Marrilyn Duzy

 Artist Statement

The Language Palimpsest Series is a continuation of the earlier Language and Cosmic series (you can see examples from all these works on my web site). The Palimpsest title comes from my process of sanding and effacing the bottom layers, leaving faint remnants and traces behind. In all three mixed-media series, I’ve combined cosmic imagery, sacred geometry, universal signs and symbols. I’ve also added another love of mine—quotations on creation and the cosmos—as a way of highlighting the beauty of the graphic elements of each language.

The Language Palimpsest works include the ancient writing systems of cuneiform, hieroglyphics, Aramaic and Sumerian as well as languages from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North American Indians. In all three series, I am exploring the different kinds of communication from the earliest cave paintings to our modern writing systems and symbols.

In working on these series, I began to think about how it would be to communicate with other intelligent beings in our vast universe and what elements would be the same. If we are subject to and bound by the laws of physics in our known universe, then wouldn’t all entities be likewise bound and would they also use signs and symbols?

The Language and Cosmic series are a marriage between my spiritual side, our creation myths and my interest in the universe with its galaxies, stars, quarks and quasars. Since growing up in the San Fernando Valley, I have been fascinated and enchanted by our night sky. This has prompted my love of astronomy and the cosmos.


1988 MFA Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA
1979-82 Studies with Vern Wilson
1975 Studies Lithography Workshop, Santa Reparata, Florence, Italy
1974 BA California State University, Northridge


Merrilyn Duzy is an artist first and foremost. She is also a teacher, lecturer, curator and art collector. Her formal art education culminated with an MFA from Otis Art Institute. Her informal education includes extensive travel, ongoing arts advocacy and research for her lectures: “Walking Through History: Women Artists Past and Present,” “Symbols, Signs and Space: A Personal Journey,” and “Sex in History: A Pictorial View” (her most recent lecture, which encompasses 5,000 years of erotic art).

Duzy has a wide-ranging exhibition record that includes galleries and museums in the cities of Tampa Bay, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Her artworks have also been exhibited in Armenia, China, Israel, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Solo shows include paintings based on cosmic imagery, erotica, landscapes, portraits and women artists.

As a curator, she has organized and presented Autobiographies, Erotic Visions and Three Up-Stairs. She has co-curated Erotica ’88, Quarks to Quasars and Angels, Ancestors and Spirit Guides.

Duzy served as president of Southern California Women’s Caucus for Art from 1980-82 and was founder and past president of the Florida West Coast chapter. She also served on the national Women’s Caucus for Art board from 1984-89 and was a board member of the College Art Association (CAA) committee on Women in the Arts.

Duzy was creator and moderator for the national Women’s Caucus for Art’s “Feisty Women” panel and panelist for “Feisty Women II.” She was also a speaker on the “Galaxies, Black Holes, Dark Matter” panel for the 1996 CAA conference in Boston.

She is listed in Who’s Who In American Art, International Leaders in Achievement and the recently published book by Barbara J. Love, Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975, in addition to many other publications.

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