Picture Farm Gallery is proud to announce the upcoming exhibition of Paola Citterio, a member of our community and neighborhood, and an artist whose work we are privileged to present.
The show opens April 8 with a reception form 6 to 9 PM and will be on view until the 8th of May.
“It struck me, what quality went to form a (WO)Man of Achievement, especially in literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously- I mean Negative Capability, that is when (WO)man is capable of being in uncertainties. Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.”
– John Keats
There are times when I have to push, prod and pummel my way through life. Then, there are others when I let life lead me. My work develops in much the same way. I often have no idea where it’s going when I begin. The joy, for me, lies in the uncertainty; in embracing that void. The raw materials are all here: my yarns and the lost objects found by family and friends in this city I love. So, too, are the tools: the rigorously hand-made male tools, also kindly provided by the city. It is the process that is the true revelation. I use a needle felt technique. Which translates into hours of constant jabbing, pushing, probing, puncturing. This repetition, the relentless rhythm of it, creates a momentum. A momentum that not only gives birth to the piece itself but that also transports me.
I am Italian. I grew up in a home and a country with clearly defined, traditional male/female roles. My father supported us as a metal worker. My mother ‘kept house.’ She cooked. She cleaned. She knit. My mother was an obsessive knitter. Always with a delicious, flaky crostata nearby. (A crostata, by the way, is an Italian tart filled with home-made fruit jams.)
These ‘old world’ origins are as much a part of my art as the crostata I still make for my family in Bed Stuy. As for the work? The metal tools, the soft, warm wool fibers and of course, the process… They are all about a ‘new world.’ A world in which as a woman and an artist, I believe we must push past those traditional assumptions, penetrate myths and provoke questions. Yes, this creates uncertainty and doubt. But doubt keeps the door open. Not just in life but in art. My only wish tonight is that everyone who sees these pieces hanging on a wall might also have the pleasure of tasting my home-made crostata. Maybe next time…
PAOLA CITTERIO was born in 1964 in a small village close to Milan, Italy. She received her Bachelor of Art degree in Scenografy from Nuovo Accademia di Belle Arti, NABA, in Mailan 1986. For the next fifteen years she would work as a set designer for theater, film and commercial productions.
In 2001, Paola moved to New York City and found artistic inspiration in her family life, creating pieces that blend the traditional craftwork she learned from the women in her childhood home (knitting, sewing, felting and baking) with found objects from the city streets around her.
There is always an element of surprise in Paola’s work, as she likes her audience to engage with her pieces and discover them inside and out.
“La trama non compare perche’ l’efffetto voluto e’ di stupore, ma lento molto lento e’ lo scorrere del tempo necessario alla sua risoluzione.”
And besides…the last time we had Paola at Picture Farm was one of the best nights of the gallery’s life.