contemporary art

Angelo Filomeno

Italy 1963

Angelo Filomeno
Angelo Filomeno
December 31, 2014

Angelo Filomeno is an Italian artist with a background as a tailor and professional costumer, best known for his creations of glass-blown sculptures and paintings stitched with thread that speak to themes like mortality and isolation.

Filomeno was born in 1963 in Ostuni, Italy. The son of a blacksmith and dressmaker, he learned to sew at the age of seven, as an apprentice to a local tailor. He honed his eye as a tailor’s apprentice and by studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lecce, and began his career as a designer and tailor of clothes for a couture company in Milan, and of costumes for a workshop in New York. In 2000, using a zigzag sewing machine, he created his first work of art.

Angelo Filomeno makes sleek blown-glass objects and what he calls ‘embroidery paintings,’ delicately embroidered macabre images on sumptuous textured fabric. Informed by the untimely death of his parents, and inspired by memento mori, Matthias Grünewald, Albrecht Dürer, and Hieronymous Bosch, Filomeno states that he makes ‘very beautiful things depicting very bad psychological subject matter.’ This includes vermin, birds, and skeletons, ghoulish subjects rendered in shining silk, alluding to hubris, mortality, and death. He regularly employs imagery like insects, skeletons, and the elusive head of ‘the philosopher’, emphasizing a sense of morbidity and fantasy.

The theories behind Jung’s collective unconscious contribute to the subtext in Filomeno’s work – the idea that pre-existent self-generating ‘forces of nature’ influence the human condition on a subconscious level. Influences from Nabokov to Dürer can also be found in Filomeno’s elaborate symbols and motifs, creating a parable of both life and death. In When You Don’t See Me (Skull), a small, faded skull rests at the center of embroidered olive bags which are stretched over linen and speckled in dispersed gold mounds. In As The Lilies Among Thorns, So We Fall Like Love — one of three sculptures inspired by Albrecht Dürer 1503 engraving Coat of Arms With a Skull — the artist recreates large fragments of the engraving, such as a massive helmet that sprouts wings and flora, in his own vision. Filomeno details these narrative scenes with an appliquéd spray of crystals and semi-precious gemstones, flaunting both his fantastical conceptions and his astonishing craftsmanship.

Filomeno has had exhibitions at institutions including the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, SCAD Museum of Art, the National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts, MoMA PS1, Katonah Museum of Art, and the Museum of Arts and Design, among many others.

