After spending an afternoon in Chelsea, it takes some time (days even) to reflect on all the shows that I saw. The current exhibit at Barbara Gladstone Gallery is one of those that I keep coming back to in my mind, so I will definitely go back for a second visit. It’s a solo show of Marisa Merz’s work. She was born in Turin, Italy and was part of the Arte Povera movement, a term coined by the Italian critic Germano Celant, that took place in the late 1960s-early 1970s. This exhibit has both early and new works. The show is at the W 24th street location, and will be running until June 8, 2013.

From the press release:

Using abstracted, organic forms, Merz creates intimate portraits and sculptures that insist on subjectivity and ever-shifting meaning, espousing her belief that every shape must be capable of transforming into another shape. Merz attests that she draws no distinction between her art and her life, and her work advances a critical framework that draws on traditional customs associated with female domesticity, using craft techniques and unconventional materials to explore the infinite possibilities of the everyday. Throughout Merz’s oeuvre, the figure of the face emerges – a symbol of the eternal human spirit. Composed of fleeting arabesque lines, Merz’s figures are disconnected from any social or narrative context. Instead, each reveals a ghostly configuration of abstracted features that defy expressions of individual identity, fixing each form in a state of suspended time.

(All images taken from Barbara Gladstone’s website)

Installation view

Installation view

Merz, Marisa. Untitled, 1966. Graphite on paper. 166 x 150 cm

Merz, Marisa. Untitled, 1966. Graphite on paper. 166 x 150 cm

Merz, Marisa. Untitled, 2012. Mixed media on wood. 25 x 25 cm

Merz, Marisa. Untitled, 2012. Mixed media on wood. 25 x 25 cm

Merz, Marisa. Untitled, 2010. Mixed media on paper. 255.3 x 156.2 cm

Merz, Marisa. Untitled, 2010. Mixed media on paper. 255.3 x 156.2 cm

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