Meet Christine Cassano

Born in Texas and raised in Virginia, Christine Cassano is an interdisciplinary artist, now living and working in Arizona and exhibits regionally, nationally and internationally. Her work explores connection, accumulation and convergence as metaphor within our new, hyper-connected era. She gains this inspiration and understanding by traversing our ecological, technological and cosmological systems. She investigates biological formations, technological patterns and aerial views as she examines their recursive forms and connections within our universe. Notable in Christine’s work is her ability to make use of inherent physical properties of materials in order to transform them into experimental mediums. These methods often result in the making of small, unique patterns of organic units in outlandishly large numbers. Materials such as copper, porcelain, glass, mirror, concrete, metal formations, and even her own hair as threading is utilized as medium. Christine’s installations, sculptures, sound pieces and two-dimensional pieces are formed by collecting, connecting, stacking, tethering and suspending materials. These arrangements and relationships explore principles, correspondences and paradoxes of our cultural progress while also offering new considerations of emerging hybrid forms and converging systems.

Christine graduated with a BFA from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. She is a recipient of the 2018 Artist Research Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2016, she was awarded a Contemporary Forum Artist Grant from the Phoenix Art Museum, supported in part by the Nathan Cummings Foundation Endowment. In 2015, she was awarded a residency at the University of West Georgia and was also a recipient of the Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art Grant, resulting in a published artist catalog of her work. Her public art sculptures, installations and commissioned works are in various collections throughout the US and abroad.

From curator, museum director and arts writer, Marilyn Zeitlin, in Bring All To Front, 2016  – “Among many ways in which we can grasp the world are to either declare it simple and place all phenomena under one all-embracing idea, or go about the process incrementally, accumulating small segments of understanding that may gradually form larger clusters. The former is what most religions offer. The latter is something more like a jigsaw puzzle or Lego approach. It suits skeptics, scientists, inventors and artists. Knowledge can be gained in small pieces by experimentation: testing theory and gathering data. The relationship among these discrete packets is not immediately obvious, but over time — even a lifetime — several may snap together, and then larger units may click together to give a bigger parcel of understanding. The excitement of snapping pieces together makes for a great day. Sometimes the snap is recognized with a Nobel Prize. More often, it is simply personal satisfaction. An epiphany.

Christine Cassano puts the metaphor of the second alternative into visible, tangible terms, but also perceives the correspondences of form among widely different kinds of phenomena. She is an artist who sees relationships across fields of experience and knowledge and finds ways to present her epiphanies using a wide range of materials. But she is also engrossed by science and the new ways it gives us to see the invisible and relationships of systems. Cassano revels in the complexity that science can define. In her work, she suggests intersecting systems. She embraces complexity. Her work almost without exception brings together opposites, usually several sets in a single work. Inside/outside; natural/manufactured; the biological/the machine; public/autobiographical. Reaching into the cosmological approach, she sees resonance between the natural and mechanical which share patterns and processes.