Bruno Fazzolari

“Bruno Fazzolari”

August 8 – September 26, 2010

Press Release | Images | Essay | Resume

PRESS RELEASE

Some Walls is pleased to present new paintings and photographs by San Francisco artist and critic Bruno Fazzolari from August 8 – September 26, 2010.

Bruno Fazzolari’s art is puzzling. His paintings and photographs occupy a strange zone where it’s difficult to put your finger on… well, let’s not start with ambiguous and unsatisfying statements. Try again:

Bruno Fazzolari’s art is not necessarily evasive or oblique, unfriendly or unclear, but it is difficult to identify precisely or definitively what the images he makes represent, mean, or allude to. His paintings and photographs refuse to… ah, statements in the negative aren’t helpful. One more time:

Bruno Fazzolari’s art is complex: it is sensitive and forthright, materially apparent and thoughtfully conceptual, well-crafted and expressive, fully intuitive and keenly intelligent. He says, "Art is interesting to me when it creates more problems than it resolves… I want my work to offer resistance to habitual ways of viewing." His images, perpetually on the edge of representation and abstraction, keep the viewer in a kind of visual, pre-lingual limbo-state where the experience of identifying and talking about something specific—what one sees, knows, and understands—is continually encouraged, suspended, and re-engaged. Fazzolari’s art requires and inspires a cycle of observation and conversation, where the viewer looks, responds and reflects, back and forth, movinheatg in and out of the image’s space in order to recall, consider, revisit, and validate.

As is all good visual art, Fazzolari’s work it is not simply a consumable, but is instead time-consuming, endless, and rewarding. It must be seen in person.

See images, an essay, and biography.

Bruno Fazzolari’s most recent solo exhibition, Cold Turkey, took place in 2009 at Gallery 16, San Francisco. Upcoming solo exhibitions in San Francisco include The Lost Paintings (2001-2004) in September 2010 at Second Floor Projects, and Mirror 5 in November at Jancar Jones Gallery. He has shown at Feature, Inc., Gallery Paule Anglim, and Michael Kohn Gallery. His criticism appears regularly at ArtPractical.com. He earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1996 after graduating from U.C. Berkeley in Comparative Literature with a focus on critical studies, French and Ancient Greek.

Some Walls is a curatorial and writing art project in a private home in Oakland, California. Some Walls is open by appointment only. To view the exhibition online please visit somewalls.com. To schedule a visit, or for more information, please contact Chris Ashley at info@somewalls.com.

Previous exhibitions at Some Walls:

 

IMAGES

 

ESSAY

Bruno Fazzolari’s art is puzzling. His paintings and photographs occupy a strange zone where it’s difficult to put your finger on… well, let’s not start with ambiguous and unsatisfying statements.

Try again: 

Bruno Fazzolari’s art is not necessarily evasive or oblique, unfriendly or unclear, but it is difficult to identify precisely or definitively what the images he makes represent, mean, or allude to. His paintings and photographs refuse to… ah, statements in the negative aren’t helpful.

One more time:

Bruno Fazzolari’s art is complex: it is sensitive and forthright, materially apparent and thoughtfully conceptual, well-crafted and expressive, fully intuitive and keenly intelligent. He says, "Art is interesting to me when it creates more problems than it resolves… I want my work to offer resistance to habitual ways of viewing." His images, perpetually on the edge of representation and abstraction, keep the viewer in a kind of visual, pre-lingual limbo-state where the experience of identifying and talking about something specific- what one sees, knows, and understands- is continually encouraged, suspended, and re-engaged. Fazzolari’s art requires and inspires a cycle of observation and conversation, where the viewer looks, responds and reflects, back and forth, moving in and out of the image’s space in order to recall, consider, revisit, and validate
 
In Fazzolari’s paintings, shapes and strokes in green, blue, yellow, magenta, pink, black, and gray are scattered across the canvas’ white ground. These marks and fields, pulled, pushed, dabbed, nudged, smeared, wiped, and caressed, some deliberately, even fearlessly, awkward, teasingly assert figuration and imply visual space while remaining beyond the firm grasp of a single word, phrase, or idea. They present as if made by someone highly literate who has chosen to abandon words: think of the energy and movement of bison and deer in Spain’s Altamira Cave painted by an artist with a Pop sensibility whose longing for the archaic is filtered through urban experience. Abstraction’s historical gesture, misleadingly thought masculine, is here confronted by a determined suffrage-like enterprise where opposites—heavy and light, quick and slow, empty and filled, impulsive and studied—are integrated and balanced. There is beauty here, but also artless determination, plangent vulnerability, heartfelt generosity, healthy doubt, and not a trace of coy skepticism or strategic irony.
 
Fazzolari’s photographs are like set pieces found in the urban theater, moments of city’s nature. Even when not photographed in the city, the photographs come from places where people go; one has to go very far to escape the human footprint, of spaces shaped for human use. Stumbled upon or arranged, their color connected to the paintings (do the photographs help define his painting’s palette, or does this palette determine what he photographs?), they evoke contemplation and absorption through wandering, noticing, and selecting. One wonders: are these photographs taken of a scene’s first encounter, or are these images part of the cityscape through which the artist has repeatedly walked past and suddenly seen new? The reverie of private time and vision in public, whether that public is urban density, the park, the beach, or a campground, is personally political and necessary: take something found, that belongs to another, or even to everyone, and make of that moment, a slice of life, a new image. That Fazzolari’s photographs are connected to his paintings and drawings through shape, framing and color speaks highly of his vision and outlook; this broad array of visual work comprises a larger project: a way of seeing, questioning, making, and presenting.
 
