Elisa D’Arrigo was born and raised in The Bronx, NY where she found early inspiration in the Bronx 1950s visual culture of curvaceous cars, brash comics, extreme hairstyles, and evocatively wrapped fig trees. In 1975 she received a BFA in ceramics from SUNY New Paltz. She continued working in clay until approximately 1981, when needing a different challenge, she felt drawn to work with materials that were not as responsive as clay, with different properties.
Thus, began a decades-long investigation into making sculpture that used or combined materials such as paper, cloth, thread, wire, wax, wood, paper-maché, bronze and unfired clay, all the while incorporating various craft processes in their construction. In 2010, her growing impulse to introduce humor and more fluid gesture led her to work with ceramics once again, after a nearly 30-year hiatus. The vase/vessel form, with its necessary orifice(s), has become her muse.
Her work has been shown and is in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The High Museum of Art, The Weatherspoon Art Museum, and The Mead Art Museum. It is also in the collections of The Dorsky Museum of Art and The Everson Museum of Art. She has had 11 solo exhibitions at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery.
Reviews, articles and interviews have appeared in various publications including The New York Times, Art in America, ArtNews, Sculpture Magazine, Hyperallergic, Two Coats of Paint, Romanov Grave and Artspiel, among others. Elisa lives and works in New York City.
Elisa D’Arrigo will be having a show at Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco, March 5 – April 23, 2022. Showing concurrently will be painter Cornelia Shulz.