Rage Correctly
by Michelle Holzapfel


Artist/Designer: Michelle Holzapfel
b. 1951, Woonsocket, RI
Title: Rage Correctly, 2009
Medium: Basswood, gold leaf, copper wire
Dimensions: 25" x 14" x 2" 
Details: Carved and shaped from a single piece of basswood. May be hung on a wall vertically or horizontally or displayed on a horizontal surface. Signed on the back: rage correctly, michelle holzapfel, "basswood" 2009, marlboro, vermont
Notes from the Archive: This piece represents a significant masterwork for Michelle Holzapfel, referencing the historical carved work that she most admired -- those of Grinling Gibbons, the English master, and the elaborate altarpieces of Renaissance Germany. The delicate coloration on the basswood is achieved through multiple techniques including scorching, pyrography, and bleaching. It is a stunning trompe l’oeil assemblage carved from a single plank. 
Holzapfel shared her thoughts and inspiration with us. "This work is simply a collection. I tapped into the power of chance, rummaged through my library, sketchbooks, picture albums. I chose a postcard from Assisi, an anatomical diagram, Martin Schongauer’s The Temptation of St. Anthony, Karl Blossfeldt’s botanical photography, a map, a notebook, a stamp, a list. Smooth and rough, light and dark, old and new, known and unknown all rub up against each other on their quilt. One ‘key’ that I offer the viewer is the carved facsimile of a poster for a 1924 show of Kurt Schwitters’s collages. Schwitters used found candy wrappers, train tickets, and other refuse gathered from city streets. He spoke of using each element for its particular eigengift— or ‘individual poison", its characteristic tang.  
As I rummaged through my shelves, I discovered a page in an old college notebook with the cryptic message: ‘rage correctly.’ It took me some time to track its origin to a book by Edgar Wind, Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance, which I paraphrase here. Plato considered the ‘ancient’ Dionysian rites as vulgar superstition. He declared that the ‘new’ philosophy was a mystical initiation of another kind, which achieved by conscious inquiry the cleansing of the soul, the welcoming of death, and the power to enter into communion with the Beyond: the ability to ‘rage correctly’." We are proud to present this extraordinary work of an American master -- an intellectual, technical and aesthetic tour-de-force. 
Shipping Notes: Free shipping included in the continental US. Please contact us for international shipping arrangements.
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