Monday, August 7, 2017

Elisa D'Arrigo

Shift into Orange, 2013, glazed ceramic, 7 x 14 x 10 inches

About the Work
These works are part of an ongoing series dating from 2010 in which the vase form is my point of departure. The dissolving and conflation of categories energizes me: sculpture, drawing, painting...and with this work, functionality. I seek the and, not the or.

My pieces begin as hollow, hand-built clay elements that I combine and manipulate in a period of intense improvisation: the clay is twisted, knotted, pinched, poked and crushed. Chance is implicit; clay can assert its properties in frequently unexpected ways. The “postures” that result allude to the body in a gestural or even visceral manner.  Although not representational, my works can evoke both tender and tough “beings”. Their animated corporeality pays homage to, and also unsettles the description (originating with the ancient Greeks) of the structure of the vase form as comprised of lip, neck, shoulder, body and foot.

I’ve always been drawn to art that becomes more fully itself when used; Bernini’s fountains speak more eloquently when animated by water, human interaction reveals architecture’s intent, the appearance of a Zapotec figurative censer was most likely dramatically transformed when copal smoke emerged from its orifices.

The configurations of my works suggest what may be placed inside – function both following and trying to catch up with form.  The viewer's action (real or imagined) of adding flowers is collaborative, furthering my embrace of chance processes while also introducing the possibility of a more intimate involvement between the work and the viewer: one involving touch and even domesticity. 

Quixote,  2011, glazed ceramic, 5.5 x 7 x 7 inches

Around the Bend (2), 2017, glazed ceramic

Twisted (4), 2014, glazed ceramic, 6 x 7 x 8 inches

About the Artist
Elisa D’Arrigo was born and raised in the Bronx. She received a BFA in Ceramics from SUNY New Paltz.  Her work has been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions. Selected solo shows include The High Museum of Art, Atlanta; PanAmerican ArtProjects, Dallas; David Beitzel Gallery and Luise Ross Gallery, both New York City; and nine exhibitions at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York City, which has been representing her work since the mid 1990s.

D’Arrigo’s work has been reviewed in various publications including The New York Times, Art in America, ArtNews, Sculpture, and The Partisan Review, and is represented in the collections of the High Museum of Art;  The Mead Art Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts; The Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Charlotte, North Carolina; The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, New York; and the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, N.C.

D’Arrigo has been a fellow at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colonies, and received grants from NYFA, The Ariana Foundation, and a work-space grant from the Dieu Donne Papermill. In 2013 she was a fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy.  She lives and works in New York City.