A powerful combinative instinct, nearly pervasive throughout Cianne Fragione’s work,
achieves sustained realization in Heaven and earth are dressed in their summer wear.
This ongoing series blends collage and painting, always sensitive to the interior life of
each as a medium. The canvases are based on the clothesline as a template, and when
they are hung side by side, they become a single, unified environment of landscape,
motif, atmosphere, mood: together, dresses and paint reveal their clarity of conception,
expressed in a harmonious, if intricate, flow of colors, shapes, patterns, spatial elements,
and visual rhythms. Thus the motif yields a sturdy, highly flexible structure that can bear
a multitude of ideas and themes. It captures the “spirit” of the clothesline as poetic space,
and as a significant cultural site at once rural, suburban, and urban, past and present —
the artist’s experience of actual places shared through the work itself.
Fragione (b. 1952, Hartford, CT) is a painter who typically adds mixed media to her paintings and works on paper. This includes collage and assemblage elements that act to enrich her surface textures and effects, and extend them outward dimensionally, into the viewer’s space. For more than three decades, she has used oil paint as the basis of her practice, but her overall process is constructive, using the language of abstraction and suggestion. Materials accrete into luminous,
atmosphere layers of complex colors and marks. Visual support for these may also come from the cultural iconography of her Italian upbringing, her sensitivity to physical movement as a former professional dancer, or from the fragments of writing that appear alongside her other imagery. Since 1981, her paintings, drawings, and assemblages have been exhibited in over twenty-five solo exhibitions, including a ten-year retrospective, and in numerous group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States and in Italy, Bulgaria, and Lithuania.. Among them: A number of the exhibitions have produced publications. Her most recent solo, exhibition is at Gallery Neptune & Brown in Washington DC, review by Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D, Editor at Large, Independent curator and Art Critic, https://www.eastcityart.com/reviews/east-city- art-reviews-cianne-fragione-gate-to-the-sea/. The narrative of Gate to the Sea draws from the artist residing amongst the bare remains of Magna Graecia, with ruined temples still occupying two-thousand-year-old spaces. However, “the paintings do not illustrate this story,” says Fragione, “the story might instead be described as an imaginative atmosphere, a site from which my studio process goes forward on its own journey.” Upcoming solos at Danville Fine Art Museum, VA and Gallery Neptune & Brown, Washington, DC for 2021-2022
She is the recipient of various awards, including the Premio Internazionale di arti visive Baia di Caminia, Catanzaro, Italy 2020; Art Omi Residency in 2019 (for which she received the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Fellowship; The Legacy Project (Saving the Legacy) for 2015-16, at the Research Center for Arts & Culture, NYC, sponsored by Joan Mitchell Foundation, NYC (which
entails the systematic documentation of a life’s work available for research at Columbia University, NY); Lo Studio dei Nipoti, a two-month residency in Monasterace, Italy, 2012; Soaring Gardens residency, Laceyville, PA; an artist fellowship through Spoleto Study Aboard in Spoleto, Italy; and an Artist-in-Institution grant at DVI State Prison in Tracy, CA, from 1986-1990 a project of the California Arts Council, Sacramento. She was nominated in 2018 for the Joan Mitchell Painting and Sculpture award and in 2016 for Anonymous Was a Women Award for artistic achievement. Her works are in private and public collection, including: St Mary’s College Museum of Art Moraga, CA; Italian American Museum, DC; Art Omi Permanent Collection for Painting and Print, Ghent NY; DC Commission Art Bank, Washington, DC; Department of Special Collections, Cecil H. Green Library, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; and Comune di Monasterace, Calabria, IT.
Fragione received her MFA in 1987, in Painting/Mixed Media at John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA. During this time, she was a guest graduate student at University of California,
Berkeley, receiving a fellowship which enabled her to work with a number of artists associated with the beat and funk movements in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Jay DeFeo, Manuel Neri, and Frank Lobdell. She is represented by Gallery Neptune & Brown, Washington, D.C.