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Marialuisa Tadei: Octopus

Octopus (Polipo) 2011 is a key example of Tadei’s use of mosaic to elevate tangible forms into a more ethereal realm.

By ornamenting the surface of the heavy steel and concrete structures with hand cut glass, the sculptures are transformed into active, enlivened bodies. The movement of natural light around the sculptures adds a mystical presence and energy to the forms.

Mosaic is an ancient technique that is commonly associated with Byzantine art and Medieval art and architecture. Although it is a historic medium, Tadei employs mosaic within a contemporary context to explore nature and the modern human experience. She draws comparisons between the small squares of glass used in mosaic and electronic pixels, the basic element of a digital image.