By Martina Tanga,

Happy Birthday Giosetta Fioroni! Born on Christmas eve in 1932, Fioroni was the only woman artist associated with the so-called Scuola di Piazza del Popolo, a group of Pop artists who congregated around artist Mimmo Rotella, showed work at the famous Galleria La Tartaruga, and were supported by the collector Plinio de Martiis. Through these connections, Fioroni met, in addition to Italian artists Tano Festa, Mario Schifano and Franco Angeli, also Cy Twombly, Willem De Kooning, and Robert Rauschenberg. Firmly establishing her as a leading Pop Art figure, Fioroni exhibited work at the landmark 1964 Venice Biennale, where Italian Pop artists first confronted their American counterparts.

Fioroni developed a distinctive painterly practice as she worked with aluminum enamel paint – mixing it with oil to create reflective painterly surfaces that suggest antique mirrors – and graphite. The fugitive silver surfaces of her canvases recall the cool detachment of American Pop, while the drawn close-ups of female faces floods her work with intimacy. Fioroni looked to cinema, movie stars like Elsa Martinelli, and magazines for her subjects, frequently capturing them in the act of looking, sometimes unabashedly and directly at their viewers. Fioroni’s paintings are often curiously, and self-consciously, cropped so that she leaves the canvas seemingly empty and yet full of countless tiny traces of her hand at once.

Fioroni’s work was only recently introduced to american audiences in the artist’s first solo show in North America at the New York Drawing Center in 2013. The exhibition focused largely on her oeuvre from the 1960s and 1970s, and bravely showing not only her paintings but also three of her short films. Fioroni is still alive, and still working, so TANTI AUGURI!

TV Girl, 1964-65, pencil and enamel on canvas

Liberty, 1965, Pencil, white and aluminum enamel on canvas, 57 ½ x 44 13/16 inches. Collection Jacorossi, Rome. Courtesy of the artist.

Girl with Glasses, 1968, Pencil, white and aluminum enamel on canvas,

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