Building A Relief Sculpture Across Time:
by Jonathan Goodman
New York-based artist Joan Giordano has for many years built large relief sculptures of unusual textures and beauty, usually with newspapers, corrugated cardboard, and other collage media. Her studio is located in the west of midtown, in the garment center of Manhattan. There she works out the dimensions and surfaces of her work, which bulge and flex, sometimes considerably, into space from the wall they have been placed on. Giordano's work comes out of a post-modern sense of global dialogue, beginning with the art of Eva Hesse and moving on to an appreciation of El Anatsui. She practices collage, following out on a larger scale the exquisite positioning of materials seen in the work of German artist Kurt Schwitters. Her work, which is large, topical in the sense she includes actual newspapers, and volumetrically complex, demonstrates an awareness of the dictates of history, both artistic and political.
It is hard not to be charmed by the colorful whimsicality of Giordano's work, which appears to fly across the wall in a burst of hue and form. The broad array of surfaces and forms in her reliefs construct an improvised intricacy that seems to stand for urban experience-- we remember that the artist is a true New Yorker, having been raised in Staten Island and educated at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.