1335 Gusdorf Rd. Suite i
Taos, NM  87571
[ 575 ]  751 - 1262  -  email: art@203fineart.com

Original work by Courtney Azzara

Courtney Azzara was raised on Long Island, New York, only a short distance from where she studied painting at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. There she first pursued an interest in fashion design, focusing on textiles and garment construction before channeling these skills back into her first love, painting. Her deep fascination with the tactile qualities of thread resulted in her approaching the material as an unconventional form of abstract mark making. Upon receiving her BFA from Pratt she remained in Brooklyn, working out of a studio in Bedford Stuyvesant and showing at a gallery space in Bushwick. In 2009 she began working professionally in the field of fine art conservation, specifically working with modern and contemporary works on paper. It is readily evident that there is was a healthy exchange of the methodic sensibilities between her two practices. Namely, how time exists within the tempo of a painting and in the history and life of the object and materials themselves. The thread lines can been seen as ticks marking passing time.

Describing the interplay she states, "This [conservation] has honed my attention to detail, developed my affinity for exacting repetitious labor, and strengthened my appreciation for the role that time plays in painting. If I boiled down my subject matter into one word I would say it is time. When a painting works it feels impulsive, immediate, but also as if it's lived for many years, that it has a long history. In my work, this contrasting expression of time is created through the disparity between the impulsive guttural painting and the paced repetitive action of stitching. The materials and imagery I use may vary, but always through this balancing act I am working to achieve a sense of timelessness, a transcendence of time."

In the winter of 2013 she was awarded a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson Vermont. During this period she created a singular body of work with a new breath and clarity inspired by the change in her surroundings. Upon her return to Brooklyn she exhibited this work in a show entitled We Have Always Done This, We Should Always Do This. It pointed to the connection between some of the earliest known examples of image making, cave painting, as a way of describing the world in instinctive and abstract ways to create order and understanding.

In 2015 she relocated to Los Angeles California after her partner, Nicholas D'Agostino, began his MFA in animation at California Institute of the Arts. In this move to the American Southwest, she revisited the inspiration found on a past trip through New Mexico from Albuquerque to Taos, seeking insight into the work of artists Agnes Martin, Georgia OíKeefe, and Bruce Nauman. She began studying her new home and itís landscape through a series of plein air watercolors which allowed more loose, elemental forms and new relationships of light and color to emerge. These served as studies for larger pieces that were worked out in the studio. They inspired a new method of working with thread, running the canvas through a sewing machine to create quick gestural lines. This inverted the prior dialog between the thread and painting, with the thread now becoming an uncontrolled gesture.

During her first year and a half in Los Angeles she additionally worked as a curator at the historic fine art print shop Gemini G.E.L. Here she had the honor of working with talented printmakers and such artists as Ann Hamilton, Analia Saban, John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, and Julie Mehretu. During this time she maintained her studio practice and participated in the show Overtime, showcasing the personal work of the artists who work behind the scenes at Gemini. The concept of editioned artworks moved her to create a sculptural edition of nine plaster casts with hand painted watercolor entitled Tablet. At this time she also collaborated with her partner Nicholas as the producer and costume designer on his experimental, stop-motion animated films, a nod to her roots in garment design.

Courtney currently works out of her studio in North Hollywood, California and has returned to paper conservation work at the Academy of Motion Pictures research library. Her artwork is available at 203 Fine Art in Taos, New Mexico and at theMarquet, an art and design boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It has become a part of the corporate collection of Club Monaco and numerous private collections around the world.

Select above image to see online catalog

Selected works currently in our inventory:

Images are not to scale.

"Helical Rising"
acrylic & metallic thread on linen - 2017
48" H x 40" W

acrylic & cotton thread on paper - 2017
20" H x 22 1/2" W

"Nile Basket"
acrylic & cotton thread on canvas - 2018
8" H x 10" W

"Blue Veil"
acrylic, cotton thread, canvas on linen - 2013
24" H x 25" W

oil, cotton thread on canvas - 2015
20" H x 23" W

acrylic, charcoal, cotton thread on canvas- 2016
16" H x 14" W

"Red Frame"
oil paint with cotton thread on canvas- 2012
20" H x 18" W

"Arms Up"
oil paint and cotton thread on canvas- 2014
34" H x 28" W

oil paint on linen

36" H x 28" W

charcoal and watercolor on handmade paper- 2016
7 1/2" H x 7 1/2" W

charcoal and watercolor on handmade paper - 2016
7 1/2" H x 71/2" W

gesso and silk thread on unstretched
canvas- 2013
15 1/2" H x 18" W

acrylic & cotton thread on canvas - 2017
14" H x 11" W - SOLD

acrylic & cotton thread on canvas - 2018
16" H x 16" W - SOLD

"Like it Hot"
oil, silk thread on linen
- 2013
20" H x 24" W - SOLD

charcoal, gesso, and silk thread on unstretched canvas- 2013
15 1/2" H x 18" W - SOLD