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" of the grand art forms of all time."


"Black, black, black, black
Black, black, black
I go back to
I go back to..."
- Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson 2007
"Back to Black"

I find black a restful emptiness into which anything may emerge and disappear again. Its mystery provides a sense of potential and possibility. Black is the end, but the end always implies a new beginning. When the light appears, black becomes white, the color of new beginnings.

The First Nations thought black was good because it was the color of soil, which gives life.

Many years ago, I had a Greek friend who thought of chaos as the beginning - the space from which all flows.

And for me, my years in the darkroom gave me the experience of watching images come up from a void.


The seasons circle and the end is the beginning. The winter, or here Largo, is a dormancy where the temporary rest leads to the eruption of energy in the spring, Allegro. I refer to summer as Presto because summer always seems to go too fast. The cycle ends with Adagio, the slowing and fullness of the autumn and harvest.

The four Italian words in the title of this show come from Western classical music where they describe the tempo and mood of a composition. These words are in Italian, because 17th & 18th century composers, who first employed this vocabulary were Italian.

In 1723, Antonio Vivaldi composed 4 violin sonatas together called The Four Seasons, which is today one of the most popular pieces of Baroque music.

Meet Mary Shisler
Artist's Reception
Saturday, October 15th
6 to 8 pm
open to the public, free of charge, accessible

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mary shisler

Allegro Presto Adagio Largo

October 15 to November 26, 2011
Reception Saturday October 15
6 to 8pm

2235 Fifth Street, Berkeley, California

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About Mary K. Shisler

My artist's life has been a series of polygamous and sometimes monogamous relationships with various media from dancing and theatre to the MFA in costume design, to painting, to photograph and from there to the alternative processes of photography, and back.

I spent my undergraduate years with political science and French, both really quite useful for the budding artist. Now I spend time gardening, which stimulates sets of images; gardening itself being one of the grand art forms of all times. The subtle touches of texture and color as well as form and shape always titillate me. I need to touch. And I gravitate towards media that allow that tactile desire.

Primarily a photographer, Mary K. Shisler takes inspiration from classical, botanical and film sources to create unique and creative works of art that express their subject in unorthodox ways. She also makes necklaces and earrings with African trade beads as well as other beads.


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