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C AIO FONSEC A 20 may- 10 july 2011

TAYLOE PIGGOTT GALLERY 62 SOUTH GLENWOOD ST PO BOX 1435 JACKSON WY 83001 TEL 307 733 0555 WWW.TAYLOEPIGGOTTGALLERY.COM


PREFACE In the months leading up to this exhibition, I often vividly recalled the first time I encountered Caio’s paintings in person. At the Corcoran Museum of Art in 2004 during his first solo museum show, I stood in front of a massive canvas, smiling in joy and awe at the audacity of the work. Caio’s paintings command your attention and respect while igniting your imagination. They leave you feeling like you have just held an enlightening conversation with your most confident, witty, and brilliant friend. The paintings invite you into their dynamic layers of positive and negative space. Their shapes, whether they are small and repetitive or large and sweeping, achieve both a quiet balance and a rhythmic moving dance. I was then, and have been ever since, utterly enchanted. Imagine my excitement as I planned a visit in the winter of 2011 to Caio’s Fifth Street studio. Joining Caio and his lovely assistant Margaret in the perfectly imagined New York artist’s studio—bright, capacious, creativity flowing through the air—I was taken to a place of peace. The laughter and conversation flowed as my anticipation eased to relaxation and opened the door for play, which was exactly what it felt like to choose paintings for this show. I wish to thank Caio for making me feel so at ease and welcome, and for sharing his extraordinary vision and talent. I look forward to sharing the sense of awe and discovery his paintings elicit with visitors to the gallery and viewers of this catalogue, and also to continuing to be enchanted with Caio’s bold and brilliant paintings for many years to come. Tayloe Piggott

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EXCERPT My father [Uruguayan artist Gonzalo Fonseca] used to say: ‘Your autobiography will be in your work.’ I think he’s right. In my work, I have all my contradictions. I’m a hermit that can work a crowd. I’m a humorous person but extremely ascetic as well. We all have contradictions, mine show up in the miracle of colours housed in fierce structure. My parents and siblings are all artists. My father was wise enough not to become my teacher, so we didn’t confuse father-andson roles with master-and-pupil roles, but I saw what the life of an artist can be from him. It’s a huge responsibility. My mother used to joke that it wouldn’t kill the family to have one dentist, something useful. But we ended up all being artists and she’s very proud of that. I grew up in New York. I left school and went to Barcelona [Spain] for five years to study under Augusto Torres, alongside my brother, Bruno. That was a very intensive Socratic method of learning figurative painting. For me, to become an artist was such an undertaking, in terms of what I thought a painter was. My father is such a towering example of integrity and excellence that, for me, it was like an Everest to climb and master. College was great for other things but not for what I wanted to learn. I was lucky to have a teacher I respected so much. My teacher was friends with [Pablo] Picasso and knew [Piet] Mondrian, so we heard all these stories. My father had studied with Augusto’s father [Joaquin Torres- Garcia; the father of Constructive Universalism]. So I feel I have several generations of mentorship behind me through a connection to that long line of work. They gave me the underpinning of a great education. There is no prescribed way to being an artist; I

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certainly wouldn’t prescribe my way to other people. Some people burn out, others make that part of their education. Some people get gallery representation straight out of art school; people today are finding galleries while they are in art school. I ended up waiting 13 or 14 years before I had my first New York show – but from there, the Met [the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York] bought two paintings. Maybe I was the tortoise, not the hare. The more I mature as an artist, the more I am painting for myself. It’s great to get response from the outside world – it’s always a minor miracle when someone is connected to your work, or buys a painting; but I’d be painting even if no one did. I have an interesting double life; I spend six months a year in New York and six months in a very small town in Italy, called Pietrasanta, near the coast. I’ve been doing it for 25 years. The knowledge that I won’t be interrupted, not just for days but months, is a tremendous boon to my development. Every year I try to surpass myself and make sure I am not producing ‘Caio Fonseca paintings’ but something new that I believe in and that is at the forefront of my research. Everyone who has lived in a foreign country knows that being away from your language, your familiar reference points does aid the wonderful isolation that an artist feels. It’s an added purity to your days. I go to Italy to discover new ideas – those are the hardest to find in New York, or anywhere where you are diluted in your concentration. As for confidence – if you don’t have it, you have to fake it. You have to go down into the studio every day, even if you don’t feel you can paint. In New York, my studio work would be at 60 per cent capacity of what I’m able to achieve in Italy. But after six months of such intensity, New York is the perfect antidote to that kind of isolation.

