Lœss, mass noun.
GEOL. A loosely compacted yellowish deposit of wind-blown sediment. Generally calcareous and fertile. Such deposits occur in many regions of the globe: China, central Europe, the Rhine valley, North America, Argentina.
Created when in residency in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, Marion Verboom’s last work, Loess, is a set of seven volumes showing the extensibility of her subject regarding process and organic data, as well as passing and marks. Stemming from a field of inspiration embracing Ann Truitt associating with the baroque world, Borges and Caillois, this artwork expresses the different stages, variations and options of a sculptural becoming shaped into columns of complementary heights and dimensions, for which the open layout fosters infinite possibilities. This infinite aspect is reflected, among others, through the different textures experimented by the artist: matt, glossy, dried out, golden brown, enamelled or not. “The layout of the pieces, stresses Verboom, varies, depending on the exhibition premises. The stake of such an installation is to being able to offer several suggestions, to play with colours and shades of light. The artworks can be moved closer to one another, so that the installation is not penetrated, or on the contrary, scattered within the show space in order to walk around each modules.” For the Primo Piano installation, the artist arrested on an intermediate option: the artwork can be penetrated although giving the feeling that it constitutes a compact set, crossed by narrow passageways. This, to constantly remind us of the vulnerability of the piece, but also that of the ones encouraged to strive through. In fact this work only exists in regard of the possibilities it generates via a dialogue, the spectator having no other choice but to move around it in order to seize, fragment after fragment, a whole, which, in fine, he will never be able to catch. In this regard, Verboom inscribes herself within a tradition which, if only compared to contemporary times, has, from Robert Morris to Richard Serra, marked sculpture by an anisotropic dimension.
Erik Verhagen – Art historian and art critic