Mary Pola’s art is conceived and created in a machine shop, in close contact with a traditional working environment. Her medium is iron and corten steel, and her tool is the welding machine that transforms plate in a quest for shape that defies the material’s rigidity.

The artist’s tireless hands work incessantly to convert plate, scrap iron and old oil drums and give the materials new meaning. In her wall pieces, she hammers, smoothes, and faces the metal and then stretches it on frames – that are also metal – achieving an effect that seems as light as canvas.

This contrast between the weight of the material and the visual effect makes it impossible not to comment on the main aspect of her work: the constant tension between opposites and the ambiguity it can create. The weight of the material, and the weightless light that streams through it. Open spaces in the material interrupt its stillness and allow the gaze to wander through and penetrate it.

And so we can understand why Mary Pola elected steel as her basic medium. The metal’s intrinsic nature presents two different, practically opposing faces. One the one hand we have the strong, smooth, shiny and impenetrable side, and on the other the fragile surface that oxidizes, and reveals the passage of time in the warm tones of rust.

The artist uses oxidation to emphasize the differences: she defies the material’s strength with welds as precise as surgical sutures, or uses brilliant surface tre- atments that make the metal smooth and immune to any form of contamination. Shapes and surfaces describe dynamics in motion, instants of instability create an infinity of subjective and imaginary patterns that can adapt to any gaze. And then, the oxidized portions evoke inner desert landscapes, abandoned corners of the subconscious.

It is an essential, poor and – I could say commonplace – esthetic that succeeds in combining the sense of effort, and a feeling of lightness, the manual diligence and an ethic of compatibility. These aspects are even more evident in the three-dimensional sculptures where the manipulation of the materials makes way for formal research and welding is transformed from trompe l’oeilinto a virtuoso secret.

Mary Pola was born in Sardinia in 1975. She lives and works in Umbria, Italy.

Among the main solo exhibitions we can mention: 2016 OPUS & LIGHT – anno XVIII° MADONNA del POZZO, Spoleto, (PG), IT; 2012 Clashes, Carlotta Testori Studio, Milano, IT; 2010 Mary Pola for ERG, Palazzo Nicosio Lomellino, Genova, IT; Rolly Days. Arte Contemporanea nei palazzi storici della città, Genova, IT; MEMORIES, Installazione audiovisiva con barili, Genova, IT; nel 2006 Mary Pola/Armando Moriconi, doppia personale, Flash Art Museum of Contemporay Art, Trevi (PG), IT.

Among the main group exhibitions we can mention: 2016 MISERICORDIA | Il Sacro nell’arte contemporanea, Museo Diocesano e Capitolare, Foligno (PG), IT; 2014  Premio Arte Mondadori, Permanente di Milano, Milano, IT; Ricognizione – Arte Contemporanea in Umbria, Centro Internazionale Arte Contemporanea, Foligno (PG), IT; MISA – Ipotesi Dinamica, Museo Archeologico nel Complesso di S.M.Arcangelo, Montecelio (RM), IT; IO e Michelangelo, Accademia Delle Arti Del Disegno/ Accademia Delle Belle Arti, Firenze, IT; ARTOUR-O il MUST, in città, Firenze, (FI), IT; 2013 8° VIAGGIATORI sulla FLAMINIA – Arcadia, Mente, Corpo & Paesaggio, MAD Umbria Museum, Trevi (PG), IT; 2007 Colori e immagini dell’Italia, Beijing World Art Museum, Beijing, CH; 2006 Taormina Biennale Visiva, Plalazzo Corvaja, Taormina (ME), IT.

MARY POLA | CV

Mary Pola was born in Sardinia in 1975. She lives and works in Umbria, Italy.

Education

2001 Accademia delle Belle Arti di Firenze

2000 Accademia di Belle Arti di Sassari

Awards

2014 Selezionata al concorso “Premio Arte Mondadori”

2014 Selezionata al concorso internazionale “MISA”

2006 Primo Premio Internazionale “Taormina Biennale Visiva”

2004 Selezionata al concorso nazionale “Pagine Bianche D’Autore”

Solo exhibitions

2012 Mary Pola| Clashes, Carlotta Testori Studio, Milano, IT

2010 Mary Pola for ERG, Palazzo Nicolosio Lomellino, Genova, IT

Rolli Days. Arte contemporanea nei palazzi storici della città, Genova, IT

MEMORIES installazione di barili di petrolio e audio, Genova, IT

Group exhibitions

2014 Premio Arte Mondadori, alla Permanente di Milano, Milano, IT

2014 Ricognizione – Arte Contemporanea in Umbria, CIAC, Foligno (PG), IT

MISA – Ipotesi Dinamica, Museo Archeologico nel Complesso di S.M.Arcangelo, Montecelio (RM),IT

IO e MICHELANGELO, Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Accademia delle Belle Arti, Firenze, IT

ARTOUR-O il MUST, Interior, nel Parco, Villa La Vedetta, Villa Fani, in Città – Firenze, IT

2013 8° VIAGGIATORI Sulla FLAMINIA-Arcadia: mente, corpo&paesaggio, MAD, Trevi (PG),IT

2012 Giorni Felici a Casa Testori, Associazione Testori, Novate Milanese (Mi), IT

2007 Segni dei cieli – Segni dell’uomo, Palazzo Comunale, Spello (PG), IT

Colori e immagini dall’Italia, Beijing World Art Museum, Beijing, CH

2006 Mary Pola/Armando Moriconi, Flash Art Museum of Contemporany Art, Trevi (PG), IT

Taormina Biennale Visiva, Palazzo Corvaja, Taormina (ME), IT

Amori Imperfetti, Spazio Contemporaneo Jerico, Perugia, IT

Lavori Presso Istituzioni Pubbliche

2015 Progetto Opera, Compagnia di Navigazione “Messina” (GE), IT

2014 Progetto Scultura Monumentale, MISA Guidonia Montecelio (RM), IT

2013 Progetto Scultura Monumentale, Piazza del comune di Calangianus (SS), IT

2009 Progetto Opera, Società Petrolifera “ LUKoil ”, Moscow, RUS

2009 Progetto Opera, Società Petrolifera “ ERG “, Genova, (GE), IT

Workshop

2013 2° Festival della Rigenerazione Urbana – Relazioni, Rosarno (RC), IT