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Music is one of my biggest influences. I’ve played classical piano all my life and, for the past two years, I have been studying, rather seriously, composition with a professor in New York. That has really gotten into my painting. It’s not so much the rhythm of music or the shapes of instruments, but the inner workings, the counterpoints, how intervals resolve themselves, how the architecture of melody might translate. I do not listen to music when I paint. If I put on great music, it becomes a distraction. If I put on horrible music, it’s a nightmare. And everything else in the middle is an ode to mediocrity. I do play piano for a few hours in the morning and that does set the day in an abstract mode. When I paint, I need silence. It’s not just for concentration; it’s also that I have a strange connection between sound and space so much so that a yellow might have a higher pitch to me than another, and I need that sound-spatial quality when I work. This is not the kind of work that needs wall text or written explanations. What it needs is for people to spend the first minute or two just looking. Human beings can decipher these paintings without the use of language. They want to explain themselves. Everything within the work is interrelated. If you ‘travel’ through the painting, you’ll find that there is spontaneity and structure, interplay between the two is what I believe gives it the enduring value – which you can keep looking at, which will keep revealing things about themselves over time. Excerpted from a 2010 Interview with Caio Fonseca

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PAINTING


Pietrasanta C10.6, 2010 mixed media on canvas 50 x 72 inches

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Pietrasanta C08.36, 2008 mixed media on canvas 42 x 62 inches

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Pietrasanta P05.28, 2005 gouache on paper 30 x 42 inches

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Pietrasanta C10.7, 2010 mixed media on canvas 72 x 52 inches

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Pietrasanta P05.29, 2005 gouache on paper 30 x 42 inches

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Pietrasanta P07.43, 2007 gouache on paper 30 x 42 inches

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Fifth Street C05.48, 2005 mixed media on canvas 52 x 37 inches

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Pietrasanta C09.18, 2009 mixed media on canvas 42 x 62 inches

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Pietrasanta P09.27, 2009 gouache on paper 30 x 42 inches

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Fifth Street C05.9, 2005 mixed media on canvas 65 x 84 inches

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Pietrasanta C10.34, 2010 mixed media on canvas 37 x 52 inches

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Pietrasanta P10.16, 2010 gouache on paper 23 x 30 inches

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Pietrasanta P06.27, 2006 gouache on paper 30 x 42 inches

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Pietrasanta P10.15, 2010 gouache on paper 23 x 30 inches

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CAIO FONSECA Caio Fonseca, American, born 1959, was raised in New York City. In 1978 he went to Barcelona where he studied and painted until 1983. He moved to Pietrasanta (Lucca) in 1985 where he worked until 1989. After two years in Paris, he returned to New York and now divides his time between Pietrasanta and his studio in Manhattan on East Fifth Street. His works are held in numerous public and private collections in Europe and the United States.

ONE-PERSON EXHIBITIONS 2011

Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson Hole, WY

The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY

2010

Ben Brown Fine Arts, Hong Kong

Kayne Exhibition Space, Los Angeles, CA

Victoria Munroe Fine Art, Boston, MA

2009

Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, UK

2008

The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY

2007

Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

David Floria Gallery, Aspen, CO

2005

Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, UK

2004

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

2003

Institut Valenciá de Arte Modern (IVAM), Valencia, Spain

David Floria Gallery, Aspen, CO

Winston Wächter Fine Art, Seattle, WA

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2002

John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

2001

Douglas Udell Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Winston Wächter Fine Art, Seattle, WA

2000

Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, St. Louis, MO

David Floria Gallery, Aspen, CO

1999

Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY

University Art Gallery, University of California at San Diego, CA

Duke University Museum of Art, Durham, NC

1998

John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Knoedler & Co., New York, NY

1996

Knoedler & Co., New York, NY

Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY

Meredith Long & Co., Houston, TX

1995

John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1994

Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY

1993

Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY

1991

Galeria Anna Ricart, Barcelona, Spain

1985

Villa D’elatre, Lucca, Italy

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2008

“Contemporary Watercolors,” The Harrison Gallery, Williamstown, MA

2008

“Ojo Latino, la Mirada de un continente,” Santiago de Chile

2007

“Solstice,” David Floria Gallery, Aspen, CO

2006

“Sliding Scales,” Winston Wächter Fine Art, New York, NY “Black + White,” Nathan Bernstein & Co, Ltd., New York, NY

