Mary Mattingly reviewed in Hyperallgeric

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Mary Mattingly’s Poetry of Things

By Louis Bury

Mattingly makes the case that poetry is precisely what’s missing from mainstream responses to anthropogenic climate change.

The title of Mary Mattingly’s fourth solo exhibition at Robert Mann gallery, Because For Now We Still Have Poetry, has, like the artwork in the show, more than a touch of poetry. The title’s “for now” pointedly conveys the show’s twin strains of ecological optimism and pessimism, but its invocation of “poetry” is more mysterious. Among the world’s resources imperiled by climate change, poetry would seem to rank far down the list for most people. Yet Mattingly’s work makes the case that our capacity for poetry, writ large — what the ancient Greeks called poiesis, or imaginative creation — is precisely what’s missing from mainstream aesthetic, political, and cultural responses to anthropogenic climate change.

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