Artists destroy in order to create ‘Cut Loose’ at Pierro Gallery

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The Pierro Gallery will present “Cut Loose,” a fall group exhibition curated by Danielle Masters. The show opens Thursday, Sept. 21, and will remain on view until Friday, Oct. 21. There will be an opening reception on Sept. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m.

This exhibition is about one’s ability to let go, be free and to let your hair down. It will examine the unique ways art shakes up conventional perceptions. The artists on exhibit have manipulated their materials either literally or conceptually by way of cutting, stripping the material away from its original purpose and finding a new context for it. This practice of artistic destruction brings a new life to the original idea, a rebirth into new forms.

This show will feature sculpture, paintings, photography, installations, and video. Artists include Colby Bird, Julia Petra Briggs, Jeffrey Burdian, Samar Hussaini, Danielle Masters, Jen Neal, Raymond Saa, Fede Reano, Brian Wondergem, Andrew Zimmerman and Anabella Zubillaga.

Bird is a photographer and sculptor who engages conceptual and art historical ideas. He will be displaying some photostatic prints with his meticulous hand built frames and hand carved blocks that reference the kodak color reference chart. He will also be displaying one of his Thonet-style bistro chair sculptures that are disassembled, sanded, sawed, painted and reassembled as abstract forms. Bird sees these as a collaboration between himself and the original builder of the chairs. His work has been exhibited widely and is held in prominent private and public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art. Bird currently lives and works in New York.

Wondergem is a Brooklyn-based artist whose unique approach involves sculptural installation, painting and assemblage. He has exhibited in numerous public and alternative spaces, and often collaborates with non-traditional or artist-run venues to create site-specific projects. He participated in the “EAF07: Emerging Artist Fellowship Show” at Socrates Sculpture Park in 2007. In 2010, he was invited to live and work in Zagreb, Croatia, through Art in General’s Eastern European Residency Exchange Program with the Croatian Council of Artists. While there he presented a show of public sculpture that was exhibited outside of the Mestrovic Pavilion. Wondergem’s work examines what makes a space meaningful and why people surround themselves with personal artifacts, symbols and useful organizational tools.

Saa, a New Jersey-based artist, will be showing sculptural sewn paper works that involve the deconstruction of drawings and their reformation into layered sewn pieces. Saa has exhibited extensively and received various awards and residencies such as Public Art for Public Schools PS 357X, New York, NY; Joan Mitchell Center Artist in Residence Program in New Orleans, La.; Pollack Krasner Foundation, New York, NY; and Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York, NY.

Zimmerman’s wall reliefs straddle the line between painting and sculpture while examining pattern, repetition and color. By fragmenting each work into modular segments he explores and exploits the contrasts between matte and glossy surfaces, organic and geometric shapes, and saturated and non-colors. Whether hand-carving undulating lines into wood panels with a saw or assembling hard-edged geometric shapes into a larger composition, the artist imbues his work with vibrancy and rhythm.

Zubillaga is a modern day pop artist transforming iconic cultural objects that resonate emotionally into sculptures through slip casting, plaster, handcrafting and mixed-media. Zubillaga lives and works in Brooklyn.

Neal is a Brooklyn-based fiber artist. Her handwoven wall hangings are inspired by the patterns, colors and textures found in vintage textiles and handicrafts of the 1960s. Neal’s work incorporates vintage, hand-dyed and natural fibers as well as wood collected around New York State.

Reano is a graphic designer, animator and sculptor who will be displaying his sculptures of cut foam coated in polished resin along with a psychotropic animated film. He was born and raised in Spain and currently resides in Brooklyn.

Hussaini is an Arab American fine artist and graphic designer who lives and works in West Orange. Using specific Palestinian cultural iconography and interspersing it with mixed media, she shows a richness of identity suggesting a disruption from the preconceived ideas about her people.

Burdian is a Brooklyn-based artist whose drawings, paintings and sculptures show a sense of rawness and grit that embodies the neo-expressionism movement of the ’80s. He has exhibited in various group exhibitions throughout New York. Burdian received his BFA from New York University in 2006.

A Brazilian-born artist, Briggs is inspired by both whimsical and classical themes. The owner of MADA, a women’s shop in Maplewood, Briggs’ art strives to be both playful and minimal using various mediums. A lover of all arts, she studied French poetry at Fordham University, voice at Juilliard and shoemaking in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her love for painting has remained throughout each chapter of her life. With a passion for 20th-century art, she traveled to the south of France to study painting in Montpellier where she discovered a love for watercolors. Later on she played with collage and mixing mediums. Briggs is currently working on large-scale abstract painting in which nature is the main theme.

Masters, the curator, is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in South Orange. Masters’ work investigates line, color and texture with a splash of jeu d’esprit. Masters is an emerging artist who has exhibited with The Dodge Foundation and various other locations in New Jersey. Masters has worked for contemporary galleries in both New York and Los Angeles prior to starting her family. This exhibition was derived by the idea of wanting to showcase the way artists interpret their materials, whether it be repurposing everyday objects to finding a new way to utilize or reinvent the artist’s typical tools of the trade.

In affiliation with “Cut Loose,” on Saturday, Oct. 14, the Pierro Gallery will present an “Introduction to Weaving with Jen Neal Studio,” a special artist workshop. The three-hour hands-on workshop will take place at 11 a.m. at the Baird, 5 Mead St. in South Orange. It is appropriate for artists in fifth grade and older, through adults and will be taught by exhibiting artist Jen Neal. A guided tour of the exhibition is included in the workshop, in which participants will learn how to create their own woven wall hanging. Admission is charged; register for the class at

Gallery hours are Mondays through  Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Contact to arrange a free gallery tour for your group.