Gianna Commito’s work references architectural archetypes and the layers of urban development patterns. She examines the organic and unpredictable aspects of the built environment and explores the subject at a scale that is both personal and engaged.
Commito takes the physical repetitions of her daily routine, such as walking a path through her neighborhood to her studio, and reimagines these constants as formal factors in her paintings: the grid, the stripe, the frame, all of which provide a stable underpinning for busy and spontaneous interactions between layers of visual information.
Very little about Commito’s approach is predetermined, and the artist’s pleasure in working comes from the balancing act of wrestling with colors, patterns, and techniques while also allowing an image to unfold intuitively. The result is an underlying anxiety or slipperiness in the paintings that reveals itself in a delicate alliance between layers.
The artist’s works make a statement: there is always play between the confluence of many different points of view within a confined space, weaving the destabilizing effects of conflict and tension with the respite of harmony and security.
The combination of materials is the result of years of experimentation with different media and techniques. Wood panels primed with a traditional marble dust and hide glue ground provide a surface durable enough to heavily tape, sand, and layer upon, giving it the physicality of ceramic tile or frescoed wall. This further connects to Commito’s interest in architecture, building materials, and, by extension, her continuing exploration of public versus private space and the development and collapse of manmade environments.
Gianna Commito earned a BFA from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY and an MFA from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. Commito lives and works in Kent, OH.