a work by Mauro Manetti

Works of contemporary artist Mauro Manetti will be featured in an exhibition that runs Jan. 16 through March 7 in Griffith Gallery on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - An exhibition that runs Jan. 16 through March 7 in Griffith Gallery on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University will feature works of contemporary artist Mauro Manetti.

Presented by the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Art, "Mauro Manetti, Harmonium, Selected Works" will include prints, opaque watercolors, drawings and digital images of the artist's sculptures and mosaics. The exhibition is sponsored in part by the Friends of the Visual Arts and the Nacogdoches Junior Forum.

Rejecting the mechanically detached aspects of conceptual art, Manetti seeks to reconcile science and belief through art, according to Dr. David Lewis, professor of art history at SFA. Manetti seeks to renew the traditional emphasis on spirituality and poetic expression in his work, Lewis explained.

"The poetic and spiritual dimensions of his work are expressed metaphorically; he uses fragmentary imagery to represent incompleteness, partial knowledge and mystery," Lewis said. "Often, the image suggests something outside the field of view, so that the viewer is encouraged to imagine what the 'missing pieces' of a larger unseen image might look like."

One of a series of exhibitions exploring the role of spirituality in contemporary art, this exhibition demonstrates the renewed vitality of traditional aesthetic concerns and overlooked mediums (such as mosaics and watercolors) for contemporary art practice.

"Part of my work is to reclaim something - the relationship of the art sphere to the sacred," Manetti said. "Especially in the constellations (mosaics), I am reclaiming this connection by reconstructing the stars as flowers."

Manetti is "both 'artist-as-seeker' and 'artist-as-maker,'" Lewis said. "He seeks spiritual substance and poetic force."

While the exhibition opens Jan. 16, a reception will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, making it possible for the artist, who lives in Florence, Italy, to be in attendance.

All SFA art exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.

Griffith Gallery is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. For additional information, call (936) 468-1131.