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“Relics,” a new series by Merry Calderoni


By Edward Swift

Merry Calderoni has renovated her gallery in order to bring in more light as well as create more exhibition space to showcase her exciting new series of paintings entitled “Relics.” The series will be exhibited for the first time during the August 2 Art Walk from 5 to 8 at Fábrica la Aurora.

New mixed media paintings by Merry Calderoni
Within the Art Walk
Fri, Aug 2, 5-8pm
The Calderoni Studio/Gallery
Fábrica la Aurora

Calderoni was the first artist to have a painting studio in Fábrica la Aurora. She acquired the foundry, or the blacksmith shop, a huge lofty space that came with piles of relics including old rusty metal parts from various discarded factory machines along with various tools. The new series of abstract paintings incorporates these relics in clever and enigmatic ways. Some of the found objects are identifiable; others are lost to another time. They range in tone from rich neutrals to bright hues, and they each have a “personality” that merges inseparably into the paintings. In other words the paint and the objects are happily married, and there’s no divorce in the forecast.

Although Merry Calderoni has used many objects discarded in her studio, the series overall continues to be rooted in abstract expressionism but with an added attraction of a utilitarian object, or something that appears to have once been utilitarian, such as the 100 percent cotton manta which the factory produced. The fabric carries a message from the Fabrica’s distant past, thus adding to the overall work another layer of meaning or contemplation.

Some of the objects have been used as an extension of the picture frame, more or less to crown the work. Other objects have been pressed into the paint, or attached directly to the surface creating a mixed media series that incorporate the new with the old. Calderoni describes the series as “old relics juxtaposed against contemporary paintings. Incorporating these antique pieces into the work has been both a pleasure and a challenge.”

She will also exhibit for the first time a large group of antique clay archeological pieces from various locations in Mexico. They are well priced and exclusive. The Calderoni Studio/Gallery is located at the end of the long principal corridor. Turn left in the courtyard and head toward the galleries of the “two Marys.” Marilo Carrel who has also renovated her gallery is on the left and Merry Calderoni’s “new” blacksmith shop is on the right.

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