forays into space: bice lazzari
Last August, I visited Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO). While there were quite a few fascinating objects, things, and phenomena on display, some of them even hands-on, nothing caught me more than the work of the Italian artist Bice Lazzari (1900-1981).
The exhibit was titled “Bice Lazzari: L’equilibrio dello spazio” (Bice Lazzari: The Balance of Space). Its entry point was a small room with a few chairs. A documentary-type video was on constant play. After watching this short film, I opened the door to the exhibit. The door was lighted on all four sides and swung back and forth, putting the beam light on the floor space covered by its sway. It was almost a virtual threshold, a threshold created by light and not a strip of wood or metal. Framed on the walls of this room were numerous works by Bice Lazzari. In the middle of the hall were around two dozen drawers of unframed work by the artist.
Her work explores the relationship between line, colour, surface/depth, containment, narrative, and borders. In her work, space is always shared, touching, open to infinite categorization. Abundance of movement, dynamism, and change is expressed through a minimalist technique. At some point or another, space makes us all neighbours of one another. Perspective, gaze, and point of view are all experiences situated in space. Our relationship with space is always concealed and revealed through bodies, mass, matter, volume, density, and curves. For Lazzari, space is valid and mappable. It is the container of both chaos and order.