The 2015 New York residency was peppered with visits to the finest collections and museums, punctuated by top shelf galleries and exhibition. The crowning jewel of the week, however, was cohort 13’s visit to Simonetta Moro’s rooftop artist’s studio in DUMBO.
While I had listened to her artist lecture expertly delivered in Spannocchia last summer, and thus, was somewhat familiar with her oeuvre, seeing the visual manifestations of her ideas emerging in present moment was a truly treasured delight. It was a particularly frigid January day so as we filed one by one into the space, we were welcomed not only by warmth but also by a variety of works in progress and a powerfully apparent artist’s practice that literally came to life before our eyes. Some familiar and predictable objects occupied the space. An easel. Drafting tables. Brushes, pencils, fixatif and paint. Amidst books and art materials, layers of vellum revealed topographical studies of various places Dr. Moro has called home.
Her command of line and color, texture and history is impressive. Her studies are detailed, thoughtful and visually rich. She infuses her knowledge of place and its ever-shifting boundaries into works that speak to the continuum of time. Her art recognizes the shifting contours and alterations of history while articulating the amorphous relationship of past and present. It is simultaneously intriguing and intelligent. Just about everyone wandered from drawing to artwork, looking at the layers of paper and delicate details.
In a very real way, hearing Dr. Moro speak of her process and the evolution of her ideas was to understand the ethos of IDSVA. The history of ideas and poetry of place come together in harmony, infusing her space with a depth and potency that is uncommon. I would gladly return to her studio any day.