Wilma Fiori’s practice evolved, like many artists, from a classical education in representational art to one focused primarily on abstraction. Influenced both by primitive art and the modern abstract and minimalist movements, Fiori studied for decades under Denver luminary Dale Chisman. Her series of paintings on paper came during the later part of Fiori’s career after her command of color, shape and texture had matured. In one highlighted series, Fiori plays with layered abstractions where singular fields of color act as boundaries containing abstract studies. The paintings contain strong gestural lines and shapes that call to mind her mentor Chisman. In another series the artist forgoes paint entirely, pressing metal foil leaf squares and rectangles into paper creating architectural experiments in form whose reductive simplicity belie their depth. Fiori has taken a Zen-like journey evolving into a minimalist artist using color and texture as subjects and employing the elements of art in their purest form.
Wilma Fiori (b. 1929, d. 2019) received her BFA from Loretto Heights College in Denver, CO. She initially worked as a representational artist, but was drawn to anthropology by the abstraction of primitive art. In the early l980’s she volunteered as a curatorial assistant to Richard Conn in the Native Arts Department of the Denver Art Museum. Fiori studied under Dale Chisman at the Art Student’s League of Denver from 1987 until 2007 and additionally studied with Bill Joseph, Quang Ho, Jerry de la Cruz, Jeffrey Keith and Mark Lunning. She has exhibited her artwork for over 30 years in Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, and New York. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Denver, Regis University, Denver and numerous business and private collections.