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Dipingo da sempre,ma non ho mai frequentato scuole. Fino a poco tempo fa mi rammaricavo per non avuto il coraggio di iscrivermi all'Accademia. Ultimamente invece sono giunta alla conclusione che forse proprio questa mancanza di "istruzione artistica" mi abbia spinto a cercare un mio personale stile pittorico risultato di esperimenti e di studio degli artisti del passato.La mia tecnica consiste nell'usare esclusivamente colori ad olio senza l'ausilio di alcun tipo di olio,medio o essenza. Questo mi permette di ottenere un impasto corposo e vellutato che conferisce al quadro una qualità pittorica e materica lontana dal nitore metallico di molti iperrealisti,ai quali i miei quadri sono stati accostati.Il punto di partenza del mio lavoro sempre una fotografia,curata nei minimi particolari che poi riporto sulla tela con una quadrettatura molto fitta che mi permette di disegnare con precisione tutti i dettagli.Il quadro che ne deriva non è però una fotografia,non mi interessa l'illusione mimetica,ma semplicemente la ricerca della bellezza e dell'intensità.Partendo da una fedele rappresentazione della realtà cerco di esprimere una sensazione,un'emozione,uno stato d'animo. Soffermandomi sui particolari e su quei piccoli dettagli che la frenesia di oggi non ci permette di apprezzare,spero di riuscire a rendere visibile la magia della realtà.I soggetti dei miei quadri sono quasi esclusivamente figure, avvolte in morbidi abiti o coperte ed immerse spesso in forti giochi chiaroscurali. La luce infatti,grande protagonista con i suoi giochi sulla pelle o tra le pieghe dei tessuti,crea quel mistero da cui scaturisce la magia.
education 2001 MFA, Painting, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 1997 Post-Baccalaureate, Studio Art, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 1995 AB cum laude, Fine Arts, Amherst College, Amherst, MA 1994 Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy
awards/residencies 2005 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts SOS Grant, Visual Arts - Painting 2004 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, Visual Arts - Painting 2003 Jentel Artist Residency, Banner, WY 2000 Neil Welliver Award, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 1999-2001 Chairman’s Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
My work has always been inspired by my own personal and family experiences, as well as by broader historical and social phenomena. In drawing upon networking and community photo-sharing websites for source material, I have become fascinated by the ways that these forums allow for the co-mingling of the personal and the historical, documenting a moment when the distinction between public and private experience has become increasingly blurred.
Working from digital snapshots allows me to draw upon the visual and cultural associations of several very different media. The drawings and paintings consider the ways in which the accidental information captured by such images can take on an iconic quality, becoming in retrospect emblematic of a larger personal or cultural experience. As with all snapshots, the initial significance of the source images lies in who or what they capture, rather than in their artistic merits as photographs.
In translating an image from snapshot to painting, I can explore the ways that visual content is changed when it is moved from the medium of casual photography - a form associated with impermanence and reduced aesthetic demands - to the realm of figurative art, which bears the burden of aspirations to permanence and high aesthetics. By cropping, editing out or compositing information - and through the more tactile, physical manipulations of color and surface that allows - the emphasis of the image is shifted to pieces of information that may have been peripheral in the original picture. The result is a painting that has the appearance of a faithful rendering, but which often deviates substantially from its source.
Lidia Bagnoli was born in 1952 in the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy.
She did her artistic studies in Bologna at the Liceo Artistico and then at the Accademia di Belle Arti.
She also studied architecture at the University of Florence.
She worked for many years as an interior designer and scenery designer and now teaches the Theory and Technique of Perspective at the Accademia of Brera in Milan.
She started to show her paintings in public and private galleries in 1974 and is represented by art galleries in Italy and in Germany, as well as in the United States where she repeatedly took part in performances, conferences and lectures which demonstrated the relationship between images and music.
In 2003 with Gillian Anderson she made Inganni, a short film that was programmed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC during a show about Trompe-l’oeil.
She lives in a small town near Bologna, Italy where she has restored an old church, transforming it into her home and her studio.
Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree Minneapolis College of Art and Design, U.S.A.
Ateliers '63, Haarlem
Drawing teacher's degree, Amsterdam
I was born in Chicago, 1948, from Russian, Polish, French and Greek lineage which has long connected me to European origins. My own way of thinking and being has been formed by Dutch experiences and a mingling of all these various other sensibilities.
I began drawing cartoons at the age of six and by thirteen was already under the spell of Matisse, Picasso and other moderns. I had by then decided to become an artist and had the good luck to allowed into the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts in Minnesota and later Ateliers '63 in Haarlem. Here I met and received lessons by such diverse artists as Christo, George Segal, Roberto Matta, Kurt Sondenborg, Michael O'Neal and Martial Rayesse. Among my teachers in Holland were Edgar Fernhout, Rainier Luccassen and Co Westerik. After receiving an art diploma in America in 1972, I traveled extensively, a period of assimilation in Italy from the early Renaissance painters to Tibetan philosophy in Dharamsala, India. I eventually settled in Holland where I met my wife whom has always been an inspiration to me, even after her early death.
