by Debbie Wells
Stone Sculptures by Fortuna Szpiro at Leonard Tourné Gallery Exhibition: June 17 through July 31, 2015 Reception: Wednesday, June 24, 6-8pm Also, one sculpture will be on view in the sculpture garden/public space at Art Southampton: July 9-13, 2015
The Leonard Tourné Gallery is happy to announce that sculptures by artist Fortuna Szpiro will be on view as part of an upcoming art gallery exhibition this summer. The gallery, located at 46 East 65th Street in New York City (www.leonardtourne.com), specializes in established and emerging contemporary artists from around the globe and they are showcasing a selection of her stone sculptures in their gallery and its beautiful outdoor patio. Visit the artist section on the gallery’s website to see even more of her artwork.
Although Fortuna has been living in New York City for three years, she has a colorful background beginning in Lebanon where she was born in a Jewish neighborhood in Beirut. After the Six Day War, her family immigrated to Israel. Szpiro studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and served as press attaché at the French Consulate in Jerusalem for seventeen years. After years of sculpting as a hobby, she made it her full-time profession and currently works at the famed Art Students League.
As Fortuna Szpiro carves these abstract forms from stone, she is acutely aware of the many levels of creative exploration and expression during the process. To her, the choice of material is paramount and she selects stones of various colors, textures and shapes from all over the world, including Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, US, Israel and Afganistan. Szpiro enjoys the diversity of the physical aspects of the stones, which she feels is reflective of the differences of people and cultures. She compares her handling of the stone to the way human beings should be treated – with sensitivity and patience. The artist explains, “If you apply too much force, it may break. But if you treat it with care, it will reveal its wonders.”
Szpiro prides herself in allowing stone to lead the way as she carves. “Stone is full of mysteries and surprises. Even though it appears at first as an incoherent mass of grey matter, it possesses its own logic and harmony, which it reveals only gradually during the sculpting process,” she explains. To understand more about Fortuna Szpiro’s philosophy on her art and how the many aspects of her own personality are infused within the stone, visit her website at www.FortunaSzpiro.com.
It is not just her own personal viewpoint of the stone that is important to the artist. Szpiro never titles her work so viewers are free to interpret the piece in their own way and find beauty in the abstract form. To supplement the visual experience, people are invited to connect with the sculpture through touch for an even more powerful art encounter.
Cover: Fortuna Szpiro©-Kelley Cox Post Independent Glenwood Springs CO
Top (L-R): White/Yule Marble, 14x16x13 in; Beige/Onyx from the Dead Sea, 17x15x16 in Bottom: Pink/Norwegian Marble, 21x5x5 in