Untitled, 2015, acrylic and carbon on canvas, 72 x 72 inches
The recent paintings of Fabrizio Gerbino are a convergence of the artist’s surroundings and a honed process of working with the single and basic element, carbon. Working out of a former church-turned-studio on the edge of the “steel city” of Pittsburgh, Gerbino’s vision is unparalleled and stunning, as he painstakingly applies a mixture of gesso and carbon in a series of lines on stretched canvas paintings. These large-scale pieces represent an incredible undertaking by the artist. For the viewer, the works deliver timely moments of profundity, while grasping the complexity of each piece that has been realized from the essential, or the core. The often breathtaking paintings are visually poetic, as Gerbino pays homage to the origin of drawing itself, the line, combined with the primary medium of carbon. The results are ethereal, atmospheric works of intense aesthetic quality.
One also presents the artist’s site-specific installation, Purge. With mathematical precision, he creates an entire wall of object-pairings featuring similar yet unique forms, all based on found objects that had been discarded from a ceramic workshop in Florence years ago. The original sources "slept" in his studio for years, recently finding new life in his art. “In my work, often I begin with a found object,” Gerbino says. “It is just a point of departure. The image moves into abstraction and becomes something else.” (quoted in Trib Total Media, 2015)
Fabrizio Gerbino (b. 1962) lives in Pittsburgh and was educated in Florence, Italy, at the Istituto Statale D’Arte and the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. He has exhibited in museums from The Andy Warhol Museum, The Mattress Factory Museum, and The Carnegie Museum of Art, to the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, Casa Masaccio, San Giovanni Valdarno, in Arezzo, Italy. In 2014, he received the Juror’s Award from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and has been a recipient of the Eben Demarest Grant. His works can be found in a number of impressive permanent collections, including BNY Mellon, Calgon Carbon Corporation, Cohen & Grigsby, Gateway Financial, RJ Lee Group, ADP, Villa Romana (German Foundation, Florence), The Elmhurst Group, Lilly Italia Corporation, Mancini’s Bakery, Inc., La Prima Espresso, Ateliers Höherweg e V., Düsseldorf, and the Air Force Academy, Florence.
Fabrizio Gerbino in "Factory Direct" presented by The Andy Warhol Museum. (photo: Renee Rosensteel)
SIT STILL: photography, portraits, and doubling
An exhibition of contemporary photography curated by Nicole Coffineau
5262 Butler St. Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Tel: 412-735-3201 | www.revisionspace.com
Opening Reception: Friday, January 15, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Exhibition Dates: January 15 – February 14, 2016
Gallery Hours: Sat & Sun, 12:00pm – 5:00pm and by appointment (contact Nicole at 703-581-8272, or firstname.lastname@example.org)
The task of the portrait is to double. Loosely defined as a representation of a person, a portrait reiterates its human referent. A good portrait may be called a likeness, meaning we believe it truthfully resembles its sitter. Additionally, when considering portraits to be mediators of identity, we easily accommodate multiplicities – multiple images bearing partial, conflicting, or dynamic aspects of a person – that may exist within social media, personal albums, state archives, or corporate databases. Yet multiplicity is not in conflict with our belief in likeness. What, then, is the conceptual importance of singularity to the relationships we may posit between a portrait and its subject? How do we handle seeing doubles? Multiples? Incomplete parts?
Sit Still features fifteen contemporary, photographic works (by eight artists) that use visual and conceptual splitting and doubling to explore the effects of duplication upon portraiture’s capacities to reveal, conceal, and repeat identities through conflations of similarity and difference, sequence and co-presence, relationality and individual being. Some works literally depict their subjects twice; some mask or disguise the multiple presence of a single sitter; some extend an identity across two or more subjects, constructing situations in which identities must be perceived in terms of relationships or as composites of multiple parts. A selection of historical photographic portraits reminds the viewer of the traditional conventions and restrictions of the portrait studio, and the history of the portrait as both an aesthetic and an identifying genre. Throughout the gallery, the conceptual stability of likeness and representation are questioned, enriched, deconstructed, and destabilized by the double.
This exhibition was curated by Nicole Coffineau, a PhD student in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is writing a dissertation on Futurist photography and the Italian avant-garde. She has an MA in the humanities from the University of Chicago, where she studied contemporary art history and media theory. 'Sit Still' is her first solely-produced exhibition as an independent curator. Artists in the show are Zhiwan Chueng, Sally Dennison, Sean Fader, Nabiha Kahn, Senalka McDonald, Darren Lee Miller, Mat Thorne, and Stacey Tyrell.