← Artists

Josette Urso

Born: 1962 Tampa, Florida
Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York

website: josetteurso.com

During the past decade, technology has dramatically increased the amount of visual information that we receive each day and the medium of collage is uniquely suited to reflect this in a meaningful way. Collage is able to express this saturation of information in a manner other visual media cannot. Each day, we are presented with TMI (too much information) without really being conscious of how all this information changes our perception. It is the collage artist that can take disparate pieces of information and give it context.

The German collage artist Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) coined the term “Merz” to express his desire to “make connections…between everything in the world.” At first, Schwitters said that his collages were “not intended to mean anything, [but] only to be strong compositions in color.” Later he changed his view stating “Poetry arises from the interaction of these elements, meaning is important only if it is employed as one such factor. I play off sense against nonsense.”

In Josette Urso’s work, the same concept is applied using contemporary printed materials and grids. There is a sense of play in her work but it is rooted in the strong desire to create organization from chaos. To take the “sense and nonsense” and apply a mathematical system to it. Unlike in Schwitters collages which are looser and more organic, Urso’s collages have distinct edges. They are more controlled.

It is in her paintings where we see loose abstract color. They have an aimless quality but if you look closely you can see that the paint is applied with a careful eye. “In them the artist’s propensity for weaving, noodling and circling – as well as generally messing wet-on-wet color into subtly crazed patchworks of contrasting patterns, textures and pictorial ideas – takes over. The resulting meanders are self-referential: a wry, opulent cartography of their own making.”

Roberta Smith, co-chief art critic, New York Times.

EDUCATION

1980 BFA, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL (Drawing)
1984 MFA, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL (Painting)

GRANTS AND RESIDENCIES

2014 Loft Nota Bene, Cadaques, Spain
2013 Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Inc., New York, NY
Art and History Museums of Maitland – Research Studio, Maitland, FL
2010 Loft Nota Bene, Cadaques, Spain (1996, 1995)
2009 Yaddo, The Alma B.C. Schapiro Residency, Saratoga Springs, NY
Artist in Residence & Project Director, Mural & Workshop Site: Mary & Martha
House, Ruskin, FL
2008 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc., New York, NY (2007-2008)
Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc., Germany (Architectural Glass and Mosaic Studio)
Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Schwandorf, Germany
2006 Stock 20, Taichung, Taiwan
2005 Lambent Fellowship Nominee, New York, NY
Full Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT
2004 American Artists Abroad, Art in Embassies, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
2003 Weir Farm Trust, Wilton, CT
2002 Ballinglen Arts Foundation, County Mayo, Ireland
2000 The Basil H. Alkazzi Award, USA
Ballinglen Arts Foundation, County Mayo, Ireland

1997 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc., New York, NY
1996 The Center For Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia, PA
1995 Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, Wyoming
1994 Mid Atlantic / NEA Regional Fellowship Painting
1993 Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Schwandorf, Germany (Virginia Center for the
Creative Arts Exchange)
1991 Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France
1990 Millay Colony, Austerlitz, NY
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, VA
1988 Art Matters Inc., NY
AIM / Artist in the Marketplace Program, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY
Ruth Chenven Foundation, New York, NY
1986 Individual Artist Fellowship, Florida State Arts Council, Tallahassee, FL
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2013 Chandler Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
Markel Fine Arts, New York, NY
The Anthony Giordano Gallery, Dowling College, Oakdale, NY
2012 Center For Emerging Visuals Artists, Philadelphia, PA
Gallery 221, Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry Campus, Tampa, FL
2011 New York Public Library, New York, NY curated by Arezoo Moseni
2009 Young + Rubicam, New York, NY
2008 Sparkasse Schwandorf, Schwandorf, Germany
2006 Gulf Coast Museum of Art, Largo, FL
Anita S. Wooten Gallery, Valencia Community College, Orlando, FL
2005 Weir Farm Trust, Wilton, CT
2004 Holhauzer Gallery, Okaloosa-Walton College, Niceville, FL
2001 Museo de las Americas, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Chandler Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
1997 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc., New York, NY
1996 The Center For Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia, PA
1995 Ucross Foundation, Clearmont, Wyoming
1994 Mid Atlantic / NEA Regional Fellowship Painting
1993 Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus, Schwandorf, Germany (Virginia Center for the
Creative Arts Exchange)
1991 Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France
1990 Millay Colony, Austerlitz, NY
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, VA
1988 Art Matters Inc., NY
AIM / Artist in the Marketplace Program, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY
Ruth Chenven Foundation, New York, NY
1986 Individual Artist Fellowship, Florida State Arts Council, Tallahassee, FL
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2013 Chandler Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
Markel Fine Arts, New York, NY
The Anthony Giordano Gallery, Dowling College, Oakdale, NY
2012 Center For Emerging Visuals Artists, Philadelphia, PA
Gallery 221, Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry Campus, Tampa, FL
2011 New York Public Library, New York, NY curated by Arezoo Moseni
2009 Young + Rubicam, New York, NY
2008 Sparkasse Schwandorf, Schwandorf, Germany
2006 Gulf Coast Museum of Art, Largo, FL
Anita S. Wooten Gallery, Valencia Community College, Orlando, FL
2005 Weir Farm Trust, Wilton, CT
2004 Holhauzer Gallery, Okaloosa-Walton College, Niceville, FL
2001 Museo de las Americas, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Chandler Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
2000 Galerie Industria, Wuppertal, Germany (1998, 1996, 1994, 1992)
Hammond Gallery, Fitchburg College, MA
Rosemont College, Lawrence, PA
1999 Concordia College, Bronxville, NY
1998 The Forum Gallery, Jamestown Community College, NY
1997 Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano, San Jose, Costa Rica
1996 University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
1995 The Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ
1993 University of Tampa, Lee Scarfone Gallery, FL
1990 The Deland Museum of Art, Deland, FL
1987 Fine Arts Museum of Long Island, Hempstead, NY
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2013 Schema Projects, Brooklyn, NY
2012 Art Gallery at Eagle Hill Institute, Steuben, ME
Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL
The Painting Center, New York, NY
Gallery 61, New York, NY
Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA
2011 The Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
Luchsinger Gallery, Greenwich Academy, Greenwich, CT
Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ
Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, WY
2010 University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
2008 Chandler Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
Ruth Chenven Foundation, New York, NY
Kunst und Gewerbeverein, Regensburg, Germany
2007 Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY
2005 Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport, Maine
Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL
Clarion University Art Gallery, Clarion, PA
2004 Art in Embassies Program, Dublin, Ireland
Art in Embassies Program, Zagreb, Croatia
Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA
2003 Art in Embassies Program, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Art in Embassies Program, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
The Beaker Gallery, Tampa, FL
2001 The Painting Center, New York, NY
Art in Embassies Program, Ankara, Turkey
2000 Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY (1996, 1990, 1988)
1999 Art in Embassies Program, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
1998 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York Law School, New York, NY
1996 Federal Reserve Bank, New York, NY
1991 Center for Contemporary Art, Miami, FL
1990 Seibu Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
1988 The Drawing Center, NY
PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC
The Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
University of South Florida Museum of Art, Tampa, FL
Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL
Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, FL
The DeLand Museum of Art, DeLand, FL
U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC
Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano, San Jose, Costa Rica
Federal Reserve Bank, New York, NY
Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, FL
The Maitland Museum of Art, Maitland, FL
The Ballinglen Archive, Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland
Stadt Schwandorf, Germany