(October 2009) Spirited Italian artist Margherita Serra has a foible for marble girdles. Her creations express warmth, tenderness, fragility and sensitivity in Bianco Carrara, Rosa Portogallo and Noir Belge.
Stone is in her blood: Margherita Serra’s roots lie in the „Sassi di Matera” the rock of Matera, a very special place in the southernmost region of Italy. The historic Centre of Matera was hewn entirely in rock and served as dwelling in ancient times. Parts of the settlement are still in use to this very day.
Born in 1943 in Brescia, „city of sculptors“ as one historian described it, Serra completed college at the Liceo Artistico e l’Accademia delle Belle Arti in Carrara, followed by university studies in architecture at the Politecnico di Milano. Today the artist travels back and forth between her residencies in Brescia and in the marble city of Carrara, where she personally chooses „her block“ in the quarry with a picture in her mind’s eye as to what she will sculpt from it.
In Carrara, where Michelangelo and Canova once worked, Serra sculpts in the world-famous Nicoli workshop atelier. This is where art history comes alive – since the late 18th and early 19th century modern and contemporary artists the likes of Arturo Martini, Lorenzo Viani, Louise Bourgeois, Anish Kapoor and Antoine Poncet have worked there. Nicoli has all the tools needed to fill the raw stone block with energy and spirit and give it the certain feminine je-ne-sais-quoi, which distinguishes all of Margherita Serra’s works of art.
She has received several commissions from her home town of Brescia, notably for the monument honouring concentration camp victims, the „Monumento ai Caduti nei Lager“ in the Via Vittorio Veneto in Brescia (1979).