RACHEL HIGGINS I GIACINTO OCCHIONERO
April 17 - June 1, 2014

Kristen Lorello is pleased to announce a two-person exhibition of synthetic stone sculptures by Brooklyn-based artist Rachel Higgins and paintings on p.v.c. (polyvinyl chloride) by Rome-based artist Giacinto Occhionero.  This exhibition is the gallery's first, and it will be on view from April 17 - June 1, 2014.  The common use of synthetic materials and the formal motif of the circle unify works by the two artists in this show.

Rachel Higgins repurposes found styrofoam and salvaged building materials in sculptures which also double as seating for this exhibition.  The forms convey the look of decorative architectural elements commonly found in corporate buildings, suburban shopping malls, and parks.  Such sites have often provided the settings for Higgins' own interactive projects.  In 2011 Higgins was an artist-in-residence at Build-It-Green, a NYC salvage yard in Queens.  During the residency, she began working with discarded architectural elements, which she resurfaced with a type of exterior wall-cladding often used in retail and commercial facades, known as EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finishing System).  Made from a composite of styrofoam, fiberglass mesh, and cement, the EIFS-based sculptures in this exhibition are intended for use in either indoor or outdoor space.

Giacinto Occhionero's paintings on p.v.c. feature dots of color worked into patterns.  The combination of colors hints at natural elements such as vegetation and sky.  Purchasing sheets of p.v.c. near his studio in the industrial outskirts of Rome, Occhionero sprinkles paint onto the verso of the sheets intuitively, holding the spray cans at varying distances from the surface, and applying varying degrees of pressure to the nozzle.  He then uses solvents such as graffiti remover to erase areas of paint from the surface, reapplies more paint, and repeats the process, constantly viewing the front of the p.v.c. to see that the desired interplay of color and light is achieved.  Occhionero's first-hand experience of various architectural structures in Istanbul (where the artist attended a residency program last summer) provided the initial impetus for this new series of works.

Rachel Higgins (b. Laramie, WY, 1981) received her MFA from Hunter College in 2010 and is a 2013-14 Artist in Residence in the LMCC Workspace program.  Group exhibitions include Do It (Outside), Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY, 2013, and Several Circles, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, NY, April 2014.  Giacinto Occhionero (b. Campobasso, Italy, 1975) was a 2013 artist in residence at Mau Mau, Istanbul, Turkey, and a 2007 recipient of the Banca Profilo "Profilo d'Arte" prize in Italy.  Past group exhibitions include "Biennale di Venezia 54th Edition - Molise Regional Pavillion," MACI, Isernia, Italy, 2011, and “Damnatio Memoriae (or) Creating Memory," Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York, 2011.  His solo exhibition at Kristen Lorello will take place in fall 2014.

Kristen Lorello is located at 195 Chrystie Street, 6th floor, NY, NY.  Gallery hours are Wed-Fri 12-6 and Sat-Sun.  To arrive at the gallery please enter the building and take the elevator to the 6th floor, then ring buzzer #600A.  The downstairs intercom number is 1063.