John Torreano


John Torreano

Stars on Broadway!


October 17, 2012 - February 2, 2013





The title refers to Mr. Torreano’s use of outer-space imagery as inspiration for his art work as well as his side interest in comedic performance. Broadway Windows features 5 bays at the corner of Broadway and 10th Street. Since his early use of glass gems in 1970 as “hand held stars,” he has experimented with parallels between outer space “space” and painterly “space.” This installation serves as an index to the varied forms his personal journey has taken him.

Doradus Installation consists of works on paper a small painting and “cubes of space.” These works were the result of an imagined journey to, into and around the giant star forming nebula, 30 Doradus. Each work represents an attempt to express a different “point-of- view” of those imagined places.

Dalmatian is one of a series of “column paintings” started in 1973. They are meant to challenge the hierarchical viewing structure of the traditional concept of painting as a “window.” The half round column presents a 180 degree, all points-of-view are equal, version of a painting. The column shape mirrors the viewer as a one-on-one presentational versus a representational painterly experience. (There are 3 other examples of these column paintings on exhibit in the lounge space of Kimball Hall- 246 Greene Street.)

Oxygem Tumble is an installation of gold leafed gem shapes that playfully tweak the idea of art value with precious stones. They are sculptural in their physicality and visual in their golden reflectivity. 

Dark Matters Collide is a painting inspired by an imagined collision between an image of dark matter and a field of stars. It is one of a series of paintings based on the idea of non-existent combinations of imagery from outer-space.  For the artist they function purely as an idea constructed to serve painterly possibilities.

In Dark Matters-Pink a swirl of pink gasses surrounds adolescent stars attempting to challenge the prominence of dark matters.


John Torreano was born in Flint, Michigan in 1941. He earned his BFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1963. He received his MFA from Ohio State University in 1967. In his career Torreano has visited nearly every major art school in the United States and Canada as an "artist in residence." Since 1992, he has been Clinical Professor of Studio Art at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. He is currently Director of the MFA in Studio Art Program.

Torreano has worked in a variety of mediums and methods including paint, sculpture, relief, furniture and hand-blown glass. His works have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, and many others. His series of paintings titled "TV Bulge" were featured in the 1969 Whitney Biennial.