“My textures don’t have specific meanings; they work like hangers. They are open texts to open readers. The textures are pre-textuals and textiles. They are not pretexts for aesthetic decorations,” the native of Uruguay and resident of the New Paltz area says of what he does. “Textures and surfaces are previous texts and at the same time seeds of text or fossil texts waiting for meanings. Depending on the viewer, the textures become science fiction of the past or archaeology of the future, technological or biological. My references are pre-Columbian and post-Clintonian.”
Like Tim Hawkinson’s witty works, with a deeper lyricism, Maggi works with a wild assortment of materials, from Plexiglas-and-paper objects, altered rulers and straightedges and aluminum-foil drawings to dropped-paper works, video projections and a new, large-scale installation work in the Dorsky’s vast west galleries. And while based in both New Paltz – where he got his MFA in 1998 – and the New York City art world, where he’s a considerable risen star, his work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America.
“Our world is full of signs that we cannot understand: new circuits, old alphabets, atoms, dolmens, cells, biologic or urban fabrics, encrypted messages, mutant viruses,” he says. “We are condemned to know more and understand less; it’s not a contradictory process, it’s a semiotic indigestion.”
Combined with the eye-opening second part of the “Illustrious Mr. X” show of Dorsky works across the hall, it makes for a great museum experience: mind- and aesthetic-expanding. The Maggi opening takes place this Friday, February 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the museum on the SUNY-New Paltz campus. For further information, including hours, call (845) 257-3844 or visit www.newpaltz.edu/museum.