Colossus Rosemarie Fiore: Falk Visiting Artist at Weatherspoon Art Museum

January 16 – April 17, 2016

"The Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is pleased to present the exhibition Colossus – Rosemarie Fiore: Falk Visiting Artist. Inventive mechanics, choreographed performance, and chance surprises come together in the work of Rosemarie Fiore. For the past fifteen years, the artist has been painting with colored smoke fireworks. Unlike the gunpowder based explosives frequently associated with the term firework, these silent devices release plumes of bright pigments, rather than colored flames. Fiore crafts tools that both hold the smoke canisters and allow her to contain and direct the particles they release. With small versions of these tools, she can work alone, merely tilting her wrist or bending a finger—to guide the smoke across a sheet of paper. With larger tools, she must enlist multiple people to bend, lift, and pull together.

Regardless of her exact tool and process, Fiore’s paintings result from the combination of direction and chance—she selects the color of smoke canister and steers its release, but variances in heat, air current, and rates of combustion ensure that its marks defy prediction.

"The artist is truly working in partnership with her tools and materials," says Curator of Exhibitions Emily Stamey, "and the results are stunning." Stamey also notes that "we are fortunate to be able to present not only these dynamic paintings, but also a selection of the tools Fiore used to create them, and those tools are likewise exciting artworks in their own right."

Until recently, Fiore’s drawings comprised frenetic arrays of dots and dashes, complex fields of marks with vivacious energy. Her more recent paintings, however, offer quieter compositions—just a handful of circular forms appear to hover and pulse rather than dash and dart. These new works invite a more measured, meditative consideration.

Fiore comes to Greensboro as a Falk Visiting Artist. Since 1982 the UNCG Art Department has partnered with the Weatherspoon to bring nationally and internationally recognized artists to campus through this program. While here, Fiore will work closely with UNCG graduate students and give a public lecture about her work.

Rosemarie Fiore received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BA from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Her earliest Firework Drawings were developed at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program in New Mexico; the Smoke Eclipse paintings were created at Sculpture Space in Utica, New York; and her newest tool, Colossus, was built here at UNCG with help from Art Department faculty and students. She lives in the Bronx and is represented by Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles.

As the Spring 2016 Falk Visiting Artist at the Weatherspoon and the Art Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Fiore will present a lecture about her work and meet with MFA graduate students. Special thanks to Christopher Thomas, Studio Foundations Coordinator, Department of Art, UNCG and the 2014/15 Falk Visiting Artist Committee.

Image top:  Rosemarie Fiore, Firework Drawing #26, 2009, lit firework residue on Fabriano paper, 41 x 48 in. Museum purchase with funds from the Dillard Fund for the Dillard Collection, 2010.

Related Education and Public Programming

Artist Lecture: Rosemarie Fiore
Thursday, January 28, 6 pm
This lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Doors open 30 minutes prior.

Noon @ the 'Spoon Public Tour
Tuesday, February 9, 12 pm
Noon @ the 'Spoon features a 20-minute tour of a new exhibition. Offered every second Tuesday of the month. Free.

For a complete, updated list of programs, visit

About the Weatherspoon Art Museum

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro acquires, preserves, exhibits, and interprets modern and contemporary art for the benefit of its multiple audiences, including university, community, regional, and beyond. Through these activities, the museum recognizes its paramount role of public service, and enriches the lives of diverse individuals by fostering an informed appreciation and understanding of the visual arts and their relationship to the world in which we live.

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro was founded by Gregory Ivy in 1941 and is the earliest of any art facilities within the UNC system.  The museum was founded as a resource for the campus, community, and region and its early leadership developed an emphasis—maintained to this day—on presenting and acquiring modern and contemporary works of art. A 1950 bequest from the renowned collection of Claribel and Etta Cone, which included prints and bronzes by Henri Matisse and other works on paper by American and European modernists, helped to establish the Weatherspoon’s permanent collection.  Other prescient acquisitions during Ivy’s tenure included a 1951 suspended mobile by Alexander Calder, Woman by Willem de Kooning, a pivotal work in the artist’s career that was purchased in 1954, and the first drawings by Eva Hesse and Robert Smithson to enter a museum collection.

In 1989, the museum moved into its present location in The Anne and Benjamin Cone Building designed by the architectural firm Mitchell Giurgula. The museum has six galleries and a sculpture courtyard with over 17,000 square feet of exhibition space.  The American Association of Museums accredited the Weatherspoon in 1995 and renewed its accreditation in 2005.

Collections + Exhibitions
The permanent collection of the Weatherspoon Art Museum is considered to be one of the foremost of its kind in the Southeast.  It represents all major art movements from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Of the nearly 6,000 works in the collection are pieces by such prominent figures as Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Cindy Sherman, Al Held, Alex Katz, Henry Tanner, Louise Nevelson, Mark di Suvero, Deborah Butterfield, and Robert Rauschenberg. The museum regularly lends to major exhibitions nationally and internationally.

The Weatherspoon also is known for its adventurous and innovative exhibition program. Through a dynamic annual calendar of fifteen to eighteen exhibitions and a multi-disciplinary educational program for audiences of all ages, the museum provides an opportunity for audiences to consider artistic, cultural, and social issues of our time and enriches the life of our university, community, and region.

Weatherspoon Art Museum
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Spring Garden and Tate Streets, PO Box 26170

Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, 336.334.5770,"

- A Press Release

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