1275 MINNESOTA ST / THE GALLERIES
SAT, JAN 7, 6PM-8PM
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January 7 - February 14, 2017
Opening reception: January 7, 5 - 7 p.m.
In her fourth solo show with the gallery, DiCioccio presents a collection of soft sculpture and cast bronze works made in 2016. These pieces compile an unusual vocabulary of forms drawn from nature, the human body, found objects, and observed shapes. Executed with careful hand stitching, the artist also unearths forms through the process of working with the specific materials (cloth, thread, stuffing), which she has used for over a decade. DiCioccio has dubbed this body of work, began in 2013, as "Familiars", reflecting upon that word's definition as an adjective as well as a noun. She sees the work as embodying an alchemic aspect of art: its ability to bring inanimate materials to life.
DiCioccio's method for creating each piece is to treat the materials as malleable, working additively and starting with a found object or a simply constructed wooden armature. The soft and tactile materials are then layered using stuffing and upholstery, building up forms that may seem muffled or bound but also spring to life. In three new cast bronze sculptures, the construction of her cloth originals is evident in the translation of seams and stitches. The resulting sculptures are part doll, part mummy: both light-hearted and playful as well as shrouded and mysterious.
In titling this show comfort objects, the artist uses a term from the study of childhood development that refers to an object, like a security blanket or teddy bear, that a child uses for comfort in unusual or uncertain situations. These objects help facilitate a transition from the mother to independence and enable the child to keep his or her inner and outer worlds apart but related. DiCioccio’s work plays the same role, creating a space where we can enter a suspended reality for comfort, connection, questioning, and reflection.
Lauren DiCioccio received her BA in Studio Art and Art History from Colgate University. She has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions at Jack Fischer Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Tomlinson Kong Contemporary (New York), and 2731 Prospect (Cleveland). She has participated in group shows at the Bellevue Arts Museum, the Laguna Art Museum, the Fosdick-Nelson Gallery at Alfred University as well as locally at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Root Division, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. DiCioccio has been an artist-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts (Affiliate Program), Recology SF, and Workshop Residence. She is currently an Artist Trustee for the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.
Top image (left to right): "Fleur-de-lis-ish"; 15"h x 8"w x10"d; wood, felt, linen, stuffing, cotton, thread; 2016. "Harbinger"; 13"h x 13"w x 14"d; found shoe trees, acrylic paint, stuffing, felt, linen, thread; 2016. "Hold Fast"; 9"h x 6"w x 11"d; wooden dowel, stuffing, felt, linen, thread; 2016.