Chris Piazza | About

About the Artist

Chris Piazza was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She came to NYC in 1972 and supported herself for many years, mainly as a seamstress. During her first years in NY she was also a "romance novel" proof reader, cabaret hostess, Kosher restaurant bus-boy, babysitter, ice cream counterperson, painter of "original works of art" for a mass-production art company, shop model for an antique clothing dealer, foot messenger for a midtown travel agency, Ken Jacobs cleaning lady, textile designer, assistant tile setter and telephone receptionist at the last Communist union in the United States. Upon marriage to film-maker Jim Jennings, she and her husband started a plumbing company which they ran together for many years. They also purchased and restored old buildings. Chris credits her many jobs as the varied educational background necessary for the production of her work today. Chris currently lives and works in a 19th century carriage house in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, a building which she personally restored.

Artist/writer John Matturri has described Chris Piazza’s work as coming out of “her deep feeling for found materials, a feeling rooted in patinas that are as much emotional as physical, that often call the viewer back to material histories that resonate although they are often just beyond the reach of personal memory.” Matturri writes that Piazza’s works "combine a minimalist sensibility of repetition, seriality, and meticulous craftsmanship with a maximalist imaginative vision akin to, albeit on a larger physical scale, that of Joseph Cornell. Applying her procedures to found objects, she creates an art that celebrates the world of their makers and users not through nostalgic recollection for a lost past but through a positive affirmation of continuity and solidarity. Her re-use of those objects is very contemporary."

Artist Bio

Solo Exhibitions

• 2013 Hudson Merchantile, Hudson, NY
• 2009 Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Brooklyn, NY
• 2007 The Pictures, Tria Gallery, Chelsea, NY
• 2006 The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of, Tria Gallery, Chelsea, NY
• 2005 The Snowshoe Salesman made by order of Her Royal MajestyQueen NY premiere, Pacific Space, Brooklyn, NY
• 2002 Fritz and The Professor, NY premiere, Pacific Space, Brooklyn, NY
• 2001 Froggy and The Gardener, NY premiere, Pacific Space, Brooklyn, NY
• 2001 Five Characters From The Commedia, Save Venice Benefit, Cipriani 42, NY, NY
• 2000 The Cabbage Eater, NY premiere, Pacific Space, Brooklyn, NY
• 1973 Puppets and Small Characters, Forge Gallery, NY, NY

Group Exhibitions

• 2018 Sympathetic Magic, Westbeth Gallery, NYC, NY • 2012 Tria Gallery, Chelsea, NY
• 2007 - 2008 Punch Bowl, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY
• 2007 Benefit Art & Design Auction, Design Trust for Public Space, NY, NY
• 2007 Radius Show, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY
• 2007 "About Face: Artists not afraid of U-Turns, GCCCA Gallery, Catskill , NY
• 2007 ArtWalk07, Brooklyn, NY
• 2006 Library, Proteus Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY
• 2006 ArtWalk06, Brooklyn, NY
• 2004 Dark Shadows and Curious Circuses, Selby Gallery, Ringling School of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL
• 2004 ArtWalk04, Brooklyn, NY
• 2003 Constructing Realities, Selby Gallery Ringling School Art and Design, Sarasota FL
• 2003 Group Exhibition, Catskill Mountain Foundation, Hunter, NY
• 2001 Creative Spirit Award Gala, CCWC, Puck Building, NY
• 2000 Five Artists - Borkowska - Boxer - Foreman - Gerson - Piazza, Pacific Space, Brooklyn, NY
• 2000 Summer Group Exhibition, Sailor’s Valentine Gallery - Nantucket, Mass.
• 2000 13 Montgomery Street Gallery - Rhinebeck, NY
• 1986 Group Exhibition, Alan Stone Gallery - New York, NY
• 1986 Forgotten Games: The Art Of Box Construction, Foxworth Gallery, NY, NY
• 1986 Urban Archetypes, Civilian Warfare Gallery, NY, NY
• 1986 New Territory, two person group show, Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association, Brooklyn, NY
• 1985 Pandora’s Box, New Museum, NY, NY
• 1985 Terminal Show, Bush Terminal Show, Brooklyn, NY
• 1985 Small Works Show, Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association - Brooklyn, NY
• 1985 Small Works Show, curated by Alan Stone, New York University, NY, NY
• 1984 Folk Art Show, Park Avenue Atrium, NY, NY
Theater, Readings, Film and Collaborations
• 2001 NYCReadings: Paradigm Poets BBC simulcast broadcast, Acme Underground; Spa, NY; St. Marks Poetry Project; Ohm
• 2000 Featured Reader, Tribes - New York, NY
• 1997 The Theater of Awkward Collage - performance piece written and staged in collaboration with sound designer Wayne Frost, View Gallery, NY, NY
• 1997 Honeymoon Suite - costume for installation/performance by Elisabeth Tesla, Art Awareness, Lexington, NY
• 1996 Photographic Tryptichs (with Barry Gerson), Carrie Haddad Gallery - Hudson, NY
• 1986 A Fairy Tale - costumes, staging and performance for film by Jim Jennings, St. Augustine, Fla.
• 1982 Elvis: A Docu-drama - costumes and performance for video production by Robert Schneider, Baruch College, NY City
• 1981 The Lobster Parade - costumes and performance for summer “street” production by Mary Forrester, New York, NY
• 1983 Waiting For The Train - costumes, staging and performance for film by Jim Jennings,Worcester, Mass.
• 1980-93 The Laura Forman Dance/Performance Art Theater - costumes and set design for numerous performances at various venues including: The Delacorte Theater, NY and The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.
• 1985 Head Lines (with Jim Jennings), Space Digest Today, Eye Magazine, artist publication, edition of 151, NYC
• 1981-82 SEE/SAW, collaborative artist publication, NYC
• 1978-82 Nuke Brink - script, costumes, set design, staging and performance for film-collaboration with Jim Jennings, Brooklyn, NY
• 1975-76 Yeats Cuchulain Cycle - masks, The Irish Arts Center, NYC
• 1974-75 The Hispanic Repertoire Company - masks and costumes, NYC
Grants, Awards, Commissions
• 2006 The Snow Queen's Walking Stick, Brooklyn Academy of Music - commission for 2006 New Wave Festival presentation to Pina Bausch
• 2003 George Sugarman Foundation
• 2002 Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation
• New York Social Diary, listing 11/07
• Art In America, listing 11/2007
•, listing 11/2007
•, listing 11/2007
• Unseen Cinema on tour, listing 11/2007
• Alpin, Beth C., "There is no agenda; It's about the neighborhood," Brooklyn Eagle, June 8, 2007 AM NY, listing June 8-10, 2007
• Art In America, listing 10/2006
• Shaw, Dan, "Her Carriage House is a Stable for her Art," New York Times, Feb. 5, 2006
• Albritton, Ann, Constructing Realities Part II, Sculpture Magazine, Vol. 24 No. 5, June, 2005
• Gonzalez, Allyson "Constructing Realities Part II," Weekly Planet, Sarasota, Fl
• Moraru, Gabriela, New York Chooses You, 2004 documentary film about artists: Beatrice Coron, Chris Piazza, Vic Muniz, John Tarry, Neil Tetkowski,
• Oisteanu, Valery “Where can we find Surrealism old & new,” NY Arts Vol.7 July/Aug.2002
• Segal, Rick “This is Art,” studio visit and interview, May 2001-
• Dellolio, Peter “Puppets” featured artist, Artscape2000, Spring 1999- www.artscape2000

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