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Marisa Merz, Installation, 2011 Galleria Querini Stampalia, Venice


Giovanni Bellini, The Presentation at the Temple, 1459  Galleria Querini Stampalia, Venice

I hope all our friends on the East Coast are now safe and dry and have electricity. Our thoughts and hearts go out to any who have experienced loss. I hope you are all okay and are finding your way back to your lives before the storm.

Compassion and connectedness to the human spirit are pronounced in the work of Marisa Merz. Many know the work of her spouse, Mario Merz; although Marisa was also affiliated with Arte Povera, her work is perhaps more direct and filled with humanity. I was able to see the first part of the exhibition our contributor Floriana Piqué discusses in Venice at the during last biennial of Fondazione Querini Stampalia in 2011. There Merz paired her sculptures made of triangular shapes that spiral from the floor to wall--arabesque shapes made of gauzelike material--with one of the most tender paintings in the collection, Bellini’s Presentation in the Temple.  She does this with many of her works to create a kind of poetic juxtaposition, producing an effect of surreality.  The second part of the exhibition is currently at the Foundation Merz in Turin; Floriana has generously shared her thoughts on the works there.

We are but a speck of dusk relative to the eternal works in the exhibition Bronze at the Royal Academy in London. I cannot help but think about the passing centuries represented by the work in this exhibition, so sensitively written about by Anna Leung. As always, she provides the reader with a window into the time and space of the art objects through clear and precise description.

And if I understand anything about poetry, it is its ability to stay with us, whether an entire poem or a particular phrase. It has the power to make us see, think, feel, and remember. I am delighted that Marc Strauss has joined the list of poets who have generously lent us their work and voices. Marc is a doctor who has written such vividly wonderful medical poems. Retired from medicine, he now enjoys a new life as an art dealer (for the second time) with a new space on the lower East Side of New York City. We offer six of his poems about art and artists, presented in a voice that is alternately comic and ribald or meditative, but always evocative.

In the aftermath of the storm, it is good to reflect on art that will last, whether in bronze, or debris reconfigured as Arte Povera, or in words assembled to make a poem. Art will always be there to complete us.

Thank you all,


Deanna Sirlin
The Art Section


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