Artist Traces Three-Decade Career for CNR Students


A Bronx native gave art majors, alumnae, and other members of the College Community an overview of her three-decade career working in ceramics, cloth and paper sculptures, drawings, and other media in the latest edition of the Art Department's visiting artist lecture series March 5.

Elisa D'Arrigo, who received her Bachelor in Fine Arts from SUNY New Paltz, began her career in ceramics, combining sculpture with function in clay shaped into biomorphic forms and boldly glazed.

"I have always been energized by the conflation and dissolving of categories: sculpture, drawing, painting," said D'Arrigo, writing about some of these pieces. "And in this case, adding to the mix: functionality."

The next phase of D'Arrigo's career consisted of large sculptures, hand-sewn constructions of cloth or paper. Many of these pieces were derived from doodles, free association, and drawings of daydreams. These workers often began as small elements then expanded through hand-sewing, a labor-intensive process.

The process results in structures that billow as if animated from within, D'Arrigo said. "My responses to such unplanned effects plot the trajectory of each piece."

D'Arrigo has returned to ceramics in her latest work, and continues to create pieces intent on conjuring up feelings and memories, exploring the psychological and corporeal aspects of containment and the ways abstract form can conjure ephemeral memories and associations.
D’Arrigo has shown her work in solo and group shows both in New York City at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery and in numerous museums, including the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia; the Bronx Museum; the Mead Art Museum; the Weatherspoon Art Museum; the Montclair Art Museum; The Sculpture Center; and the Drawing Center.