Saturday, June 25, 2011

Venice: Not Only Biennale - Marisa Merz: It Doesn't Match Yet it Flourishes - Fondazione Querini Stampalia

a detail

Fondazione Querini Stampalia: Marisa Merz – It doesn’t Match Yet It Flourishes.   The Marisa Merz exhibition It doesn’t Match Yet It Flourishes at the FondazioneQuerini Stampalia (until September 18) was curated by Chiara Bertola.  The veteran Arte Povera artist engages with this historic collection, riffing lightly on a 2006 residency with a drawing-based show on the theme of faces.

Untitled 1993 (above). As part of a universal logic, Marisa Merz’s works reflect her faith in the duration of works of art that goes beyond their material creation and beyond the contingent limitations of time and space.  In this sense the view of Giovanni Bellini’s La Presentazione al Tempio has a particular significance.   In a small room, near the painting of Bellini, is a kind of constellation consisting of eight triangles of knitted copper wire, placed on the floor and climbing up the wall in a spiral shape, like an organic sculpture proliferating into space.  It is like a piece of fabric that has the temporal traces of its own existence woven into it and uniting separate identities.   Together with Scarpette 1968 (below), this is one of the two historically important works in the show:  the outcome of meticulous manual ability, it is a piece that, for all its lightness and simplicity, dissects different times and places and then unites them in a single dimension.

 Scarpette 1968.   Nylon thread, an industrially-produced material not usually part of the art tradition, was knitted and transformed into a work of art by an artisanal ability inspired by the feminine and domestic sphere. It is an introspective work whose intimacy is underlined by the fact that its size is based on the artist’s foot and, in this way, she has given a form to her own imprint and a body to her shadow.   And so the transparent display-case contains the values of levity and inconsistency.  A similar conceptual undertaking is to be found in the painted clay head (below), and the form of which results from the marks of the artist’s hand left on the raw material.


The curator of the Marisa Merz exhibition, Chiara Bertola

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