Joseph Fiore (1925-2008)


Joseph Fiore was born in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, Salvatore Fiore, was a founding member of the Cleveland Orchestra, so music and art played an important role in his upbringing. At the age of thirteen, after attending a summer sketching class at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Fiore decided to become an artist.

In 1946 he entered Black Mountain College on the G.I. Bill, studying alongside a group of artists who would later become some of the most important figures of the day, including Josef Albers, Jacob Lawrence, Ilya Bolotowsky, Willem DeKooning and John Cage. Fiore spent two years studying at California School of Fine Arts (now San Francisco Art Institute) in 1948-49, but then returned to Black Mountain, where he remained as a teacher until the school closed in 1956.

After Black Mountain, Fiore and his wife Mary moved to New York, where he had his first exhibition in 1958 at Davida Gallery with fellow Black Mountain College alumnus John Chamberlain. In 1959, he and Mary began spending summers in Maine, which inspired him to begin painting landscapes from nature. He continued to exhibit landscapes from 1960-80, alternating between representational and abstract work. Fiore also taught at the Philadelphia College of Art, (1962-1970) and the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore (1970), and over the next several decades exhibited his work regularly at galleries in New York and Maine.

Fiore’s work is represented in the Asheville Art Museum, North Carolina; Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center, Asheville; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.