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Joseph Fiore (1949)
Oil on canvas, 22 x 28 inches
Price on request
Joseph Fiore was a renowned New York artist in the 1960’s. A well respected artist, he moved in the mainstream of some of America’s greatest modern and abstract movements. Early in the 1950’s, Joseph Fiore painted in an abstract style using a soft geometric and color field series. This 1951 example of Fiore’s work you see here is from that series. Later in his career, Fiore exhibited “painterly realism” in the 1970’s and then returned to abstraction in the early 1980’s and continued this until his death in 2008.
Joseph Fiore studied at the seminal school for American Modernism, Black Mountain College in North Carolina. He then studied at the dynamic and experimental California School of Fine Art for two more years. Black Mountain College was legendary from its very beginnings. It attracted and created maverick spirits in the art world. Some of whom went on to become well-known and influential artists in the latter half of the 20th century. A partial list includes people such as Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef and Anni Albers, Jacob Lawrence, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Cy Twombly, Kenneth Noland, Vera B. Williams, Ben Shahn, Franz Kline, Arthur Penn, Buckminster Fuller, M.C. Richards, Francine du Plessix Gray, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Dorothea Rockburne and many others, famous and not-sochanged who have changed the art world in a significant way. His time there exposed him to the greatest painters of mid-Century America. He studied with some the great artists of the early Abstract/Expressionist movement such as: Josef Albers, Willem de Kooning, Jacob Lawrence and Jean Varda.
Joseph Fiore remained at Black Mountain from 1946-1948. He then transferred to the California School of Fine Art known for its development of pure abstraction. Fiore remained at the California School of Fine Art in San Francisco (now San Francisco Art Institute). from 1948-49. During this time, Fiore studied and painted with a faculty which included some of the most talented new artists of post-war America. This included Edward Corbett, Richard Diebenkorn, Claire Falkenstein, David Park, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Hassel Smith, and Clyfford Still. He would almost certainly have studied with David Park and Richard Diebenkorn. During this time the great Clyfford Still was spearheading the pure abstract direction of the California School of Fine Art. And Mark Rothko was teaching summer classes there during this period. Joseph Fiore had the good fortune to develop his artistic talent during one of the richest periods of the mid-Century Abstract/Expressionist movement.
After his time in California’s experimental climate, Joseph Fiore went back to teach painting and drawing at Black Mountain College (1949-1956). He then became one of the original members of the very influential group of galleries called the 10th Street Art Scene. These were galleries that operated mainly in the East Village on the east side of Manhattan, New York in the 1950s and 1960s. Joseph Fiore, along with legendary Los Angeles artist Ed Moses were founding members of the Area Gallery (1958-1965). They exhibited with Alex Katz, Lois Dodd, Bernard Langlais, and many other emerging masters of the mid-century.
The 10th Street Art Scene was close to the studios of such artists as Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Milton Resnick. This location attracted these early innovators who helped to nurture the emerging development and careers of younger artists who exhibited at these co-operative galleries. Being more experimental in nature, these galleries exhibited the works of artists like Joseph Fiore who were outside the main-stream of the Madison Avenue and 57th street galleries. It was then that Joseph Fiore dedicated himself to abstract painting.
As an educator, Joseph Fiore taught at Black Mountain College from 1949-1951. He later served as the Chairman of the Art Department from 1951-1956. He then taught at the Philadelphia College of Art from 1962-1970. The Maryland College of Art (one of the oldest schools of art or music in the United States) and the prestigious National Academy of Design in New York. Many of his solo exhibitions received high praise by New York art critic Fairfield Porter.
Joseph Fiore died in New York City on September 18, 2008.