Oil on canvas, 1962
31.25 x 28 x 1.5 inches
(79.4 x 71 x 3.8 cm)
Artist signature and date bottom left: Fiore 62 on verso: on stretcher ‘22’ stamped twice; in pencil (top)
Gift of the artist to Hilda Morley & Stefan Wolpe
Joseph Fiore studied at Black Mountain College in North Carolina with Joseph Albers and Willem deKooning, and later taught there from 1949-1956. He also taught at the Philadelphia College of Art, the Maryland Institute of Design, the Parsons School of Design, and the Artists for Environment Foundation.
Moving in and out of landscape painting, mostly as a result of spending summers in Maine since the 1950’s, the artist felt that his abstractions derived from the “primal impulses” to be felt in the deepest working of nature and time.
Stefan Wolpe was a Berlin born composer, trained at the Bauhaus, whose modern compositions were influenced by his socialist views. He was director of music at Black Mountain College from 1952-56. In 1952, he married Hilda Morley, a poet and teacher at the College, where they became friends with artists John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Creeley, and Robert Rauschenberg, among others.
1882 - 1966
Collage of cardboard, paper and rags, 1949
27 1/4 x 46 1/2 inches (68.1 x 116.25)
Bodley Gallery, New York
Francis Naumann Fine Art, New York
“Refusees”, Bodley Gallery, New York 1959.
“Surrealistic Pillow,” Nolan/Eckman Gallery, 1997.
“The Great Mother,” Palazzo Reale, Milan, 2016.
Poet and visual artist, Mina Loy is tied to the avant-garde group surrounding her son-in-law Julien Levy. In 1948 she began a series of collages of derelicts inhabiting the Bowery near where she lived on Stanton Street. Assemblages, these three-dimension tableaus of street life were fabricated from rags, bottles, clothespins, and cardboard amassed in her apartment from the street. In conjunction with these images Loy began a long narrative poem titled “Hot Cross Bums”. “Communal Cot” derives its imagery from this poem and is a modernization of the twelve apostles. At the suggestion of Marcel Duchamp, the Bodley Gallery in New York exhibited Loy’s series of the Bowery derelicts in 1959.
William Copley purchased “Communal Cot” from this exhibition while Peggy Guggenheim who took it with her to Venice to install in her palazzo purchased another assemblage titled “Househunting”. (see Carolyn Burke, “Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy”, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1996 pages 412 – 424)