In an effort to manage and make sense of these images we attempt nouns but have no certain names, try adjectives but can’t identify action, and employ description and conjecture in the absence of a concrete situation or topography. But this is not to say that images are closed or hermetic; rather than discouragingly shutting out the viewer, these images- primal, resonant, organic- are surprisingly open to multiple associations and ideas. They act for the viewer like repositories of faintly archetypal places and newly conjured experience, triggers for memory and wonder, spaces in which we wander to encounter imagination, another point of view, the social and political world, ourselves. This is what visual art should do, and what Bruno Fazzolari’s art does do— it is not simply a consumable, but it is time-consuming, endless, and rewarding.

Chris Ashley
Oakland, CA
August 2010

 

RESUME

Bruno Fazzolari (web site)
Bruno Fazzolari is an artist and critic. He has shown with Feature, Inc., Gallery Paule Anglim, Gallery 16, and Michael Kohn Gallery, and has been included in shows at the M.H. de Young Museum and the Katonah Museum of Art.

His work has received attention in Artforum, Art in America, Art Papers, the New Yorker, the San Francisco Chronicle, Artweek and the New York Times.

His criticism appears regularly at ArtPractical.com.

He earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1996 after graduating from U.C. Berkeley in Comparative Literature with a focus on critical studies, French and Ancient Greek.

Education

  • 1996 M.F.A. Painting.
    San Francisco Art Institute.
  • 1991 B.A. Comparative Literature: English, French, Ancient Greek, Critical Studies.
    Highest Honors.
    University of California, Berkeley.

Solo Exhibitions

2010
  • 2nd Floor Projects, San Francisco
  • Jancar Jones, San Francisco
  • Some Walls, Oakland, CA
2009
  • Cold Turkey, Gallery 16, San Francisco.
2001
  • Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco.
2000
  • Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. Debs & Co., New York. (Catalog).

Selected Group Exhibitions

2010
  • Library Show. Curated by Johnathan Hartshorn. Albuquerque, New Mexico.
2003
  • Food Matters. Katonah Museum of Art. Katonah, New York. (Catalog).
  • 2003 Sweet Tooth. Copia, the American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts. Napa, California. (Catalog).
2002
  • Grey Gardens. Curated by Bruce Hainley. Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles.
1999
  • Museum Pieces. DeYoung Museum, San Francisco. (Catalog).
1998
  • Pudding. Feature, Inc., New York.
1997
  • More Than a Feeling. Four Walls, San Francisco.
  • brunofazzolaripaulsietsema. ESP, San Francisco.
  • Whatever. Southern Exposure, San Francisco.
1996
  • Sequence. San Francisco State University.
  • 1996 Friends. 2451 Harrison Street Artspace, San Francisco.
1994
  • SF Introductions. Terrain Gallery, San Francisco.

Awards

2001

  • The Art Council. Grants to Individual Artists Program. (Catalog).
Public Art Commissions

1996

  • San Francisco Art in Transit Program SFAI Centennial: Market Street Kiosks.

Teaching

2010

  • California College of the Arts

2008

  • San Francisco Art Institute, Individual Study.

Writing and Curatorial Experience

Present

  • Regular Contributor to ArtPractical.com

1995

  • Curatorial Intern. Department of Media Arts. S.F. Museum of Modern Art.

1992 – ‘97

  • Freelance Critic for local, national and international publications, including: Artweek, WorldArt.

1990 – ‘91

  • Managing Editor. Berkeley Fiction Review.

1989 – 91

  • Founding Editor. (sic) A Review of Things.

Bibliography

2009

  • “Opening and Closing,” Kevin Killian, SFMOMA Open Space Blog, May 12, 2009.
  • “Fazzolari at 16,” Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, May 2, 2009.
  • “Bruno Fazzolari: Cold Turkey,” Laura Chenault, ArtBusiness.Com, April 3, 2009.

2003

  • “An Exhibit Stocked with More Food than Many Pantries,” Benjamin Genocchio, New York Times, August 31, 2003.

2002

  • “Report from San Francisco,” Stephanie Cash, Art in America, June, 2002.
  • “Bruno Fazzolari,” Bruce Hainley, Artforum, January, 2002.

2001

  • “Bruno Fazzolari,” David Bonnetti, San Francisco Chronicle, November 24, 2001.

2000

  • “Art,” The New Yorker, March 20, 2000.

1999

  • “Local Heroes,” Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, November 20, 1999.
  • “Genial Deconstruction of DeYoung Museum” David Bonetti, San Francisco Examiner, November 26, 1999.

1998

  • “More Than a Feeling,” Ella Delaney, Art Papers, May-June, 1998.

1997

  • “Whatever…” Donna Leigh Shumacher, Art Papers, July-August, 1997.
  • “Que sera, sera: whatever at Southern Exposure,” Bay Area Reporter, February, 1997.

1994

  • “Bruno Fazzolari at Terrain,” Roberto Friedman, Artweek, August, 1994.

Catalogs and Publications

2007

  • Publication without title, 240 pp. Feature, Inc., New York.

2003

  • Food Matters, 48 pp. Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York.
  • Sweet Tooth, 120 pp. Copia, Napa. 2003.

2001

  • The Art Council Awards Show, 40pp. The Art Council Inc, San Francisco. 2001.

2000

  • Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, 20pp. (Solo Catalog). Debs & Co., New York. 2000.

1999

  • Museum Pieces, 37 pp. M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco. 1999.

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