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The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Angelo Ciotti

Earth Works


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Tall, narrow sets of parallel walls face each other. From the mouth of one opening pours a static flow of coal. Lush Kentucky bluegrass flows out of the other. Through doors into a second room, chunks of slag are scattered on the floor. Together, the elements in the two spaces form a circular pattern.

Outdoors, in front of a deliberately preserved patch of weeds, sits a sod-covered mound in which the artist has buried a rusted video transformer and other evidence of industrial waste. Beyond, he has formed a wide earth couch upholstered with close-cut grass.

Artist Statement

Urban public space, like the cities and industries that created it, is decaying. Along rivers, in vacant factory areas, and in inner-city neighborhoods, land has been ravaged and left naked by our industrial society. The earthwork replenishes urban landscapes; earth, rock, grass, and water, and the basic elements are sculpted into humanistic forms. The sculpted land now becomes a place to gather, linger, and take long leisurely walks that leave you rested, together with nature. Reworking the earth into new organic forms is an alternative to traditional forms of public art. "Nature is the art, in a constant state of change."


Angelo Ciotti: July 30 – August 29, 1983
About The Artist

Angelo Ciotti attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for Graphic Design and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for Graphic Arts and Painting. He also attended the Academia de Bell Art in Rome, Italy and obtained his MA from Villa Schifanoia Rosary College, Graduate School of Fine Arts in Printmaking and Art History in Florence, Italy.

Ciotti is an environmental artist. “As a child growing up in Pennsylvania, I was fascinated by the large spoil dumps (abandoned coal mine refuse) that dotted the landscape. These massive mounds of unearthed volcanic-looking rock made a sharp contrast to nearby lush, green valleys. This picture of nature, laid waste by the careless, formed an indelible mark on me and it became the impetus for my imagination.”

Ciotti has exhibited nationally and internationally, including several cities in Italy; Trinity Museum, New York; National Museum of Fine Arts, Beijing, China; Chelsea Art School, London; Ystad Museum of Art, Sweden; and Pittsburgh Now Space Gallery.

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