A painting for me begins subconsciously. As gestured or applied paint marks, smudges and lines slowly stimulate my fantasy, more recognizable figures begin to emerge. Using acrylic paint, layer on layer, the surface builds up a vibration or electricity. The underpainting becomes its own inner network connecting points of energy over the canvas. Apart from brushes, the tools of my trade include sponges, putty knives, spray paint cans, or anything that seems to me appropriate to get the surface the way I want it to be.
The legacy of the first generation of modern artists, namely the fusion: form/color, is very important to me. That is to say after Cezanne,"When color approaches it's greatest richness, the form will fill to perfection." I don't feel really bound to a color law or any law for that matter. Yet frequently I set up my own regulations and restrictions before beginning my work. For example, my pallet will only consist of a few pigments or I will only concentrate on one part of a picture leaving the rest as one single flat color. Only within restrictions do I find absolute freedom.
Quite often one or more figures stare at or away from the viewer in what seems to me a meditation. In a manner of speaking , it is a window to my soul. The things it says are to me as much as to the outside world, unexpected, funny, touching or penetrating. I quite often like using opposites. Tensions exist between busy and quiet areas, large pastel areas offset by intense accents of bright colors, painterly sections scribbled over with drawing like lines.
My work as an open story. All the elements of a narrative are present as individual images within the painting. The viewer may arrange them in his own way. That's not to say I have no intentions in my work. I am deeply involved in the "human situation" and in that almost obsolete word, "beauty". However the power of effective visual art is that it speaks through itself and not language. My paintings speak for themselves.
Over the years I have developed a style that has no name nor can be placed within a movement. It is my own style and I think uniquely my own. It makes me happy to paint and even happier when my paintings speak to people in a positive way.
It is not often that I write about my art but this year, 2008, marks a dramatic development in my painting which demands some sort of explanation. Why all the changes this year? What happened?
This year, after ongoing shows for exactly twenty years, I decided to retire from the hectic world of exhibitions and to focus solely on my painting without the burdens of organizing, publicity, managing finances, etc. I felt I needed space and time to be myself completely, as a creative artist without any outside disturbances.
The year began with a hammering start; two huge colorful triptychs summing up my gains and losses in life and art. After this, what followed were two more triptychs and additional efforts, this time marked by the absence of much of the color pallet that I am known for. The pallet was restricted to three or four pre-mixed pigments. Restraint of color was desired to distinguish the forms in a clearer way than until now. I hunted after new shapes and compositions. I sought to experience color in a different and astonishing way. Added to my pallet were metallic colors like aluminum, bronze, silver, and even gold. Since being very young I have loved metal. Working in metal shop as a student was one of my favorite apprenticeships. Further the texture or skin of the painting has become an important issue for this new work. The rough ever changing surface is created first with acrylic modeling paste combined sometimes with quartz sand, other times with chalk. These surfaces have opened up so many new possibilities to experiment with light. A number of the paintings are almost sculptural relief. In various canvases I have used inference acrylics. These are pigments that can appear in a different way from diverse viewing points. The spectator who shifts his looking position is revealed novel aspects of the work.
I have always painted nudes within a mental landscape of forms, colors and occasional attributes such as animals, structures, rock formations, half-dream figures, plants. The subject matter has not changed but the facial expressions and the body gestures have. The stories inherent in the subject matter remain open but for me they are more personal than before. Some people might be surprised to see an abstract work. This is a huge four piece multiple using just four basic color squares. Why? Because I just liked it the way it was and did not want to go on to clutter the beautiful surfaces with anything more than what it was, compelling and invocative.
A change in work must indicate a change in character, at least with me it is so. I feel more than ever, confident, happy with maturity, free to be in all ways my own distinctive being. After a one year studio retreat, I am coming back to the art world armed with neither more nor less than work that testifies to my belief in painting and in myself.
After a year of experimenting with monochromatic schemes, of swimming around in grey, silver and bronze, a rainbow of colors has slowly opened up again. Delving deep into darkness has led me curiously enough slowly back into a world of new light. The prism was never broken or lost; it was just waiting to have light redirected through it in a new way. The discipline or working with a limited pallet has taught me many things about composition and structure. Having learned this, having taken this restricted path, my new work has returned to a more familiar ground of color yet with a different emphasis and tonal reach.
My choice to work with granulated textures and surfaces helps highlight the new tones. The refraction of light on a slight three dimensional surface gives the viewer a chance to see the paintings differently from diverse view points. It also makes my work almost impossible to photograph. That said, this website must only serve as a reference point for people's memories. I hope they will be able to see the work as it really exists.
Another new development is the use of handmade paper stretched over the linen. Paper absorbs paint in a completely different way than cloth. In some of the areas I have let the original paper breath through the work, in other areas it is just the structure that works from behind.
Talking shop, chatting about technique is a pleasure that almost every artist will partake in. Discussing the mysterious world of visual content is a world that most artists are allergic to. It is a ground that critics, dealers and museum people feel comfortable in. I'm not sure who knows better. No one can describe a delicious dinner properly, nor a wonderful piece of music. Our senses perceive in very different ways. To tell you why I use a certain image or what it means, I think would only ruin the taste of it, because it is not the real thing, it is not the painting in itself.