Chiaozza: Paper Pulp
January 20 - March 19, 2022
The newest series of paintings in Chiaozz’s solo exhibition are a celebration of color, gesture and form.
Chiaozza (Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao) infuse their work with a wonderful combination of whimsical collaboration and inspired color theory. Their practice has incorporated a number of materials and forms to date: sculptures and paintings made of formed paper pulp; painted wood lattices and mixed-media collages, to name a few.
Each work becomes a unique character, with quirky names that highlight their identity - most notably in the Lump Nubbin series. For this series, however, Chiaozza has chosen to focus on the brilliant colors themselves. The names are a pure description of colors, along with a categorization of gesture types: “Two Blue Green Sweeping Strokes In Egyptian Violet” for example, or “Luminous Orange Sweep In Pale Peach.”
At the heart of each work is the paper pulp that the artists make in their studio from collected scraps of paper from various sources. This allows them to keep sustainability central to their work, while also giving them control over formation. These are as much sculptural objects as they are paintings hanging on a wall. The forms one sees in the paintings are sometimes shaped by hand, sometimes with tools such as printing brayers: daubs, bows, dips, strokes, etc. The backs of each painting are coated with different, vivid complementary colors. These project a halo effect around the work on the wall, making the installation part of the artwork itself. This also pulls the viewer around the work, encouraging an examination of all aspects of the painting.
Also on display are two sculptures from the “Gemel” series, which was started during Chiaozza’s quarantine stay at a friend’s upstate apple farm. In forestry terms, Gemel refers to two trees that grow together. The sculptures reference tree and plant shapes, in the same way that their earlier Nubbin pieces vaguely referenced fantasy cactai. These sculptures, then, become a joyful celebration of cyclical transformations: plants that become paper that become artistic homages to plants.
Viewed together, the paper pulp paintings of Chiaozza are an inspiring jolt of playful alacrity, a boon for the heart and mind.