PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

She chooses to swim outside the mainstream Joan Giordano shows works on paper.

By Victoria Donohoe FOR THE INQUIRER

POSTED: September 12, 2008

Joan Giordano of New York is among "new" artists receiving considerable attention today as one of those who choose to remain outside the mainstream.

Her exhibit "Collective Identities: Works on/of Paper" at Rosemont College features colorful sculptural installations from a technique Giordano perfected during a residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Although many of these 13 richly textured works exemplify for her a new type of painting with implied figurative elements called "Personages," she doesn't try to tell a story in them.

Instead, each of the sentinel-like panels - "flags of the spirit," they've been called - has a dominant color (synthetic for permanency), which she pounds into the crinkly surface of the hanging scrolls. The single most striking paperwork, differently shaped "Flight of a Warrior," combines such varied techniques as burning, stitching, melting, cutting and welding.

Giordano's handsomely textured abstract sculptures are the result of a complex thought and work process that constantly moves between freedom and rational control. Explicit mirroring of reality and narrative action are strictly avoided as well in her accompanying smaller wax-based paintings and prints. Texture is everything for Giordano, and so is respect for the humblest materials of nature.