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View of “Helen Mirra,” 2013. From left: Arizonan Sonoran Desert, January 6, 2012; Arizonan Sonoran Desert, January 9, 2012; Arizonan Sonoran Desert, January 10, 2012. From the series “Hourly Directional Field Notations,” 2011–.

Helen Mirra

Galleria Raffaella Cortese | Via Stradella 7

View of “Helen Mirra,” 2013. From left: Arizonan Sonoran Desert, January 6, 2012; Arizonan Sonoran Desert, January 9, 2012; Arizonan Sonoran Desert, January 10, 2012. From the series “Hourly Directional Field Notations,” 2011–.

Some rectangles of raw linen hanging on the walls made up one part of this solo show by American artist Helen Mirra. Creases in the canvases revealed that they had been folded numerous times, like maps. And maybe they are something like that. They belong to a series called “Hourly Directional Field Notations,” begun in 2011; the ones on view were created in Arizona in January 2012, during one of the many nature expeditions the artist has organized since 2010. Of course, you could never find your way through the desert with these works, and what appears on the fabric surfaces are not precise directions but visual annotations of movement through a landscape, a kind of travel journal. Before going out in the field, the artist makes two rough stitches at the bottom of the linen to mark south. Then, while walking, she chooses stones along the way, inking them with green pigment, and

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