Rosemarie Fiore: Fireworks

Summer 2012 Exhibition
May 24–July 29, 2012

Curated by Ashley Kistler, Anderson Gallery Director

The gallery will feature a scintillating array of Bronx-based artist Rosemarie Fiore’s recent Firework Drawings, as well as a selection of her Smoke Domes, the latest of which were created this spring in collaboration with students from VCU’s glass program.

Fiore employs unconventional, process-oriented methods of production—most spectacularly, a spinning amusement-park ride called a Scrambler that she equipped with buckets of paint—to explore the tension between unpredictable and premeditated elements in her artwork. “I control my mark-making as much as I can,” she notes. “I keep in mind that it is a balance between chaos and control and that too much control suffocates the work.” Fiore’s interest in chance and performative aspects of art-making align her efforts with those of various modern and postmodern predecessors, including John Cage and 1960s performance artists like Vito Acconci and Chris Burden.

To render her densely layered and opulently colored Firework Drawings, Fiore uses the tinted smoke, made of fine particles of organic dyes, generated by live fireworks. Working in her backyard, she explodes each combustible item over large sheets of heavyweight Fabriano paper. Fiore performs her own brand of action painting as she quickly moves around the work-in-progress, manipulating her volatile medium in different ways. She may cover the ignited firework with a container, for instance, that she then pulls or pushes across the paper support to make vibrant streaks and circles of color. Extending this approach into three dimensions with her recent Smoke Domes, Fiore “blows” glass by inserting Smoke Bombs into the molten material, which then expands with each mini-explosion.

Fiore wrests an impressive repertoire of other gestural and chromatic effects from her arsenal of Spinning Carnations, Monster Balls, Magic Whips, Rings of Fire, Smoke Fountains, Dinosaur Eggs, and Sparklers. Her multiphase process yields exhilarating large-scale compositions in which color and drawing, surface and space dynamically coalesce.


Rosemarie Fiore 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; Fire Works, Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ; Pyrotechnics, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York, NY; 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; the BRIO Grant, Bronx, NY; the Yaddo Residency, Saratoga Springs, NY; the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Program, New York, NY; the Special Editions Fellowship, Lower East Side Print Shop, New York, NY; 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.