Tag Archives: Greens

Venice Biennale 2019


The Silent Road, Acrylic on Tyvek™


Personal Structures
An Exhibition

presented by
The European Cultural Centre & the GAA Foundation

2019 Venice Biennale
Preview: May 9 – 10
Exhibit: May 11 – November 24
Palazzo Mora, rm #218, Strada Nova


Leis’ artist statement for The Silent Road

 

The Silent Road

Marietta Patricia Leis

 

The Silent Road is a dialogue between painting and sculpture. It is a road that leads in two directions, reaching upward toward the ancient beamed ceiling of the Palazzo Mora and winding downward to its staircase landing. The Silent Road was inspired by my time in Iceland during the dark months of the long Icelandic winter. The treeless, volcanic, landscape revealed the earth’s curved horizon, confronting me with a stark image of all that is infinite—both visually and metaphorically. My acute sense of this fascinating and haunting place provided fertile ground for germination of The Silent Road.

 

I have always made art using a variety of mediums, choosing those that best serve and amplify my intentions. For The Silent Road, graphite painted on Tyvek ™ (a paper-like plastic sheeting used to insulate houses) evoked the shimmering darkness of Iceland’s volcanic rock.  I hand burnished the graphite until it radiated that luster. Thus, the Tyvek ™ is magically transformed, as old traditions meet modern technologies on The Silent Road.

 

My handwork has traced every inch of surface on The Silent Road, marking a path and leaving a record of my artist’s journey for others to follow. The Road’s reductive surface texture offers hidden complexities for the viewer to ferret out—an opportunity to engage with the work without straining to understand it—simply traveling The Road with me for a journey in silent contemplation.

 

In today’s noisy world, we can become distracted, numb to our deepest natures. The road to authenticity is by its very nature traveled in solitude. It is an internal road that, with patience, can lead deep into the core of our being. As we each embark on the journey to this rich and fertile place, we can discover a common thread of the shared humanity that binds us.

 

My intention is for my art to be palpable, transmitting a sensation of adventure, beauty and peace. I invite you to travel the undulating Silent Road—welcoming your own perceptions and experiences.


Photographic reference work – a frozen silent road from Leis’ time in Iceland

 


Backstory and process

During my career I have found that professional relationships as well as the resulting exhibitions, articles, or residencies take patience and a maturation period—this one seven years! The career aspect of an artist’s life echoes, in part, the necessary maturation of the art-making process itself.

The Venice opportunity is a prime example. My first contact with the Global Arts Affairs Foundation that is sponsoring my work at Venice was in 2012. A Dutch artist Rene Rietmeyer, whose work I very much admire, was featured in an art magazine that told of his exhibiting during the Venice Biennale with GAA. Because GAA exhibited the work of Rene, who has a like sensibility to my own, I contacted them to learn more about their organization. And now all these years later my art is in their exhibition, Personal Structures, during this year’s Venice Biennial.

The Silent Road evolved over a one and half year period. GAA and I explored several locations in the Piazza Bembo and Mora until I selected the one that I felt gave me the most opportunity and challenges. Then there were several sketches with that location in mind. These always told of the ‘road’ but varied in size and form until one felt right for a beginning point. Once I had that form in mind I researched materials eventually moving away from paper to Tyvek™ for durability. Prototypes large and small were made to test the graphite and the burnishing, how to keep the backside clean with the process of dirty burnishing-how the Tyvek™would drape and to also conclude the exact dimensions for the piece.

The slow and laborious but zen-joyful execution of painting and burnishing the 60’ x 34” piece took several months and culminated in a test hanging at a local theatre (thanks Highland and NDI). By then I had a solid team of my photographer-assistant, Stefan Jennings Batista, my colleague in arms, Heidi Pollard, the sculptor and installer, Ian Jones and my husband David an all-purpose helper and videographer—who all contributed to the success of the trial installation. The wonder of resulting piece exceeded my sketch! Listening to the work itself and not being catholic about the sketch led to better possibilities.

Afterwards installation instructions were written and the packing and shipping commenced. Voilà it now enters the auspices of the Venice Biennale 2019.


ENGRAINED: ODE TO TREES exhibited at WNMU



Marietta’s multimedia solo show Engrained: Ode to Trees exhibited though February in the McCray Gallery at Western New Mexico University as part of the Milner Women in the Arts Lecture Series.



Tag Archives: Greens

Entering the New Year of 2019

This year will finally see the art, that has been my main effort over the past year and a half, culminate in it’s first exhibit at Western New Mexico University, Silver City, opening February 7th  The heartfelt theme of trees and forests-beautiful and endangered is one that demanded my toolbox of media—so there is much to see. You can thumb through the exhibition catalogue by clicking on the ISSUU booklet below. 


