It is a pleasure to engage with the beautiful intricacies of Merrill Shatzman’s woodcuts. Their dense textual patterning hint at a secret, ancient language, one that knows no borders and can be accessed by all. Through a subtle marriage of process with carefully selected matrixes, the tactility and lusciousness of Shatzman’s surfaces weave a visual web that is instantly engaging.
While these images seem to represent hieroglyphs of forgotten civilizations, they also allude to very current events, with calligraphic markings that are sometimes readable, more often not, small clues to lead us into the labyrinthian construction of Shatzman’s message. Following the trail, both our intellectual and aesthetic interests are piqued and the experience, to be quietly savored, is dense and rich with possibilities. The work is filled with a sense of mystery, yet rewards us with tangible insights into the artist’s sustained interests in philosophy, religion, mysticism, linguistics, and humanistic inquiry.
Shatzman has been the recipient of numerous grants and has exhibited widely. She is represented in major collections, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Boston Public Library, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Milwaukee Museum of Art. We are delighted to have this opportunity to show her work here.
Nancy E. Green
The Gale and Ira Drukier Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs