Equivalent to today’s online signatures, stamped seals or reign marks on porcelain vases symbolized power, identity, and provenance in ancient China. In the Reign Marks painting series, fragmented Moroccan tile patterns drawn from Byzantine/Islamic patrimony, themselves symbols of perpetuity and power, are re-interpreted into repeating “stamps” of empirical distinction.
The Reign Marks series was completed in the Fes Medina, Morocco while accompanying my husband, David Packer on his Fulbright Scholar Research Grant. The series was first exhibited at Le Cube Gallery in Rabat, Morocco and later premiered in New York at a solo exhibition, Blues For Allah, at Heskin Contemporary in 2014. The exhibition title, Blues For Allah is borrowed from the 1975 Grateful Dead album honoring the progressive, democratically inclined King Faisal of Saudi Arabia – also a Grateful Dead fan – who was murdered in that same year. The paintings link simple, beautiful patterns of mixed cultural origin as the Arab World continues its seismic journey of political, religious and social reform. Timeless tropes of architecture, design and decoration are subverted to reflect on nationalist, spiritual quests inherent in the world’s globalized cacophony of cultures and religions.
MARGARET LANZETTA is an artist using abstract, culturally-significant pattern to explore post modern conditions of fragmentation, migration and cultural hybridity. While New York-based, Lanzetta has lived and worked in India, Syria, Japan, Italy, Morocco, Singapore and Thailand. Thus, global influences of Buddhism, textiles, nature and world politics are sources of inspiration. Lanzetta has exhibited in New York at the Museum of Modern Art, the Queens Museum Biennial, Kenise Barnes Fine Art, and Elizabeth Heskin Gallery. Recent international exhibitions: the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India; the National Museum, Bangkok (pop-up exhibition); 2nd Bloom, Singapore; Famous Ornament, Tokyo; Reign Marks, Rabat, Morocco; Rome, ATP Gallery, London; and the Stockholm Independent Art Fair. Awards include three Fulbright Fellowships: an inaugural Global Flex to India/Singapore/Thailand, 2016-19; MESA Fellowship India /Syria, 2007-8; and Fulbright-Hays to Germany in 1990. Residencies include MacDowell (3x), the Ucross Foundation; the British Academy in Rome; Greenwich House Pottery; Dieu Donné; and a NYC subway MTA Commission. Lanzetta received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in NY. Her works are held in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Yale University Museum; and the Harvard Museums. Her work has been covered in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, ArtCritical.com, Two Coats of Paint, The Hindu National, the Kerala Review, the New Indian Express, and several other online/print venues. Lanzetta divides her studio time between NY and various international cities.