Features Visual Arts

Tribute To The Architecture Of The Past

Brown and purple ceramic relief, 16 x 15 x 2.5
“Night Shadows” 2019, ceramic relief, 16 x 15 x 2.5

Mary Lou Alberetti, a mixed media artist, will be in a show at Blue Mountain Gallery that runs from Fe. 25 to March 21. Her art is a reverent echo to the architecture of the past and antiquity. Alberetti transports the viewer through time. We visit imaginary epochs through her architectural eye. She offers a plethora of possibilities as if each art work is a postcard from history. History reimagined. A dazzling amount of texture, from scraping, crackling, and fire from the kiln imbues each piece. She captures the wearing away that time creates with ceramics, oils, and collage using her material fearlessly. She restructures the old and lost ruins from the past, makes them new and beautiful again in her interpretation.

Alberetti crams much into each piece. We need to study it. Like a child discovering something new each time she looks at an image. One is enamored of the detail and energy of the work. In the piece titled, “Fractured” Alberetti creates the illusion of a building with an arched doorway and shows us how weather and time changes the places where we live. One imagines that some of her structures simulate rubble from a war or natural catastrophe. She rebuilds what has been broken, with resplendent effects and reconstructs it into an art work, a new home.

Alberetti has traveled to France, Spain, Turkey and Morocco. She knows design and demonstrates a Moroccan-Spanish influence in the work titled, “Muro Norte.” She creates a crackled frame with tinted blue swirls and in the center features a block that has the markings of Middle Eastern icons.

One is intrigued by how Alberetti creates her dimensional shapes and what techniques she uses with ceramics. In “The Rise And Fall of Empires” she lines up architectural shards askew as if we were watching a building fall, frozen in time. The windows suggest it might have been a palace and memorializes this into leaning shapes, covered in a crackled, beaten surface. One wants to touch these pieces, to sense their cragginess, to intuit the world she’s created.

The work titled, “Oneric” is another ceramic relief, abstract in composition with a compelling surface. A bold white, curved form is set off center between horizontally placed elements that look like punctured and pocked wood, or stone. It appears to be off kilter, yet the half moon shape asserts itself.

Alberetti is a master of technique with her aged surfaces. We travel with her in our imaginations to all those places in the world that influences her. One hopes she’ll keep creating such exquisite work. She might be issuing us a gentle warning. To protect our architecture, our history and to respect and celebrate this portant art form.

Mary Lou Alberetti – Blue Mountain Gallery – 530 West 25th Street, NYC  through March 21 bluemountaingallery.org

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