The essay in the booklet is by the gifted writer, Ann Landi,
and reproduced here for your reading:

 

Marietta Patricia Leis: Engrained: Ode to Trees

 

In the course of a long career that has taken her from New York to Los Angeles and finally to Albuquerque, NM, Marietta Patricia Leis has mastered just about any medium at her disposal—printmaking, sculpture, painting, video, and photography. Her subjects have often been inspired by her travels worldwide: to Scotland, Southeast Asia, Greece, Iceland, and other far-flung spots. The experiences she gathers from place, whether it’s the humid green of the tropical jungle or the billowing clouds and black-velvet nights of the Scottish Highlands, become distilled into the different series she’s pursued over the years. The common thread is that Leis brings to all her works qualities of elegant understatement, a thorough knowledge of craft, and an approach that marries thoughtful restraint with a sensuous feel for her materials.

For her latest project, Engrained: Ode to Trees, Leis found inspiration quite literally in her own backyard, when a 30-foot-high spruce tree on her property in Albuquerque, NM, died shortly after she moved in. Parts of that tree have made their way into the Engrained series: slices from the trunk, lovingly varnished and stained, stand like proud sentinels on Lucite shelves in Gentrification I and Gentrification II. Fissures I and Fissures II, a pair of ink-relief prints, and the sculptures Splintered I and Splintered II similarly find their origins in that same fallen tree, as does Keepsake #2, an image burned into linen from a section of the trunk. When a mimosa tree, also on her property, lost a big branch during a windstorm, Leis used it as the source material for the series of sculptures called Traces, which stand in front of two large oil paintings, Symbiosis I and Symbiosis II, densely saturated with the bright fresh green color we associate with trees just coming back to life in early spring. The installation seems to juxtapose the living against the dead, and speaks to the possibilities for renewal and rebirth.

Specific trees may have provided the inspiration for many works in the show, but Leis’ travels—and her self-description as an “outed tree hugger”—have made her sensitive to the plight of trees in general. She’s flown over the Amazon and witnessed the burning of rain forests; she’s seen firsthand Iceland’s barren landscape, the result of devastation by early settlers; and, like the rest of us, she’s concerned about the clear cutting, wild fires, and deforestation that are quickly eroding our landscape. The videos in the Engrained were all made in Finland, where she had an artist’s residency above Arctic Circle, and show how forest after forest has succumbed to destruction.

But the message in Leis’ methods—if indeed we need a message—is far from hopeless. There is ghostly beauty in the 82-inch-tall photos of the Evanescents series, joy in the sprightly arrangements of paintings that make up Tree, and throughout the series reminders of how much pleasure we get from the colors, textures, and presence of those mute and stalwart citizens who share our planet. In examining all the qualities of “treeness”—from seeds and leaves to the battered husk that remains after a tree dies—Leis gives us tangible proof of the loveliness of these silent gifts of nature along with intimations of how barren our world would be without them.

Ann Landi

November 2018

Ann Landi is the founder and editor of Vasari21.com and a contributing editor of ARTnews.

 


As an extra enticement here are some photos of the Shou Sugi Ban method of burning wood that we used in the making of the Remembrance pieces in the exhibit:

Photographs by Stefan Jennings Batista

Tag Archives: Greens

Honeybees and Me

Besides the Artist Opening of Nature’s Blueprints at the NM Museum of Natural History and Science (May 4, 2-4), I am also pleased to have my beeswax sculptures included in the Morris Museum’s (Morristown, NJ)

Exhibit: The Honey and the Hive: The Sweet Story of Honeybees, which will be presented May 5-August 15, 2014. http://www.morrismuseum.org/future-exhibitions-2/. To say it is a ‘sweet exhibit’ is too obvious a pun but the intention of the exhibit is worth paying attention to as is the art represented.

Vapors, my wax sculptures were created for my GREEN touring exhibit and mimic in my loose interpretation Asian wrapped food—but my wax food is empty!

The Museum’s description of the exhibit is: Honeybees are responsible for at least 30% of the foods we eat every day! Busy bees are the great pollinators of the world and are essential to so many aspects of our lives and culture. Celebrate the sweet story of these incredible insects and learn how vital they are to our survival and how you can help to protect and conserve bees and their habitats. Learn about the life cycle of a bee and how different cultures revere this tiny architect. Artists that will be featured in the exhibit includes: Josie Rodriguez, Katja Loher, Marietta Patricial Leis, and Rose-Lynn Fisher, among others.

