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Unending Beginnings
The graphic work of Marco Maggi

By Linda Weintraub

Marco Maggi reiterates beginnings devoid of endings. His progressions propel themselves toward infinite proliferations. In order to halt this relentless course, he arbitrarily selects the number 361 as his point of cessation. Three hundred and sixty one is a number that alerts us to its inconsequence by bypassing the tidy 360 of circular degrees, the periodic 365 of the annual calendar, and the convenience of logical divisions. He terminates each series once it attains this idiosyncratic summation.

His commencing points are equally arbitrary and equally revealing of the cosmography underlying this body of work. Maggi joins the exclusive society of seekers who have dared to contemplate the beginning of all beginnings. Some posit that beingness was launched by "the word". Others assert it was "the pulse", "the spark", "the breath". Maggi professes an alternative. His "in the beginning" ends with "the touch". The minuscule mark that initiates each suite implies this exalted act. Maggi´s action infers the instant when the spark of existence detaches itself from the inoperable void. His imprint parallels the origin of consciousness and actuality.

The majestic implications of this enactment are conveyed through works of art of such delicacy, they might vanish in the clamor of normal discourse if it were not the clarity of intention that inspires them.

Each work of art originates with a mark positioned at random in pencil on paper, or with an embossing tool on aluminum foil, or carved into a block of wood. These marks penetrate the surrounding spaces where they then proliferate further linear excursions. They expand exponentially. The width and depth of the lines are resolutely consistent when they are straight, uniform when they form curves, aligned when they constitute parallels. Maggi's manual mastery is honed by daily practice in which exercises precede rehearsal and rehearsal prefigures execution. Proficiency elevates the common act of drawing, enabling it to signify a grand conceptual scheme.

The filigree of lines that emerges resembles diagrams of plate tectonics, or microscopic images of DNA, or maps of city streets that evolved without the ordering principles of a master plan, or other non- geometric yet methodical phenomenon. Stripped of the distracting aspects of identifiable content, scale, and context, the work isolates the dynamic principles of form.

Each minuscule piece participates in Maggi´s cosmic chronicle. Various techniques are employed to achieve this dynamic expansion. In each instance, innumerable unique prints are generated from a common source. For example, sheets of paper are placed on different zones of a woodblock plate so that every print registers a separate aspect of the plate. Or an embossed sheet of aluminum foil is cut into a numerous units which are mounted and installed as individual works. Or a print is Xeroxed into ever larger formats. Or drawings are transferred onto sheets of self-adhering labels which are then framed as individual prints. The parts are never configured to resembled the original. In each instance, the integrity of the parent work as intentionally rejected.

For example , 1444 ( 4 X 361 ) prints and drawings are enclosed whitin standard, two-inch slide jackets. In some, details are asserted as totalities. In others, totalities submit to expansions and compartmentalizations. Viewers are provided the means to track each unit backwards to its inception, onwards to the propagation of offspring, and forwards to the genesis of new generations.

Through these means, works assume multiple positions in the organizational patterning of the universe. They are simultaneously variations on themes, fragments of wholes, distinct entities, and raw material for dissection and future orchestrations. Maggi's expansive extensions into time and space even present the state that precedes beginnings. Empty slide jackets and unmarked pieces of foil represent territories of pure waiting that the artist likens to "places in the brain that are not yet occupied by memory".

The conclusion to Maggi´s never-ending process dwells in its beginnings, whereby each new work reiterates the First Cause through the inviolable act of marking.