A work by Serena Perrone, Assistant Professor of Printmaking and Drawing at PrattMWP College of Art and Design, Utica, has recently been acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the City of New York.
“A Volcano Pilgrim in Exchange for Fire,” is a combination of 21 prints with gouache monotype, silkscreen and letterpress. Perrone’s volcanic imagery is primarily in deep blue tones surrounded by expressive colors achieved through painterly gouache monotype. Each gouache monotype is hand-painted, which creates variations within the edition that adds to the powerful and evocative volcano views. Perrone began contemplating the imagery of volcanoes for her work prior to learning about the young and gifted poet, Craig Arnold, whose disappearance near the mouth of a volcano that he was researching for his poetry stunned the world. At the same time, it captivated Perrone, who began to research and read Arnold’s poetry. Perrone found subtleties in his poetry that shared many similar underlying themes and content which are integral to her approach to making art.
Perrone selected 20 active volcanoes in countries around the world that Arnold may have visited in his research; however, her interest was visual rather than a factual documentation of his path. The images combine a degree of accuracy but then freely blend from one to the next on the edges. From the start to the end, each of the 20 prints matches up to form a continuous line, that when exhibited as a whole and mounted edge to edge, creates a 25-foot long panorama of volcano landscapes.
Perrone is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design with an M.F.A. in Printmaking (2006), and Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a B.F.A. in Painting and a B.A. in Art History and French. She joined PrattMWP College of Art and Design as Assistant Professor of Printmaking in 2016 and is currently a Visiting Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design. Before coming to PrattMWP, she was based in Philadelphia and was the Visiting Assistant Professor of Printmaking at Kutztown University. She has also taught at Tyler School of Art, Swarthmore College, and the University of Georgia’s Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy.
Her work has been exhibited widely, including exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the International Print Center New York.
Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York Public Library, Yale University Art Gallery, Cleveland Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Smith College Museum of Art, RISD Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Library of Congress.
She was nominated for a Pew Fellowship in 2017 and has received grants and fellowships from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Santo Foundation, the William J. Cooper Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice. She is represented by Cade Tompkins Projects. Outside of the academic year, she resides in Italy, where she is the Founder and Director of Officina Stamperia del Notaio, an international artists’ residency program and printmaking studio in Sicily. More information about her work can be seen at serenaperrone.com and cadetompkins.com.
Painting: A Volcano Pilgrim in Exchange for Fire by Serena Perrone, drypoint, gouache monotype, screen print and letterpress on paper, 2010, courtesy permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.