New Work

Francesca DiMattio

October 08, 2006–November 09, 2006

Salon 94

Salon 94 is pleased to present the debut solo exhibition of New York based painter Francesca DiMattio.

DiMattio joins a new generation of physical painters who are taking on large-scale canvases to explore various applications of oil paint. In a single canvas one’s eye traverses from raw and thinly washed passages to thick wide swaths of paint, applied with a palette knife, brush and fabric.

DiMattio's paintings weave architectural spaces with congealed cultural debris to engage themes of the anti-decorative and the grotesque. Both beautiful and bizarre—aesthetic and political—DiMattio complicates the legibility of space.

While each painting in this exhibition combines a similar structural framework of a tiled floor at bottom, its body a ladder and/or chair and an archway above, their combinations and paint styles vary. 17th Century Delft tiles and Moose antlers in one painting give way to terrazzo flooring and a hangman's noose in another. Layers of human limbs, species of birds, butterfly wings, flora, urban scaffolding, lace and quilt patterns, derelict architectural frameworks and household furniture brutally collide into webs of detritus. From a decorative element such as a lace swatch emerges a snake, whose meticulously rendered skin is cruelly trapped in a scaffold.

In addition, various species of birds fall prey to DiMattio's cataclysmic events. A bald eagle is depicted with torn wings: a fallen icon. Documenting the impossibility of sustaining order by annotating moments of sheer catastrophe, DiMattio digests and reconfigures her subject matter, leaving the viewer to visually unwrap her heavily bound compositions.

Francesca DiMattio (b. 1981) received her BFA from Cooper Union and MFA from Columbia University in 2005. Upcoming solo exhibitions will include LAXART (2007). Recent group exhibitions include The Manhattan Project at Frederic Snitzer Gallery, Miami (2006); Columbia University 2005 Thesis Exhibition, New York; First Look at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, New York; and Paradise Lost at Marvelli Gallery, New York. A full-page color catalogue with an essay by Jeffrey Uslip will be published by Salon 94 in the Spring.

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