Marco Maggi, Modernity & Macintoshes
In conjunction with MODFEST 2012, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center opened up Marco Maggi’s Lentissimo exhibition on January 20. Born in 1957 in Montevideo, Uruguay, Maggi’s style evokes elements of the Dada era. He works with ordinary, mass-produced materials to create mixed media installations, wall-hangings and sculpture-like displays. Maggi does much of his work in New York and designed the exhibition (displayed until April 1) specifically for his Vassar show.
Lentissimo, is Italian for ‘slow’; it also references a musical tempo. This title is apt: the whole show uses size, scale, space and color to create depth, movement and contrast.
Lentissimo occupies three rooms, a yellow, blue and red room. There is also an upstairs display. Each room includes a yellow, blue and red installation of stacks of paper laid in a grid format. These 84x84 installations grab your eye, enticing you to observe each piece from all angles.
While other pieces are smaller, the details of lines, cuts and etching in paper, foil, eye-glass lenses, glass and surveillance mirrors, he solely uses three primary, out-of-the-tube colors: yellow, blue and red. His hotbeds and other works, as they emphasize line and basic color without variation, suggest comparisons to Piet Mondrian (i.e. Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942).
Upstairs you will find Maggi’s Micro & Soft Macintosh Apple, 2004, a four minute film on a flat screen.
It begins with a small, brown-yellow, shriveled, repulsive-looking apple filled with cuts into the leathery apple skin, similar to his cuts into glass or other materials. You watch the apple slowly transforming as red seeps into the apple’s base, spreads to the upper cuts in the skin while the apple’s size gradually increases and its shape rounds out. Finally, the whole apple, dark red in color, loses its cuts and gashes and modifies to a smooth, Macintosh, achievement of trompe l’oeil.
This Maggi is a masterpiece of manipulating color, line and light creating movement and depth. He borrows elements from Dada, the Renaissance and Realism, yet establishes his own style.