RULE Gallery opens ‘Color Fields,’ introducing the late Wilma Fiori to Texas

MARFA — RULE Gallery opened a new exhibition by Wilma Fiori this month, introducing another accomplished Colorado artist to the West Texas art landscape. Color Fields, the artist’s inaugural solo exhibition in Texas, highlights the work of Fiori (1929-2019), an enduring member of the Denver arts community and a key figure in the regional exploration of abstraction.

Fiori, like many artists, focused her initial practice on representational work during her years in the 1950s at Loretto Heights College, now Regis University in Denver. After completing her BFA, Fiori found another passion in the study of anthropology, where she closely analyzed the Denver Art Museum’s Indigenous Arts of North America Collection.

The intricate shapes, patterns, and compositions on items in the collection profoundly impacted her as an artist. As Fiori’s career continued to evolve, her abstractions became increasingly meditative and minimal. Her inspiration was developed further in the printmaking studio, honing her understanding of color and composition while experimenting with various tools such as the brush, the pen, and brayer roller, creating both paintings on paper and monotype prints.

The artist’s works are dynamic interactions between line, color, and shape, with sharp X-like forms spanning the composition and rectangles folding and stretching inwards. Bulbous figures in vibrant red overlap bands of silvery paint, offering sensations of space and depth. The series of works on paper presented in this exhibition reveal her interest in color field painting, the style of abstraction informed by European Modernism in which areas of color are independent of the other elements. Color Fields focuses on the artist’s decades-long career and the impact of her paintings on the larger Colorado abstract movement.

The show is on view through March 20, 2021, at 204 E San Antonio St in Marfa. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. With public and staff safety in mind, all visitors must wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines during their time in the gallery.

Fiori has exhibited her artwork for over 30 years in Colorado, Indiana, Illinois and New York. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Denver; Regis University, Denver; and numerous business and private collections.

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