Serena Perrone

Maintaining a Safe Distance and Living to Tell

Over the past ten years, Serena Perrone (b. 1979, St. Louis) has developed an artistic practice that combines painting, drawing, and printmaking to create intricate and highly stylized works whose subjects range from a poet’s travel diaries to modern-day fairytales. Perrone employs a rich visual language to present often autobiographical and vividly imaginative tableaux that also address universal concerns such as home and displacement, intimacy and estrangement.

For her exhibition in the Front Room, Perrone premieres a new twenty-part print series, Maintaining a Safe Distance and Living to Tell (2012), focused on the artist’s own experiences living in suburban St. Louis; Tusa, Sicily; Providence, Rhode Island; and Philadelphia. The series explores these sites from Perrone’s position as an itinerant artist in search of inspiration and belonging both at home and elsewhere. To illustrate this state of flux and transition, Perrone superimposes colorful renderings (printed in vibrant Hanco “Flame Red” ink) of various actual buildings and cityscapes onto landscapes depicting natural phenomena, such as sweeping terraces, tornadoes, uprooted trees, and billowing plumes of smoke. Installed in the form of a panoramic arc in the Front Room gallery, the individual prints in Maintaining a Safe Distance and Living to Tell together create an immersive landscape that is as fantastical as it is topographical.

Serena Perrone: Maintaining a Safe Distance and Living to Tell is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Kelly Shindler, Assistant Curator.

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