They have planned programs throughout the exhibit period that can be signed up for on their website above.

Tag Archives: Greens

A March Exhibit in Albuquerque

Going Green – March 15-May 15 – at Snapp Price Projects, Albuquerque

Opening Reception – a St. Pat’s Celebration – Saturday March 15, 5-8 pm

Color is central to my art. Color startles, it stimulates. Color reels us backwards into memories and it teases out emotions. Color has the power to move us influencing how we view the world. My GREEN series of work is intended to reveal the deep nature of green and its associations to place, to spirit and to the planet. When painting, taking photos and videos or sculpting using green I want to ‘feel’ the earth’s grounded-ness.

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The Japanese have an expression, “bathing in the forest” when they walk in nature. They believe the walk will cleanse and refresh them. It was in that mood that I began the GREEN work in 2011. This work has been touring different venues since 2012 projecting and hopefully stimulating thoughts of our green planet’s abundant gifts.

***St Pat's-DEVNow I have been invited to exhibit the GREEN work at Snapp Price Projects, Albuquerque March 15, 2014 – May 15, 2014. Entitled, Going Green, the exhibit will have its opening reception the Saturday evening of St. Patrick’s weekend. So naturally other connotations regarding green besides the inherent eco-ness will stretch the out-reach of this exhibition. Last year I saw the infamous St. Patty’s Parade in Manhattan for the first time (and I’m a former New Yorker) so that experience is greatly influencing the visions I have been having of green beards, green puppets, green tartans, shamrocks, green beer and whimsical tall green hats. (photo right: by David E Vogel)

Maybe the exhibit will encourage viewers to have a sensory recall and even more associations about the color green. How about peas, mint juleps’, crème de menthe, green tea, the Northern Lights, malachite, jade, lizards, chlorophyll, algae, lichen, peacocks, fungus, tourmaline, verdigris and garden snakes. Explore, dream, imagine and play with color.

Fertility 1-4*-webnews**Insights-webnewsWe can be all inclusive! It’ll be such fun and will invite viewers to become embedded in verdancy while thinking of shamrocks and also contemplating our bountiful natural world and eco-ness. We won’t slight eco-ness as recent studies report that people are “nature deprived”. The result and cost of this deprivation is the diminishing of our senses, a loss of our connection to where we live and a distancing from our stewardship of the Earth. Reconnection is therefore life saving for our planet and us. But fun and laughter are important also so we can luxuriate in GREEN while looking at my art and toasting St. Patrick!

GOING GREEN will be a fun celebration and will include some new green paintings not before shown with my touring GREEN series. There will be sculptures, a video and some photographs. I hope it will be a raucous party providing an opportunity to expand awareness as we savor our planet with gratitude and maybe also grieve/change the inequities of the distribution of nature’s resources. We can extend our hearts to breathe in our love for Mother Nature and our fellow man through the gracious umbrella of our natural green world also celebrating the aesthetics of color and yes, even St. Pat.

SNAPP PRICE PROJECTS GALLERY

201 Third Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

505.247.0073

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GREEN Abundance at Las Cruces Museum of Art

06. Seed 13GREEN Abundance, my multimedia exhibition of paintings, videos, photographs, sculpture and poetry, will be a solo exhibition at the Las Cruces Museum of Art (NM) November 23rd until January 18, 2014. There will be an artist reception December 6 at 5-7pm that I plan to attend.

This work was influenced by my Artist Residency in the verdant North of Thailand. My studio was a veranda with a thatch roof that looked out to vegetation of all colors so my palette was ever-changing. The color linchpin, however, was GREEN—the living, breathing color of life. Around me were rice paddies and ponds and food, food, food. Sights, smells, taste and tactility assaulted my sensory system in ah such a good way. Even now I can arouse my sense memories of that experience without 05effort and feel the Thai heat, sunshine and GREEN. My media grew in an effort to express all the imagery and ideas flooding me during my stay.

The paradox of this bliss is that the surrounding countries as well as the hillside people of Thailand have a different experience—one of far less generousity in many ways. That painful knowledge lead me to the poems and empty food sculptures to express seed the idea of the inequality that we face on our planet.

This series of work has been embraced by a group of supporters (I call them the Green Team) that rallied and donated to the GREEN Kickstarter campaign—an internet crowd sourcing funding. Their support for shipping the exhibit has made it possible for GREEN to exhibit at several venues and more to come.

I hope this location—The Las Cruces Museum of Art, is one that you will be able to visit.

