Emily Piccirillo

For these pieces, I tie canvas panels into steel grids and paint both sides of the panels – sky imagery on the front and color fields on the reverse. Photographs are not involved. Sometimes the cords extend beyond the confines, breaking boundaries between the real and represented. Other times they appear to vanish, the panels floating against the wall as the clouds drift across them. The cord emphasizes formal and physical tension, literally tying together the fabricated and natural worlds, and sometimes merging with tree branches that add gesture. These works stand off the wall, ambient tone reflecting back and incorporating this other surface and the space between. Gaps and openings capture light, freeing color from form. The panels cast shadows, converging field with ground and enhancing the use of illusion. Multiple gradations occur at once and change with the surrounding light. The pieces take on transitive properties and hover between painting and sculpture. The grid is commonly associated with inhabited space and here I reinvent it as a ‘deconstruction’ material, pointing to how the elements are being stretched today in a very direct way. The enduring physicality of the steel contrasts with the transient nature of clouds. When I first began painting the sky, I realized that as our collective canvas it has huge universal importance and influence. We all connect with it on a daily basis and incorporate it into common language…a sunny disposition, a breezy attitude, a stormy relationship, head in the clouds, the sky’s the limit, being on cloud nine, things are looking up. Most spiritual orientations direct one’s gaze skyward for strength and solace. Likewise, beauty seems to have become a form of radical expression and I enjoy bringing more of it into our lives.