Joseph Zito.

November 2015 · by Alexa Lawrence

The Red Chair, by Joseph Zito The Red Chair, 2015 Joseph Zito's works are like dark koans. Concise, paradoxical, and meticulously composed, they grapple with a range of human emotions heavily weighted to the sorrow side. In this selection of pieces from the last 30 years, sculptures and works on paper addressed themes of death, loss, and suffering, but also, if you meditated long enough, hope. Zito's watercolors here were psychologically disquieting—a ghostly white silhouette of a stark bedframe tumbling through an abyss of inky paint; a bloodred wing chair tipped sideways at the bottom of a blank white page—and his sculptural composi-tions no less so. In Stand Still Goddamn It (2012) crimson sand is trapped in the upper compart-ment of an hourglass, halting time even as it evokes thoughts of passion and rage. In Swimmies (2006) a sagging, baby-blue inflatable kiddie pool is empty but for two children's arm floats, which at first appear coated in rust but are in fact cast in iron, rendered fatally useless. But the beauty of the works lay in their multitude of meanings—each material and color became a thoughtful layer to be considered. In one corner of the gallery, a bronze model of half a heart, suspended from the ceiling in a tangle of wires, cradled a Zippo lighter; like a bionic circulatory system, it appeared at once cold and inert and ready to explode with new, fiery life.