Lawrence Fane: Purifiers
November 1st, 2006, Zabriskie Gallery presents a book signing with Lawrence Fane, author of M.T./L.F.: A Sculptor’s Dialogue with Mariano Taccola, Fifteenth-Century Italian Artist-Engineer (Pont La Vue Press, Lake Placid, NY, 2006). Representative drawings and sculptures to accompany the book will be on display at Zabriskie Gallery from November 1st through December 2nd. The book and works present an imaginative dialogue of artistic invention between the author and Italian Renaissance man, Mariano Taccola.
Lawrence Fane’s fascination with scientific and artistic notation has taken the form of what he calls the “backwards influence” of Mariano Taccola. M.T./L.F. describes this interchange: Taccola’s notebooks leave clues to his engineering & decorative intentions, and, five centuries later, Fane interprets these within the context of his own work. The Purifier series re-works the puzzling geometries of the Renaissance engineer into modern “inventions,” whose function can only be guessed at. In festively-colored carved-wood, the cartoonish sculptures hint at a practical purpose, only to defy disclosure as to what that purpose might be. They present the same spirit of obscured form and dubious functionality as the codices of the Renaissance inventors. The colors and forms recall the Taccola’s diagrams, but their opacity insists that they remain merely decorative. Fane’s work, like Taccola’s, capitalizes upon the tension between description and decoration. With reverence and delight, Fane illuminates the shared goals and methods of artists and madcap inventors.
M.T./L.F.: A Sculptor’s Dialogue with Mariano Taccola, Fifteenth-Century Italian Artist-Engineer is available from Pont La Vue Press and contains 24 black and white reproductions and 18 color plates. An exhibition at the Italian Galleria Solaria Arte in Piacenza opens on November 19th to celebrate the publication of another of Fane’s books, Le machine inidadempienti di Lawrence Fane (The Unyielding Machines of Lawrence Fane) (Milano, Mazotta, 2006).
Born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1933, Lawrence Fane lives and works in New York City. Awards include the Rome Prize, the Ingram Merrill Foundation Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts, and membership in the National Academy of Design. His numerous one-person shows have been held at the Zabriskie Gallery, Marilyn Pearl Gallery, Bill Bace Gallery, and Kouros Gallery in New York as well as other venues in the United States, and he has participated continually in invitational group exhibitions in the United States and Italy. In 2002 the University of Richmond Museum and the Muscarelle Museum in Virginia collaborated on a twenty-five year retrospective of Fane’s work entitled Machines of the Mind.