Marco Palli: New Herd of Thoughts

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday February 20, 2019


Marco Palli; from  The New Herd of Thoughts, closing Thursday at The New York Studio School

Last spring I met the sculptor Marco Palli at his MFA thesis exhibition at The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. Installed in the historic Chester French Studio, this group of towering "figures" made of rusting steel, together with several that reclined on the floor, and others that sat on plinths, were formed so thin and sharply they appeared to be dangerous as well as inviting. They proved to be models for "Don Quixote e Dulcina," works commissioned for El Jardin Panoramico, a new sculpture park slated to open this summer in Malaga, Spain (below). Info

Now, an exhibition of his new work in clay continues through Thursday at The New York Studio School. Given the title, “The New Herd of Thoughts,” [TNHOT] they are abstractions that generate a palpable energy that seemed to rise from the reflective orange surfaces they inhabit. These pieces, which first took shape in his studio last spring, were a huge departure from his previous work in rusting steel.

The original pieces Palli produced have been joined by another flock of stable mates, plus a group of works given the title “Strongholds” (below), together with a series of works on paper, also made from clay. Seen together in the main floor Lobby and Alcove Galleries, as well as the second floor gallery, the show essentially defines what it is for an artist to make works that are generous towards their audience. They also proved how much hard work it takes to advance a good idea on to a higher level.

These abstractions, modest in scale yet inherently monumental, extend some of the themes the artist originated in his show last spring. Central to the making of these pieces is the force of gravity, which Palli has diverted in various ways to shape them with a directness not compromised by the use of tools or machinery. Visual statements, direct from the artist’s hands, these works conjure up an aura of mystery that can be penetrated by those who look--and look again. The reward is lasting; Palli is someone to watch.

Closing Thursday, February 21: Marco Palli | The New Herd of Thoughts. New York Studio School, 8 West 8th Street, NY, NY Info/see the video PRreview