20. Arrangement

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Ode to Curators

Jeanne Brasile, Director of Seton Hall University’s Walsh Gallery, and I had been in dialogue about my art over a couple of years and how to present my work in an exhibition. The process of watching her assimilate my work and paring down all the facets of my output (paintings, sculptures, work on paper, et al.) to a cohesive concept was observing the mastery of a curator’s skill. As a result she luckily became the curator of my exhibition “Earthly Pleasures” showing at the Walsh Gallery until April 5, 2013 (pictured below).

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It is a wonderful thing for me to witness a curator design an exhibit of my work that executes their vision. Just less than a year ago Jeanne commented that the exhibit she envisioned would revolve around my travels and observations of the natural worlds I experienced, using the colors they presented as was nurtured by my Grandmother many years earlier. Brasile familiarized herself with my oeuvre so that it became possible for her to choose the work that supported her idea, writing the names of the pieces on the gallery’s blueprint with the installation designs she envisioned. This she confidently did by email.

And the exhibit was executed exactly as Jeanne conceived it six months before receiving the work in hand. The clarity with which she visualized her intentions and the superb fulfillment of those intentions fill me with admiration, awe and so much respect for Jeanne and for curators. It is a delight for me to walk into the gallery and recognize a “story” told so well with my art and the curator’s understanding of my issues. Thanks Jeanne Brasile!

I think you will gain an understanding of Jeanne’s curatorial process if you read Jeanne’s statement below, accompanied by photographs of the exhibit “Earthly Pleasures” by David Vogel:

27Marietta Patricia Leis’ lush, saturated color field paintings function as fenestrations into an unconfined world of natural forms. The oil paintings are, in part, evocative of landscapes, seascapes, plant forms, weather patterns or micro-organisms and can be concomitantly seen as many of these phenomena. Nuances of color and light palpably depict a range of imagery that encapsulates a life of experience, serving as complex memory portraits that tap into emotions and feelings. For Leis, the paintings are meditations on specific places and times in her life.

The earliest of these memories date to the time she spent with her maternal grandmother, Ermelinda Fiore. Ermelinda’s world was one of scents and colors, a lasting impression on Leis’ young mind. Leis recalls accompanying her grandmother to the garden, spending hours listening to her as she described the flowers and their various attributes. Making their way back to the house, they would then arrange the flowers into bouquets, an art form in her grandmother’s home. The kitchen was similarly filled with indulgences of taste, smell and creativity. Cooking was also a form of creative expression for her grandmother and provided another realm of aromas and colors amid a backdrop of floral arrangements from the garden.

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Leis’ more recent influences are derived from her extensive travels, one of the most seminal being a trip to Italy in 1979. There she tapped deeper into her Italian heritage and absorbed a new range of 48colors and influences. After an artist residency in Crater Lake, Oregon, Leis’ painting took on new resonance. She began to travel more widely to such exotic locations as Thailand, Greece, the Antarctic, Finland, Spain and Portugal. Having experienced a variety of locales, each with their own particular light and color conditions, her paintings took on the task of expressing the bounty of nature and its variety of nuances.

The multiplicity of blue shades encompassed in the sky and water became one of her favorite muses. This can be seen most clearly in works like Barrier Rift I & II, Breathless 1-6, and QuietnessDepictions of atmospheric conditions are expressed in Pixels, which indicate a variety of tones and colors as well as the formless structures of fog and light. But Leis’ work always draws upon her early years back in New Jersey with her grandmother. The Seed paintings offer us a variety of green, brown and golden hues culled from her “nonna’s” garden. The sheer variety of colors, light conditions, hues, tones and saturations attributed to Leis’ work reveals an artist that is concerned with looking at, meditating on, luxuriating in the bounty of nature and all its endless permutations. In Earthly Pleasures we enter a world that Leis constructs for us from memory. It is the absence of a very specific, figurative language that leaves us with occasion to assemble memories borne of our own experiences. Leis’ ability to reference her own past and present, while bridging that of her audience makes her painting resonate so profoundly. In every work we sense the artist’s gratitude and awe in the bounty of nature and we, too, can feel it intensely.

– Jeanne Brasile, Curator

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Earthly Pleasures at Seton Hall University

pixel-installEarthly Pleasures, a solo exhibition of my work curated by Jeanne Brasile, will be shown at the Walsh Gallery, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ. The exhibit will run from March 11th-April 5th with an opening reception on March 14th,  from 5-8pm. It will encompass work of the last 12 years that reflects my impressions of the many places I have traveled. There will be approximately 57 pieces shown including paintings from the Blue Series, Green Series, and Pixels, as well as works on paper and some sculptures.

