Robin Hill, Peter Soriano and Joseph Zito

April 1993 · by George Melrod

Over the past decade, under the brooding shadow of AIDS, abstract sculpture has become increasingly obsessed with examining the fragility of the human body. Robin Hill, Peter Soriano, and Joseph Zito all seem informed to some degree by this sense of corporeal threat. Their modest three–person show proved unexpectedly provocative, exposing both their thematic similarities and widely contrasting processes.

An artist of ever–increasing authority, Robin hill combines pliant, fleshly materials and refined, organic shapes. In her two new works, Hill hung six organlike forms (made from wax and latex, respectively) serially from metal hooks, imbuing them with a theatricality that might have seemed forced were it not for her acute sensitivity to her materials. Hill’s best work, Blood Line, is composed of six wax organ forms suspended from a horizontal rod, between metal hoops. Festooned with red–and–white cheesecloth, the display looked like an assembly line recast as a funereal circus.

Joseph Zito’s last solo show consisted of a series of coffinlike forms derived from the measurements of his own body. These new pieces are no less direct, but they are far more lyrical. In Cantus… Zito flattened three large cylinders of silvery poured aluminum, then suspended them from the ceiling like slabs of meat, or giant chimes or shields.

Peter Soriano creates objects of ambiguous simplicity out of polymer resin. Brightly colored, molded with amoebalike knobs or bite–like holes, they resemble textbook diagrams for cells or enzymes, crossed with objects from a children’s playroom. Flash is a bulging protozoan of sickly orange; Trim resembles a bright blue zigzagged slide with three scalloplike notches taken out. Only superficially innocent, his work applies a cheery sugar–coating to an abiding wariness.