Dove Bradshaw on Joseph Zito

Was one plate made of copper?

Was the other aluminum?

Did each plate weigh 180 pounds? These were my thoughts as I looked at this print, not being familiar with the work.

Wynn suggested that I ask my questions directly, so I called up Joseph Zito. He told me that in the late 1980s and early 1990s he was making work about his physical being. In May 1991, the date of this work, he weighed 180 pounds, and he said that most of this work was based on that number.

Zito added: “I welded a steel form in the shape of an elongated triangle about twenty-four inches long, like the tip of a spear. I then cast eleven copper pieces, which equaled 180 pounds, and thirty-three aluminum pieces, also equaling 180 pounds. The thirty-three aluminum pieces were suspended from the ceiling, and the eleven copper pieces were on the floor below. I always liked how Bruce Nauman’s titles usually described his sculptures, so I had an aluminum plate engraved with the title to hang near the finished piece. One day I decided to make a print of the plate and used whatever I had available, which was roofing tar,” which Zito told me he was using on his roof that day. “Basically, I printed the plate twice on the same sheet of paper so I would have less crap to clean off when I was finished.”

Zito printed this piece himself, without regard to the inverted writing, and the double printing of the single plate accounts for the different densities of the imprints. The immediate, elemental energy of that day comes through abstractly, while everything is accounted for in the tight tradition of conceptual works.

This entry was posted in Dove Bradshaw, Joseph Zito. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.