Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Provenance, from the French word provenir, "to come from". Literally meaning - the origin of something - where something originated, was made, the history of something or someone. I love that word - provenance - it just sounds important.
I own this signed Fiore painting - I bought it from an art dealer in New York City, almost ten years ago. Joel, the dealer, bought it out of an upper east side brownstone. I know that this was painted by an artist named Joseph Fiore, who attended Black Mountain College under Josef Albers, Ilya Bolotowsky and Willem de Kooning, from 1946-1948. He then studied at the California School of Fine Art from 1948-49 and taught at Black Mountain College from 1949-1956. Besides all of this, I know very little about Joseph Fiore - other than I believe he is still alive. I wonder if he misses this painting.
About a year ago, Sofia and I came home after school and from the outside window, we saw that the painting had fallen off the dining room wall. The canvas was laying atop one of our dining room chairs and had been pierced by the two wooden finials that frame the back of the chair. Pierced! I ran in and let out a huge litany of my favorite curse words. The painting was slashed in two different places, 2-3" each slash. I thought my love affair with the painting was over - I mourned. And then one day, my brother John, who is a painter and general master crafter, repaired my painting! He lined the back of the two slashes with linen tape and then ever so gently, painted over the ripped canvas until the slashes disappeared.  I can't even remember where the canvas was pierced - it's invisible to the naked eye.  I hope Joseph would feel the same way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This painting was painted by my Uncle Joseph Fiore who died quietly in his home on Sept. 18, 2008. He was a wonderful artist and would have been delighted to know how much you loved his painting.