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2005

“Cross Section,” Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

“Fuori Tema/Italian Feeling,” XIV Quadriennale di Roma, Rome, Italy

2003

“Drawing Modern: Works from the Agnes Gund Collection”, Cleveland

Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

2002

“New York Renaissance: Selections from the Whitney Museum of

American Art,” Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy

“Abstraction,” Winston Wächter Fine Art, Seattle, WA

2001

“Summer 2001,” Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

2000

“Painting,” Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

1999

“Processes,” Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton and Vancouver, Canada

“Acquisitions,” John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

“Abstraction,” Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, MI

“Abstract Painting,” Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

1997

“Basically Black & White,” Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY

“Purely Painting,” Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY

“Contemporary Masterworks,” Knoedler & Co., New York, NY

1996

“The New York Scene 1996,” Gotlands Konst Museum, Visby, Sweden

1995

“Under Glass,” Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY

“Essence & Persuasion: The Power of Black & White,” The Anderson

Gallery, Buffalo, NY

1994

“About Color,” Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY

1993

“Essentials,” Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY

“Summer Invitational,” David Beitzel Gallery, New York, NY

CATALOGS AND BOOKS 2010

Caio Fonseca, Paintings 2009-2010 (hardbound, 64 page exhibition catalogue). Los Angeles: Kayne Exhibition Space.

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2007

Caio Fonseca, Paintings 2006-2007 (hardbound, 72 page exhibition

2005

Caio Fonseca, New Paintings (hardbound, 71 page exhibition catalogue).

catalogue). New York: Paul Kasmin Gallery. London: Ben Brown Fine Arts. Inventions: Recent Paintings by Caio Fonseca (hardbound, 88 page book accompanying museum exhibition). Washington D.C.: Corcoran Gallery of Art. 2003

Kunitz, Daniel.

Caio Fonseca: Paintings, (hardbound, 201 page book

accompanying museum exhibition). Valencia, Spain: IVAM. 2002

New York Renaissance: Highlights from the Whitney Museum of American Art (exhibition catalogue). Milan, Italy: Palazzo Reale.

Caio Fonseca (exhibition catalogue). New York, NY: Paul Kasmin Gallery.

Caio Fonseca (exhibition catalogue). San Francisco, CA: John Berggruen Gallery.

1999

Caio Fonseca (exhibition catalogue). San Francisco, CA: John Berggruen Gallery

1998

Di Piero, W.S. Caio Fonseca (exhibition catalog). New York, NY: Knoedler

& Co.

1996

The New York Scene 1996, Gotlands Konst Museum Catalog. 1996, Sweden.

Wilkin, Karen. Caio Fonseca (exhibition catalogue). San Francisco, CA: John Berggruen Gallery.

1994

Adams, Brooks. Caio Fonseca (exhibition catalogue).

New York, NY:

Charles Cowles Gallery.

Wilkin, Karen. Caio Fonseca (exhibition catalogue). New York, NY: Charles Cowles Gallery.

1991

Giralt-Miracle, Daniel.

Caio Fonseca (exhibition catalogue).

Spain: Galeria Anna Ricart.

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Barcelona,


SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS The Museum of Modern Art, New York The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, Texas Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri The United States Embassy, Vienna, Austria Cesar Pelli, architect. Reagan National Airport Washington D.C., Mural commission. Renzo Piano, architect. Bovis Lend Lease, Aurora Place, Sydney, Australia, Mural commission. Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Art, Fine Arts Museums, San Francisco, California Goldman Sachs, New York, New York The Microsoft Collection, Seattle, Washington IVAM, Valencia, Spain

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Published on the occasion of the exhibition

C AI O FONSEC A 20 may - 10 july 2011 Tayloe Piggott Gallery 62 South Glenwood Street, PO Box 1435 Jackson, Wyoming 83001 Tel 307 733 0555 www.tayloepiggottgallery.com Catalog designed by Ali Scheier Printed by Northern Printers Interview by Yvonne Lai Originally published in Hong Kong’s Post Magazine October 31, 2010 Photographs by Alan Zindman, Stefano Baroni, Ellen Page Wilson, Leslie Hassler All rights reserved Tayloe Piggott Gallery

Caio Fonseca Catalogue  

A catalogue of the works by artist Caio Fonseca hanging in the Tayloe Piggott Gallery in Jackson Hole, WY

Caio Fonseca Catalogue  

A catalogue of the works by artist Caio Fonseca hanging in the Tayloe Piggott Gallery in Jackson Hole, WY