BY JULIE SEYLER
Merz’s work is original and unique in that way that may recall Eva Hesse (because of its manipulation of everyday items in a way that forces one to rethink the nature and purpose of the objects), but retains the essence of an Italian woman who was a dedicated believer in the philosophy of Arte Povera, the postwar Italian movement that favored sculptures and installations fashioned from humble, often discarded materials. For example, she made an armchair, but hers is seemingly bandaged together with strips of aluminum remnants that almost recall rags. There’s a chair fit for a 6-year old, except that it is pierced with nails.
She knitted copper wire into wall murals with infinite space and intricate detail.
Her drawings and paintings speak of women screaming to be heard and seen; of women filled with compassion, tenderness and anger. Of women passionate from maternal love.
She made fountains with gurgling water.
Perhaps the power of her work is its utter simplicity. It made me want to look again and again to see what I missed when I first looked. If you are in the mood for a visual stimulation, I recommend this show.
While the security around Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue can dampen a Christmas window-walk, it can’t take away the joy of viewing the majesty and whimsy of what’s on display. Bergdof Goodman features an animal kingdom delight, the 57th Street side of Tiffany’s has a miniature diarama of the tree at Rockefeller Center, and Saks Fifth Avenue is a panorama of candy dances. Perfect antidotes to the current political fiasco:
With Trump’s choices of ex-investment banker/hedge fund billionaire Stephen Mnuchin to head up Treasury, and the King of Bankruptcy Wilbur Ross to head up Commerce, and self-declared crusader of ACA repeal Tom Price to head up Health and Human Services I thought it was a good time to remember what FDR said as President of the United States: