CODA Gallery presents a new exhibition of sculptures by Giuseppe Palumbo, running Feb. 1-22. An opening reception, attended by the artist, will be held 5-8 pm on Feb. 1 in conjunction with El Paseo Art Walk/Palm Desert First Weekend.
Giuseppe chooses to live where he works, blurring the lines of separation between who he is and what he does in an attempt to minimize distractions and enter a zone of consciousness where art and the self merge. “I can notice something with my first cup of coffee in the morning and walk over to adjust it. So I am working almost all of the time.” For years, he lived and worked on his 51-foot boat moored in Sausalito, California. He recently moved across the bay to a new studio with more square footage in a Berkeley foundry.
Palumbo’s finished works include bronze, steel, aluminum, and concrete. But it’s the organic quality of clay warming in his hands that he finds meditative. “My works are diverse, some tapping into Mythology and Philosophy. ‘Duality,’ a sculpture of two men balancing on a beam, illustrates the struggle for balance we strive to achieve. Others may speak as social commentary. ‘Safety,’ a 10’ tall safety pin, represents a symbol of protection for those who feel marginalized. Levity is used as a tonic and protest. Anthropomorphic sheep, flying pigs and Zen bulls deepen the emotive responses.” The February exhibition includes a variety of new work, including the debut of his latest in the series of dancing sheep, “One More Time,” which will be unveiled at the reception.
Giuseppe comes by his creative spirit naturally. Born in Italy, his father was a painter and commercial artist in Rochester, New York. It was there that Giuseppe spent the first 18 years of his life before heeding the call of “the wide openness” of the West. His career began in building and architecture. In one troubled area of Denver, he converted an old church into residential units that became the keystone for turning around the neighborhood. As a natural progression, Palumbo merged sculpting into his work in 1992, undertaking studies in the United States; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; and Rome, Florence, and Pietrasanta, Italy. The art of Giuseppe Palumbo exists now in museums and important private collections around the globe.
In addition to creating artwork of his own, Giuseppe founded the Eldorado Springs Art Center in a former (and then dilapidated) Volvo repair shop just south of Boulder, Colorado. The center provides live/work, long-time, and residency-style studios for artists, hosts charitable events, school and university programs, and opportunities/exhibitions for artists from other countries (in early 2019, the center hosted a stone carver from Zimbabwe).