Discuusion with Merrill Wagner

The first thing many audience notice when viewing Merrill Wagner’s works would be the massive color blocks and the materials they are made of. I thought the colors and the texture on each metal piece were added on by Merrill, as they all look somehow too embellished, it was interesting to learn that there were atually not as much intentional touch to the surface as I thought there were, as Lily explained, when Merrill is working in the studio, she and Joe would observe both of the natural and artificial patterns or damages that are already existing on the pieces before leaving paint on the surfaces. It it also fascinating to know that when people are moving these massive pieces of steels, as they are magnetic, sometimes they could create rather intense tension while being moved around, Lily describes them as ‘almost like a performance.’, I believe it would be inspiring to many of the viewers and peer artists if they actually film the process of moving and showcase the invisible tension between each piece.

Later during our class, Merrill mention that shehad manipulated the shape of those metals, and according to Lily and Merrill herself, in most cases they just went along with the original shape they came with, there were not many cuttings of shaping involves. It would be good for many of young artists today to adapt such sustainable approach like Merrill, and discover more approach from the natural form of our materials rather than solely consume and produce.

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