Since 1992, he has been living and working in New York City.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015ThreadedCenter for the Arts at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VirginiaSolo
2014Angelo Filomeno: The House of Magic AffectionGalerie Lelong, New York, New YorkSolo
2014Re: CollectionMuseum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York, New YorkGroup
2013IntoxicationIstituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto, CanadaSolo
2013Home SpunWest Collection at SEI, Johannesburg, South AfricaGroup
2013States of MindMaison Particulère Centre d’art, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2013Gold RushBentley Gallery, Phoenix, ArizonaGroup
201345th Collectors Show&SaleArkansas Art Center, Little Rock, ArkansasGroup
2013Threads: Contemporary EmbroideryDowd Gallery, SUNY Cortland, Cortland, New YorkGroup
2012Privada luzGaleria Massimo Audiello, Mexico City, MexicoGroup
2012Stretching the Limits: Fibers in Contemporary PaintingSavannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GeorgiaGroup
2012Wunderkammer 2.0Spazio Visionnaire Design Gallery (ex-cinema Cavour), Milan, ItalyGroup
2012Conversazione in una stanza chiusa #1Bianca Arte Contemporanea, Palermo, ItalyGroup
2012The Gentlemen of Verona: sperimentazioni sul contemporaneo in ItaliaGalleria d'Arte Moderna Palazzo Forti, Verona, ItalyGroup
2011Venice Biennale In The WorldItalian Cultural Institute of New York, New YorkSolo
2011Angelo FilomenoGaleria Massimo Audiello Oaxaca, Oaxaca, MexicoSolo
2011The Mezzanin Collection - A SelectionKunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, LiechtensteinGroup
2011Energheia, 2011 MiniartextilChiesa di San Francesco, Como, ItalyGroup
2011Group ShowEleazar Corsoveneziaotto, Milan, ItalyGroup
2011A New Hook: Re-thinking NeedleworkMuseum Bellerive, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2010The marquis and a bearded dominatrix with a cake in the ovenGalerie Lelong, New York, New YorkSolo
2010Love in Vein: Editions Fawbush projects and artists 2005–2010Gering & Lopez Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2010The Fifth Genre: Considering the Contemporary Still LifeGalerie Lelong, New York, New YorkGroup
2010Il Trucco e le MaschereByblos Art Gallery, Verona, ItalyGroup
2010185th Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary ArtNational Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts, New York, New YorkGroup
2009Because the World Is CruelGalerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris, FranceSolo
2009Mortality’s AlchemistSavannah College of Art and Design, Pinnacle Gallery, Savannah, GeorgiaSolo
2009Mortality’s AlchemistSavannah College of Art and Design, Trois Gallery, Atlanta, GeorgiaSolo
2009Artifici contemporanei e difformità baroccheARCOS Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Sannio, Benevento, ItalyGroup
2009Thread Baring: A Portrayal of Masculinity One Stitch at a TimeUnion Art Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WisconsinGroup
2009In StitchesLeila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2009Flower PowerVilla Giulia, Centro Ricerca Arte Attuale, Verbania, ItalyGroup
2009Wonderland: Through the Looking GlassKAdE Kunsthal in Amersfoort, The NetherlandsGroup
2009The Garden at 4 AMGana Art, New YorkGroup
2009Pretty Is As Pretty DoesSite Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New MexicoGroup
2009En DécoudreFondation d’Entreprise Espace Ecureuil, Toulouse, FranceGroup
2008Betrayed WitchesGalerie Lelong, New York, New YorkSolo
2008Eros and ThanatosFrist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TennesseeSolo
2008BlackG Fine Art, Washington D.C.Group
2008Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern EmotionBlaffer Gallery, The Art Museum of the University of Houston, TexasGroup
2008Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern EmotionGrey Art Gallery at New York University, New YorkGroup
2008Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern EmotionParrish Art Museum, Southampton, New YorkGroup
2008Collection II: shell-shelter21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, JapanGroup
2008Expanded PaintingSpace Other, Boston, MassachusettsGroup
2008A Year in DrawingGalerie Lelong, New York, New YorkGroup
2007Angelo FilomenoGalerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris, FranceSolo
2007What's your hobbyThe Fireplace Project, East Hampton, New YorkGroup
2007M*A*S*H Miami: The Expanded Painting ShowMiami Design District, Miami, FloridaGroup
2007Pricked: Extreme EmbroideryMuseum of Arts and Design, New York, New YorkGroup
2007Shattering Glass: New PerspectivesKatonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New YorkGroup
2007Senso UnicoP.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New YorkGroup
20074aXY: 10 Years of Gallery 4AGallery 4A – Asia Australia Arts Centre, Sydney, AustraliaGroup
2007I Am As You Will Be: The Skeleton in ArtCheim & Read, New York, New YorkGroup
20072ème Ete Culturel: Dialogues MediterraneensCitadelle de Saint-Tropez, Saint-Tropez, FranceGroup
2007ShadowGalerie Lelong, New York, New YorkGroup
2007Subtil TextileGaleries Lafayette, Paris, FranceGroup
2007Think with the Senses – Feel with the Mind. Art in the Present TenseVenice Biennale, Venice, ItalyGroup
2006Angelo FilomenoMarianne Boesky Gallery, New York, New YorkSolo
2006The Way of All FleshBravinLee Programs, New York, New YorkGroup
2006ArcadiaYancey Richardson Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2006Fresh - Contemporary Takes on Nature and AllegoryMuseum of Glass, International Center for Contemporary Art, Tacoma, WashingtonGroup
2006ARS 06Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, FinlandGroup
2005Alternative ParadiseMuseum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, JapanGroup
2005Hanging by a ThreadThe Moore Space, Miami, FloridaGroup
2005Neo-BaroqueByblos Art Gallery, Verona, ItalyGroup
2005It’s Not About SexLuxe Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2005New TapestriesSara Meltzer Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2005MysteryGrace Li Gallery, Zürich, SwitzerlandGroup
2005SurfaceLucas Schoormans Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2005ChronosIl Filatoio, Caraglio, ItalyGroup
2005FiloluceMuseo della Permanente, Milan, ItalyGroup
2004Angelo FilomenoGalerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris, FranceSolo
2004100% Acid freeWhite Columns, New York, New YorkGroup
2004Angelo Filomeno, Simon Periton, Philip Taaffe, Francesco VezzoliGorney Bravin + Lee, New York, New YorkGroup
2003Angelo FilomenoClaudia Gian Ferrari Arte Contemporanea, Milan, ItalySolo
2003Angelo FilomenoMassimo Audiello, New York, New YorkSolo
2003Stop & StorLuxe Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
2003GameSalvatore Ferragamo, New York, New YorkGroup
2003MakeoverMassimo Audiello, New York, New YorkGroup
2003Il Racconto del FiloMuseum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rovereto, ItalyGroup
2003City Mouse, Country MouseSpace 101, New York, New YorkGroup
2003Fashion, Italian StyleThe Museum at FIT, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New YorkGroup
2002Proper VillainsUntitled (space) Gallery, New Haven, ConnecticutGroup
2002Sew FineIslip Art Museum, Islip, New YorkGroup
2002Officina AmericaGalleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna, ItalyGroup
2001Angelo FilomenoMassimo Audiello, New York, New YorkSolo
2001GuardarobaEx Monastero Santa Scolastica, Bari, ItalyGroup
2000HurqualiaOmphalos Arte Contemporanea, Bari, Italy Solo
2000HurqualiaArt Resources Transfer, New York, New YorkSolo
2000Le JardinVilla Medici, Academie de France à Rome, Rome, ItalyGroup
2000Re:DuchampKulturbahnhof, Bremen, GermanyGroup
2000Re:DuchampThe Artists’ Museum, Lodz, PolandGroup
2000Re:DuchampEmmanuel Heller Gallery, Tel-Aviv, IsraelGroup
2000InantarticoOmphalos Arte Contemporanea, Bari, ItalyGroup
1999Angelo FilomenoArt Resources Transfer, Project Room, New York, New YorkSolo
1999Whichkraft?Trans Hudson Gallery, New York, New YorkGroup
1999Surface StructureNikolai Fine Art, New York, New YorkGroup
199925 Years of PhotographyCEPA Gallery, Buffalo, New YorkGroup
1999Paradise 8Exit Art, New York, New YorkGroup
1998Angelo FilomenoQCC Art Gallery, Queensborough Community College, CUNY, Bayside, New YorkSolo
1998Artist of the weekPierogi 2000, Brooklyn, New YorkGroup
1998No England-No Amsterdam IIIReal Art Ways, Hartford, ConnecticutGroup
1998Biennial Works on PaperQueensborough Community College, CUNY, Bayside, New YorkGroup
1998New York State BiennialNew York State Museum, Albany, New YorkGroup
1997Three Rivers Arts FestivalPittsburgh, PennsylvaniaGroup
1997Group ShowChautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New YorkGroup
1997Group ShowHeckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New YorkGroup
1996Group ShowFine Arts Museum of Long Island, Hempstead, New YorkGroup