects he chose to possess and the way he exhibited them. Paying homage to Praz and his storied home, architecture and design firm Charlap Hyman & Herrero curated at Tina Kim Gallery the group show For Mario, a mix of contemporary and modern art and design objects complemented by unconventional exhibition design, floor-to-ceiling cotton muslin drapes that evoke a tension between preservation and transience.


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