MARCH 2 – APRIL 28, 2012


“Artists, Judy Onofrio and Jennifer Onofrio Fornes are mother and daughter, each bound to each other and each distinctly individual.

In this dual exhibition, working independently in different parts of the country, through completely dissimilar means, the work of both artists moved with the certainty of a gravitational pull toward questions about the meaning of life. Their work is evidence of their search to look within the world and reach beyond it, searching for a truth that is in it, but not of it.

The experience of seeing both artists together takes an additional meaning by the context of the pairing, and we are as if eavesdroppers to their tender, cherished conversations.” – Sherry Leedy

Ground, 2012
mixed media & bones

Judy Onofrio has always been in love with the stuff of the world. In the first three decades of her fifty-year career, she worled with clay, then built, painted and often set on fire enormous sculptural constructions. For the past twenty years, she has told optimistic stories about strong women, lush gardens and circus through her elaborately embellished figurative sculptures.

In 2008, when Onofrio was confronted by a serious illness, everything changed and she turned to her studio practice to process her experience of mortality, renewal and healing. The resulting series mirrored Onofrio’s own journey through illness to renewed health. Always a master of material, Onofrio began to subtly and organically integrate animal bones into her repertoire of sculpted, embellished and painted forms.

Then Onofrio took a leap of faith. The female figure, star of her work for decades, vanished. Sleek, vibrant color mutated into shades of slippery creamy ivory, and bones became the material of choice. Onofrio’s increasing awareness of the physical and spiritual energy of life lived, held in the bones left behind on earth, had a profound influence on her understanding of healing and enlightenment.

In the series Earth Bound, Judy Onofrio shows us a heartbreakingly beautiful, poignant and lush, delicate and seductive nature morte throbbing with ife. Judy Onofrio’s baroque scuptures pulse with life and confirm that every detail is essentially only a passage to a new beginning. Of this work Judy Onofrio says, “To me, they feel like prayers.”

Deep Sleep, 2010
silver gelatin print

Jennifer Onofrio Fornes creates photographs that seek to discover and capture what is not there, or, at least, not there at first glance. Using her studio as place and herself as model, Onofrio Fornes photographs herself as she moves through space in an artificial environment with movements that she characterizes as awkward and strained. She captures the images on film.

As watcher, witness and actor, Onofrio Fornes uses the physicality of her constrained body and studio setting to conjure up images of transience and transcendence, ideas exemplified in Eastern philosophy and religion.

Jennifer Onofrio Forness is in persuit of a big idea. She seeks to make the invisible visible. She is looking for the divine sparks embedded and hidden in our material world and for what remains (spiritual attainment) after the physical disappears. The silver prints that make up Traces are as fluid, graceful and ephemeral as a seance or a mirage.

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