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Michael Sanzone, Wood

M55 Art
44-02 23rd Street
Long Island City
March 12 - March 29, 2009
Reception: Saturday, March 14, 5 - 8 PM

This exhibition represents Michael Sanzone’s third solo exhibition in New York simply titled Wood. The exhibition is a selection of the artist’s wood constructions completed over the last three years. Each piece demonstrates Sanzone’s meticulous concentration towards his chosen medium, specifically the idiosyncrasies which occur through time and how such natural peculiarities cannot be duplicated through artifice. ‘I find it important in my new work to collect materials (wood) from specific locations, to get to know those locations and the history of the wood that now lies in the finished piece of artwork.’ The works included in Wood represent distinct periods of time for the artist. The wood constructions developed in the workshop of the artist’s father, a skilled carpenter, who had salvaged the remains of a demolished hat shop that was founded in 1908, in New Haven, CT. The varied color, texture, and natural deterioration of the deserted wood fragments led to the first piece in the series. Increasingly fascinated by the history of his materials, and in turn his surroundings, Sanzone began fervently collecting remnants from a variety of locations including broken down movie sets and demolished barns. The artist’s use of atypical sustainable materials comprise most of the wood constructions and serve as a manifestation of the ultimate recycling process.

Sanzone was chosen to participate as an Artist in Resident at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, located in the Scottish Highlands, where he continued his interest in sculptural paintings constructed from found wood pieces. The works completed in Scotland were included in the exhibition ‘Scottish Landscape’ in November 2008 at 532 Gallery, New York. Inspired by the journey of wood used to make the casks, some over fifty years old, Sanzone’s interest developed as he became more informed about the pedigree of the materials. The barrels were built from Spanish or American oak, transported to Scotland, and then filled, tagged, coded, tended to, used, thrown away, found, and finally resurrected. These wood constructions not only convey the narrative of this journey, but also act as a memento of Sanzone’s experiences in Dufftown. The distinct color and shape of each piece is the Scottish Landscape from the artist’s viewpoint.

For this exhibition, Sanzone has also included a new collaboration, with fellow New York based artist, Earl Barrett Holloway, titled Boys and Girls. The work is a collection of 104 pieces of wood ( 52 per artist,) in which the only guideline was to compose a drawing related to the title. The humorous, sad, and anomalous images are a combination of each artist’s memories and reflections on childhood, fundamentally rooted in the aspects of exploring and discovering one’s self in the most obtuse and absurd manner possible.

Michael Sanzone was born in 1977 in Connecticut, and currently lives in New York and works in both New York and Connecticut. His work is in private and public collections, including Cafiero Select and an installation in the Truffles Building, Tribeca. Recent exhibitions of his work include solo shows at 532 Gallery, The Glenfiddich Distillery Gallery, and 55 Mercer Gallery, and group shows at 532 Gallery, M55 Art, and HERE Gallery. He was curator of the exhibition entitled 5 at 55 at 55 Mercer Gallery in 2007. In December 2008, Sanzone’s work was included at Fountain Art Fair, Miami. His next solo exhibition is scheduled for the 2009-10 season at Infantree Gallery in Lancaster, PA.

Recent articles and press are available at: Michael, Glenfiddich, Artist in Residence and This is North Scottland
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