Mark Sfirri: La Famiglia
NOVEMBER 1, 2024 — FEBRUARY 16, 2025
CURATOR: JENNIFER-NAVVA MILLIKEN
Family Tree, 2020. A total of 14 carved and painted heads.
This highly autobiographical exhibition of never-before seen work by celebrated artist and woodturner Mark Sfirri presents a way of thinking about the definition of family and its meanings through different lenses: families that are chosen vs. born into; families of species (trees, wood types) and identities; and familial strife and unconditional love, support, and dysfunction. It represents a coming to terms with generational passing, through the artist’s adoption of a spontaneous, “flow state” approach in his turning, carving, and surfacing processes. The grandchild of four first-generation Americans who came through Ellis Island around 1900 and settled in Chester, the oldest city in Pennsylvania, he presents several installations of sculpture that consider communities comprised of families with their own histories, ethnic backgrounds, biases, and quirks, trying to coexist in a new world.