Being a native daughter of East Orange, NJ, I grew up close to the University where there was an enclave of Italian-Americans, one being my grandmother, Ermelinda Napoliello. She was an enormous influence on my sense of beauty, aesthetics and especially of color.  I would work by her side in her garden of adundant colors. The use of color in my work reflects this early exposure and drew Brasile to my work.

Peter Frank, art critic of the Huffington Post, has written an essay that accompanies the exhibition:

MARIETTA PATRICIA LEIS: GALLERY OF EARTHLY PLEASURES

Vapor_5Marietta Patricia Leis’ markedly minimal artwork – and minimalist sensibility – belies, but at the same time subtly conveys, its richness of source. However self-referential Leis’ emphatically reductive paintings, objects, and painted objects may seem, they begin in response to stimuli in the observed world. This in itself does not define, much less explain, their existence; if they act diaristically for Leis, emerging from her travels and her feelings, they do not – and should not – act prosaically for us. Rather, they function as distillations of experience, related to places and sensations inspiring them much as perfumes do to the scent sources comprising them. They are not about Leis’ life, but are conjured from it. They themselves provoke sensation, ineffable and yet profound.

Continue Reading

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GREEN to Exhibit in Idaho Falls

My multimedia exhibit, GREEN: a paradox of abundance and scarcity, will be one part of a two person exhibition at Carr Gallery at Willard Arts Center (Colonial Theater), Idaho Falls. The entire exhibit in the 2000 sf gallery is entitled, Environmental Considerations: New Works by Marietta Patricia Leis and Omar Sarabia, and is being presented by The Idaho Falls Arts Council. The exhibit opens July 14-September 1 with a reception Thursday August 2 starting at 5pm.

The Curator of Exhibitions, Nathan Barnes, selected the two artists represented because they are inspired by specific environments, “The paintings, photographs and sculptures found in Leis’ multimedia installation, Green: a paradox of abundance and scarcity, were developed in response to the flora and fauna she encountered during her artist residency in Northern Thailand. In contrast, Sarabia’s non-objective paintings are developed as a response to his daily surroundings, both domestic and natural, in Pocatello, Idaho.”

 More of my work can be found at www.mariettaleis.com and examples of the GREEN exhibit can be seen on this website at >portfolio>green.

Tag Archives: Greens

CROSSING ART, NY EXHIBITION

Thirty-two multimedia works from my exhibit, GREEN: a paradox of abundance and scarcity will be shown in the exhibition, Going Green II at Crossing Art.  Crossing Art will be showing seven artists in this exhibit June 16th – August 16th at their wonderful gallery space in Queens, NY. My work will include monochromatic paintings, poetry texts plates, a video, and hollow, pseudo-food beeswax sculptures that convey the paradox of an unequal world. I will be attending the opening reception 3-6 pm on the 16th.  

Insights 1-3, oil/wood, 5 x 5 x 3″, Vapors, Latex on Acrylic Shelf, 3.5 x 4 x 4″

Going Green II is an annual exhibition that supports not only an eco-friendly environment but raises issues about the current trends and future fate of urban landscapes. I’m very excited to be part of this year’s, Going Green II, the second annual group exhibition of local and international artists, will be on view at Crossing Art in conjunction with this year’s QAX. The Queens Art Express is a spring arts festival of performance, events, exhibitions, and great places to eat in the vibrant cultural communities of Queens NY — along the route of the No. 7 train and beyond.

Tag Archives: Greens

GREEN until February 25th

My multimedia exhibition of Green: a paradox of abundance and scarcity will be exhibiting until February 25 at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, TX. It is so gratifying to see this work exhibited in their beautiful space and to have it seen by their large and enthusiastic audience.

Green is an exhibit inspired by my Artist residency in Thailand. It is made up of several components: five written text plates of poems, 16 Vapors which are beeswax sculptures made as Thai wrapped food but hollow, Seeds which are 27 paintings on paper on wood, and 18 photos. There are also four videos.

While embraced by the abundance of vegetation and food in Thailand I became acutely aware of the paradox—the deprivation in the surrounding countries of Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. The inequality of sharing the earth’s bounty seems senseless and immoral to me. Also the abuse of our planet by its human inhabitants endangers all the living things I was witness to.

This paradox produced poignant reflections that are expressed in this work… the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ so to speak. The beauty draws you to contemplate the fragility of the earth’s bounty, and thus it’s people’s, condition.