Painting the Printed Word, an
exhibition of mixed media wall constructions by painter Joan
Giordano, reflects not only her mastery with the paint brush and the
art of printmaking and Japanese papermaking, but likewise her
steadfast impassioned interest in newspapers’ printed text, will
open at the June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer Street, New York, on
Friday, January 7. The exhibition will remain on view through
February 15, 2022.
Archival international newspapers are basic
elements of Giordano’s sculptural constructions. Having
adopted collage as her process she meticulously composes
compositions in which the printed word, color, and volume make
absorbing alliances. In the pushing of limits and exquisite
positioning of her materials, Giordano achieves volumetrically
complex arrangements of surfaces with newspaper rolls, found papers,
corrugated board, graphite, paint, and encaustic. Interwoven
is the sense of time in both historical and contemporary thought.
It has been said, Giordano can turn an
abstract work of art toward the political without making direct
inferences. Giordano’s art is current even as she intimates a
strong connection with the modernist past. Her selection of
archival publications rivet with diverse global issues beliefs and
traditions, economics, health, science, and politics.
Lily Wei, art critic and journalist writes
Giordano has taken to collecting magazines, newspapers, and
journals, including issues that date back decades, partly in
anticipation of the demise of paper editions in the future as
digital publications become increasingly the norm. Her
signature newsprint-based works are an act of recuperation as well
as one way to shelf a trove of
information within what might be seen as fantasias of the archive.
Giordano was also enamored of paper’s
versatility, by what it could be made to represent.
Versatility includes malleability, paper’s ability to assume any
shape desired, becoming a sculptural material in addition to serving
as a two-dimensional support for imagery. Two beautifully
wrought hands in the round attached to the surface of Over the
Top, 2021, made from cast paper, and, underscoring a narrative
that supports feminism and economic equity, she tells me that they
are the hands of a woman, a worker, writes Wei.
Text matters to Giordano, says Wei, as do
titles, words that correspond to the theme of the work are often
strategically highlighted. Life of Wonderment, 2021
speaks to the statement that Giordano reminds us that these
constructions are intended to be read as well as visually parsed.
When Wei asked why so many different languages are present, Giordano
answered, “There are so many ways to read and write the news, to
Giordano lives and works in New York City and
Roscoe, NY. She holds a BA from Wagner College, Staten Island,
and an MFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. Giordano works
have been shown in numerous one-person and group exhibitions in the
United States and countries throughout the world. She is
represented in numerous public and private collections including the
Savannah College of Art and Design, GA; Hammond Museum & Japanese
Stroll Gardens, North Salem, NY; Longview Art Museum, TX; Housatonic
Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT; New York Public Library Print
Collection; Awagami Museum, Hall of AWA, Tokushima, Japan; PepsiCo,
Purchase, NY; the Henry Buhl Collection, New York, and the North
Carolina National Bank, Charlotte, NC.