Art Forum Magazine cover

Art Forum International

Twenty-three artists reflect on 2021

Spread from Art Forum magazine

To take stock of the past year, Artforum asked an international group of artists to select a single exhibition or event that most memorably caught their attention in 2021.

Original article can be found at

Sal Salandra (Club Rhubarb, New York)
What happens when the sexually oppressive, sadomasochistic ways of the Catholic Church are foisted upon a young gay man who ends up translating his carnal fantasies into needlepoint? You get the dreamlike, delicately perverse “thread-art paintings” of Sal Salandra, whose captivating, embroidered tableaux were featured in a solo exhibition at New York’s Club Rhubarb earlier this year. Taking in the seventy-five-year-old artist’s work—which felt like a trip through Bluebeard’s castle, but only if the homicidal husband were a dark leather daddy into cock-and-ball torture—brought me back to my own frustrated Catholic childhood and generated within me a fountain of pure joy and so much pride for all my incredible queer kin.

Say Your Prayers painting
Sal Salandra, Say Your Prayers, 2020, mixed threads on canvas, 27 × 27″.