Magazine article Artforum International

Giosetta Fioroni

Magazine article Artforum International

Giosetta Fioroni

Article excerpt

DRAWING CENTER

In 1964, American Pop art arrived in Italy with a bang. Claes Oldenburg, Jasper Johns, and Jim Dine showed at the Venice Biennale, and Robert Rauschenberg won the exhibition's Grand Prize, the first American ever to do so. That award process, accompanied by jury dissension and partisan maneuvering, set astir the art press, which saw in the laurel nothing less than a blow to European cultural hegemony administered by American imperialism. For its part, Italy's homegrown strain of Pop was sidelined, and has remained so in the decades since, by the dominance of Arte Povera in 1960s narratives. But before Rauschen berg's paintings graced the Giardini, a Roman cohort known as the School of the Piazza del Popolo had coalesced around a Pop aesthetic, one with only superficial affinities with its American, British, French, and German variants. Giosetta Fioroni was the lone woman in this group, and this engaging exhibition, which was her first solo presentation in North America and travels this fall to the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome, finds ready contexts in both the recent swell of attention (institutional and scholarly) to postwar Italian art and the latter-day reckoning with Pop's female exponents. Curated by Claire Gilman, with more than one hundred works in painting, drawing, photography, and film, as well as illustrated books and ephemera, the show makes a persuasive case for Fioroni's distinct take on image filtering and diffusion.

Fioroni's early efforts betray her first influences: Yves Klein shadows the trio of monochromes that opened the show, while a dozen drawings comprising glyphs and textual snippets conjure Cy Twombly, to whom she was close. Her "silver period," which gave the exhibition--"Giosetta Foroni: L'Argento"--its name and constitutes its core, began in the early '60s arid encompasses depictions of faces and figures, the preponderance female and solitary, rendered in aluminum enamel and graphite and set within ample fields of white. Many images were sourced from popular magazines, though the actress Elsa Martinelli, the same picture of whom engendered five works here, is the only identifiable personage. The others are rooted in found or family photographs, including a self-portrait of the pigtailed artist at age seven. These sources relay a certain poignancy, one accentuated by Fioroni's spare means (she called silver a "non-color") and by the isolation implied by her blank, expansive supports. Yet however affecting, such means are also agents of alienation, and Fioroni's subjects, chary of exposure, are often hard to actually see: Ragazza che piange (Crying Girl), 1960, has downcast eyes; Ragazza con occhiali (Girl with Glasses), 1965, is concealed behind dark spectacles; Bambino solo (Lone Child), 1968, turns his back. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.