Priska C. Juschka Fine Art is pleased to present Artificiere, Rosemarie Fiore’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Fiore continues her practice of using fireworks as her sole medium to create works on paper and, most recently in addition, glass sculptures by uniquely utilizing fireworks and smoke bombs for her work and compositions.
By referring to the Italian word artificiere for ‘pyrotechnician,’ Fiore points out that the first gunpowder and fireworks specialists were considered artful masters of a rare trade. Ars the Latin noun for ‘art and skill’ andficere or facere the Latin verbs for ‘creating and making’ extrapolates Fiore’s intent. “I control my mark making as much as I can. I keep in mind that it is a balance between chaos and control and that too much control suffocates the work.”
Applying and adding a new method, Fiore cuts and slices into layers of paper, then ignites the fireworks and smoke bombs in between the paper folds. The effect, similar to a Rorschach test, creates a mirrored pattern within the entire composition, produced by fireworks randomly exploding over the paper, sometimes contained and/or loosely dragged over the surface with both metal and plastic canisters in various sizes.
Fiore’s introduction of glassworks expands her repertoire by sculpture combined with the method of pyrotechnics, resulting in a series of Smoke Domes, blown glass with smoke bombs, sandwiched between two gathers of malleable clear glass at 2200 degrees, whereby the smoke bombs “breathe” bubble-like forms of glass, opal and gunmetal in color, for Fiore “mini-explosions contained in glass.”
The artificer (English), a typically male mythological figure with exceptional powers in fantasy games, cartoons and animation also refers to Fiore’s determination to blur the gender lines often implied with the term and the task. The craft of controlling gunpowder and fireworks was highly regarded, first in battle, and then for celebratory occasions only entrusted to a few chosen men who had proven their expertise beyond doubt. By choosing this medium and making it entirely her own, Fiore has demonstrated that the control of fireworks can be as “artificial” as the connotation of being fantastical, chimerical, hallucinatory and as it must have occurred to the spectators of the first fireworks, marveling over the magical touch of the artificiere and his imaginative display.
Rosemarie Fiore was born in 1972 in Mount Kisco, NY and currently lives and works in New York City. She received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL and her BA from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Fiore’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions in the United States and abroad including Art on Paper 2010 Biennial Exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC (2010); Fire Works, Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ (2010); Pyrotechnics, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York, NY (2009); and Anthem, Longwood Art Gallery, The Bronx Council on the Arts, Bronx, NY (2009). Fiore has been selected for the NYFA Fellowship in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts, New York, NY (2009); the BRIO Grant, Bronx, NY (2009); the Yaddo Residency, Saratoga Springs, NY (2007); the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Program, New York, NY (2003); the Special Editions Fellowship, Lower East Side Print Shop, New York, NY (2002); Artist in the Marketplace, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY (2001), the Workspace Grant, Dieu Donné Papermill, New York, NY (2001); and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Fellowship, Skowhegan, ME (1999).