Rosemarie Fiore: ‘Pyrotechnics’


She has fashioned an amusement park ride with buckets of paint so that it would draw enormous colored loops, and she’s outfitted an Evel Knievel pinball machine with vellum, mapping the paths of oil-covered balls as she racked up points. So it’s no surprise to find Rosemarie Fiore in her Bronx backyard wearing a gas mask and stooped over clouds of yellow smoke: Now, she’s painting with fireworks. The adventurous Fiore has lately been taking explosives composed of colored particulates—smoke bombs, monster balls, and magic whips, to name a few—and setting them off inside buckets inverted on thick paper. The technique, no gimmick, produces circles of sulfuric color in gradations of intensity. Sometimes, magician-like, she’ll make strokes and streaks with sparkling fireworks tied to the end of a wand. She then collages the best effects onto large sheets of the same paper—creating works, exhibited for the first time here, that are like op art visions of the cosmos.

Vivid circles of different diameters, given dimension by their varied shading and multiple layers, appear as planets or moons in a crazy sky. Tube-shaped sections containing colored rings (cut from the trails the bucket makes when pushed in one direction) suggest shooting stars. Sooty crusts, where the surface burned, form black craters. Discarded matches and gunpowder marks float in the background like interstellar dust. It’s a wild ride to the outer limits of paint and paper.

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m. Starts: April 9. Continues through May 16, 2009

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