IMPASTA HANDBAGS: ottobre - dicembre 2023

Impasta Handbags is a solo exhibition of new paintings by John Avelluto, curated by Paul D'Agostino at Stand4 Gallery in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The exhibition is on view from October 14th to December 10th, 2023.

John Avelluto’s artwork engages his background as an Italian American and native Brooklynite. Through the lens of painting, this engagement examines the tropes, both linguistic and visual, of the artist’s identities. Reflecting on the qualities of the acrylic medium, Avelluto explores the material’s pictorial and sculptural plasticity. Shifts in language occur through displaced imagery, or as certain images rub up against diverse cultural entities and art historical precedents. Avelluto plays with, undermines, and confounds Italian American cultural stereotypes and touchstones, toying with the existing linguistic and visual repertoire of vernacular references that aren’t regularly examined in painting. As curator Paul D’Agostino notes in his exhibition essay, “Impasta Handbags is Avelluto’s thorough, vastly engaging upping of the ante in terms of material mastery, visual trickery, linguistic cleverness, cultural commentary, and layered, embedded punnery.”

John Avelluto currently lives and works in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. He received his MFA at CUNY Brooklyn College, where he studied with Elizabeth Murray, Vito Acconci, William T Williams, and Jennifer McCoy.

Paul D’Agostino, Ph.D is an artist, writer, curator, translator, and educator, as well as founding director of Centotto, a curatorial project that now operates at large.

Stand4 Gallery was founded in January 2017 as an artist-run initiative. Housed in a former medical office in the heart of Bay Ridge, Stand4 brings visual arts programming to the center of the community, opening up opportunities for social, political and cultural connections and creating a discourse that bridges culture and tradition, and includes new voices towards a more sustainable future inspired by local interests. Stand4 Gallery and Community Art Center is located at 414 78th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209.

Paul D'Agostino's catalogue essay for Impasta Handbags, along with a full press release for the exhibit.

Press related to Impasta Handbags:
Art Spiel: "John Avelluto at Stand4 Gallery: Impasta Handbags," by Etty Yaniv, 26 October 2023
Two Coats of Paint: "An Italian American Colloquy with Joanne Mattera and John Avelluto," 9 November 2023