News & Exhibitions Uncategorized

La Storia


LA STORIA, exhibition view

Thrilled to show with Michelle and Laurie in Jersey City – La Storia – listed as one of AFC’s must see events

Elsa Morante’s seminal novel of Italian women and children’s experience and struggles during the Second World War, La Storia, provides both the theme and the title of the exhibition.   Like Morante, each of the artists in the exhibition is concerned with the dailyness of living and the ways in which seeming banal experiences come together over time to create meaning and even define a life. In all of the works selected, the artists’ reveal their interested in the ways pattern and repetition accumulate to create broader, more profound meaning.  Each too is concerned with the variety of women’s experience, choosing subjects or materials that are frequently casually and patronizingly defined as women’s interest.

The material and techniques of Vitale’s work-found fabrics, sewing, knitting and crochet-speak of women’s history and of the ways in which the discarded material of times of plenty become valuable in times of deprivation.  She draws on traditional woman’s skills and woman’s materials which she repurposes and recombines to create resonant works that have a texture, pattern, and meaning akin to that of obsessive drawings. ( )

Also employing minute attention to details of everyday domestic objects, Riccadonna’s oil paintings depict jigsaw puzzles with images of Nature Mort in various stages of completion and disarray.  The works in the exhibition specifically reference combinations of floral imagery that create puzzle bouquets, which simultaneously bloom and crumble as puzzles are pieced together and break apart. Irises, poppies, roses, shift like tectonic blocks as the bouquets are literally rearranged on the canvas. (

Mazza’s paintings also consider flowers and domestic life. Blooms in various stages of freshness and decay intertwine with the patterns of floral wallpapers, some derived from antique silk patterns by the 18 c. designer Anna Maria Garthwaite.  Painted from life, the fugitive beauty contrasts and combines with the stylized, zealous and synthetic life of the wallpaper flowers which often appear to be overtaking the living blooms.  Like Riccadonna’s and Vitale’s work these are paintings that present a form of beauty that is traditionally associated with the realm of women, but in the intensity of their imagining and creation, they also reveal the darkness that Morante described so perfectly. (