Maria Pergay's "Secret Garden"

"Now I have been slightly shy, & I can smell a pinch of hope,
to almost have allowed once fingers to stroke. The fingers I was given to touch with.

But careful, careful.  There lies my passion, hidden.
There lies my love, I'll hide it under a blanket, Lull it to sleep" (here)

Pouf Ruban / Ribbon Pouf Bronze, 2007 Bronze tinted stainless steel

Last month while in New York, I was eager to see the latest works of Maria Pergay.  Her show, "The Secret Garden" was on display at a 2nd floor decorative arts gallery in Chelsea, Demisch Danant. For this show, Pergay created a garden of carefully crafted delicate and brutal forms in copper and steel resting heavily on top of raw planks of pine wood.   Hundreds of beautiful copper leaves reflected a manic New York skyline, and minimal steel consoles were ripped open to show a world bustling with life, as if to allude to new beginnings.  There is a tender and delicate hand to these works that is balanced by the blatant materiality of steel Pergay has chosen to obsess over.  I imagine where these furniture works will venture to next, to a collector who will rests on Pergay's fabulously sensual Ribbon Pouf 2007, gazing into voids, and feeling the warmth, or the chill of stainless steel.  

At 82 years of age, Maria Pergay continues to create these forms, as if to tell a personal story of an artist's escape, through works of furniture and forms.  A dedication to steel, a fascination with making steel become soft, sinous, and alluring.  

These are works that begged to be touched.  But only briefly. - David John

All photos taken by Fran Parente for You Have Been Here Sometime

Cabinet Jardin Secret / Secret Garden Cabinet, 2012 Stainless steel, bronze

Siena's Coiffeuse, 2013 bronze, copper

detail of Bronze Tree , 2013 bronze, handmade patinated copper leaves

All photos taken by Fran Parente for You Have Been Here Sometime
Thank you Fran!