“That’s NOT marble! … You should just change the name of your show!” Roberto Mari’s “Marmo, Nuove Percezioni” an exhibition of photographs … … of marble opens amid controversy* in Pietrasanta’s Sala delle Grasce


*Ok, ok… not really a controversy. Really more of a good-old-fashioned polemic. In the first days since it opened, one viewer, a sculptor, after having seen the show of photographs by Roberto Mari, currently on view in the Sala delle Grasce, was seemingly audibly annoyed. They felt compelled to challenge the show… its name especially, directly to the artist.

“That’s not marble!” … “what are you trying to do? …you should change the name of the show! … because that’s NOT marble!”

Roberto Mari’s photographs of marble are just that: intimate, up-close and fantastic “new perceptions” of marble – each piece a saturated dream-like glance at shiny magic mirrors… veils, jagged microscopic structures. Each photograph taken in the marble quarries in the Apuane is a bewildering encounter of grain, cut-mark and break. The Sala delle Grasce, next door to the Sant’Agostino complex, vibrates shimmering hues and crazy abstract expressionist mirages – the room can barely contain the onslaught of the forms, the richness of the colors.

To some in the City of Art, Mari’s bold “new perceptions…” of marble are still “delusions.” Marble as “geography of thought…?” Cut stones as “diary of life?” To us, Mari gently pushes a very peculiar portrait of the marble in the water-stained and rusted cave walls as a magical voyage through time – and the local stone-cutter-industry’s loaded history.

Roberto Mari is an Italian photographer who lives and works in the Versilia area; he knows all the marble quarries and participates regularly in art exhibits on the national level and locally. The show is presented by the Assessorato alla Cultura del Comune di Pietrasanta and is curated by the Comitato Archivio Artistico Documentario Gierut.

Marmo, nuove percezioni.
Photographs by Roberto Mari
Sala delle Grasce – Sant’Agostino Complex
The show runs until March 11th and is FREE and open to the public.
Hours: from 4pm to 7pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am to 1pm and then from 4pm to 7pm.
Closed Mondays.

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