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Photo by Trix Rosen
Photo by Trix Rosen

Visiting Associate Professor of Fine Arts Marianne Weil Exhibits Work at Kouros Gallery in NYC

In 2007, Marianne Weil worked as an artist in residence at the Fundación Valparaíso in Almería, on the south coast of Spain. At Los Millares --a Chalcolithic (from the Greek roots for copper and stone) settlement dating back five millennia to the transition from Neolithic to Bronze Age culture, the oldest such site in Europe --she explored an extensive system of rings, temples, chambers, cairns, corbelled vaults of supernatural monuments, stone defenses, over 80 stone-lined tombs, and a copper foundry and workshop. The works in the exhibition explore her memories and research of this mysterious and historically significant landscape.

Weil has been visiting prehistoric sites for more than ten years, studying the dolmens, standing stones, burial mounds and other remnants of ancient European life. Trained by artisans in the village where Michelangelo quarried and carved marble, she learned the ancient tradition of carving and casting bronzes over 25 years ago in Pietrasanta, Italy. Her sculptures, created directly in wax and cast in bronze, assimilate the “lost wax” process. Unlike many artists who work in bronze, after her pieces have been cast by the foundry, Weil does all the finishing, chasing and patina work herself.

While she incorporates natural materials into her bronzes, there is something distinctly deliberate in their placement that speaks to civilizations now long gone. With metaphorical imagery, Weil transforms familiar thematic elements --architecture, botany, biology, and geology --synthesizing historical and contemporary perspectives. While her work embodies the intuitive and the personal, she extends her cultural roots and individual memories by deploying visual detail from disciplines in the natural sciences.

Windswept surfaces eroded by time and impressions made from her hands provoke a sense of timelessness. Individually her sculptures stand proudly independent, inviting introspection through the hollow forms. The interiors and punctured openings suggest windows for quiet contemplation and dialogue. Assembled as a collective, her works encourage feelings of isolation and loss and evoke images of the solitary and heroic.

Weil’s work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and Europe for the past 25 years. This is her third one- person exhibition at Kouros Gallery. A catalogue is available, with an essay by Helen A. Harrison, Director, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center.

A reception for the artist will be held Thursday, March 6, 2008, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Gallery hours: 10:30 a.m. -6:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Visit Kouros Gallery for more information.

The Climbing Stone, by Peter Rockwell '58, is located outside Magill Library.

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