Modena's ArtBroking gallery is to exhibit the works of four American artists, mainly made in the 1970s, at the new Silos space on the Giudecca in Venice from Friday 27 June to Sunday 27 July: Gregory Gillespie, James McGarrell, Robert Barnes and William Bailey are all well known in Italy thanks to the insight of the famous Modena art dealer Mario Roncaglia
Four US artists in love with Italy and who have lived in our country and paid tribute with their works of art. They are the protagonists of "Americana", the exhibition that will take place in Venice at the historical premises of the Giudecca, the former brewery - and more specifically at the new cultural centre Silos - open from tomorrow Friday 27 June to Sunday 27 July.
Gregory Gillespie, said to be one of the most interesting contemporary American artists, James McGarrell, Robert Barnes and William Bailey are the protagonists of this exhibition dedicated to American paintings of the '70s. The artists are well-known in Italy thanks to the talent and vision of the known art dealer Mario Modena Roncaglia of "Il fante di Spade", a gallery based in Rome and Milan, that invested in them and launched them on the Italian market.
Paintings, watercolours, canvases and drawings are the main focus of this exhibition, ranging from Gillespie’s figurative painting, and its obsessive attention to detail, to that of McGarrell, with a penchant for an intense and bright range of colours; from Barnes' psychological/ literary themes, offered in a both figurative and abstract manner and realistic and surreal at the same time, to the female portraits of Bailey, which live in a timeless metaphysical silence.
Gregory Gillespie (1936 - 2000) was born in New Jersey and raised in a strict Catholic family; after studying at the Cooper Union in Manhattan, he earned a master's degree from the San Francisco Art Institute. In the 1960s he lived in Florence and Rome and in 1966 the Forum Gallery in New York hosted his first solo exhibition: the collaboration with this gallery is still ongoing (Gregory Gillespie, Supernatural Observation, 6 February to 15 March 2014, Forum Gallery). He participated in several biennial exhibitions at the Whitney Museum in New York in the Sixties and Seventies. The works of Gillespie are in the permanent collections of museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, the Whitney Museum in New York City and the Fine Art in Boston. His realism - rich with expressionist distortions and surreal and symbolic elements - is complex and often imbued with a perverse mysticism. It is especially in his many self-portraits and in his embittered realism that the viewer can feel the artist's manic desire for introspection. He experimented with various painting techniques, incorporating montages, newspaper clippings, postcards and photocopies to his oil paintings.
James McGarrell was born in 1930 in Indianapolis. He studied painting at Indiana University, where he later also taught, and in 1993 he became professor emeritus at the University of Saint Louis. His paintings were included in five annual and biennial exhibitions at the Whitney Museum and in two international exhibitions at the Carnegie in New York and at the Venice Biennale in 1968; his work has also been exhibited in major galleries in the U.S. and abroad since 1956 including the Allan Frumkin (1972-1990) gallery, the Adam Gallery (1992-2006), the Aca Gallery (since 2006) in New York, the Claude Bernard gallery in Paris and the Fante di Spade in Milan and Rome. His work also features in the permanent collections of many museums such as the Metropolitan, the Modern Art and the Whitney in New York, the Hirshorn and Sculpture Garden in Washington, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Art in New Orleans, Saint Louis, Santa Barbara and Hamburg. In 1993 he bought and reclaimed a nineteenth century residence in Newbury, Vermont, where he currently lives and works.
Robert Barnes was born in Washington in 1934. After his schooling in Chicago, he graduated from Columbia University in New York in 1957 where he socialised with a group of surrealists - including Matta, Ernst and Duchamp - and actively participates in the James Joyce Society, fascinated by the stream-of-consciousness narrative technique. These early experiences will be crucial in the shaping of his artistic career. In the early Sixties he lived in London for a short while, where he worked closely with a community of artists including Francis Bacon. In the Seventies, he was invited by Italian art dealer Mario Roncaglia to live and work in Umbria, where he continued to spend his summers for several years, exhibiting both in Rome and in Milan. After nineteen solo exhibitions at the Frumkin Gallery, his works are shown at the Stuve Gallery in 1992 with "Sources of Power", in 1996 with "Blood and perfume" in 1998 with "Robert Barnes, new works", in 2000 with "The ogham" at the Zaks Gallery, and in 2010 with "Paradise" at the Corbett-vs-Dempsey. Barnes' works feature in many major museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum and the Modern Art in New York, the Madison Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Indianapolis, the National Gallery in Washington and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. He currently lives and works in Maine.
William Bailey was born in Council Bluff, Iowa in 1930. He studied at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Kansas and is a graduate of Yale University. He has taught at Indiana University and at Yale University: here he was awarded the title of professor emeritus from 1969 to 1995. Bailey exhibited from 1957 to 1961 at the Kanegis Gallery in Boston, from 1971 to 1991 at the Shoelkopf Gallery in New York, between 1999 and 2003 in the R. Miller Gallery and since 2005 at the Betty Cuningham Gallery, also in New York. His paintings were also exhibited in galleries in Europe, including the Claude Bernard in Paris and The Fante di Spade in Rome and Milan. His works are included in the permanent collections of major American museums, including the Whitney Museum, the Modern Art in New York, the National Museum of American Art, the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago. He currently lives in Branford, Connecticut, and for the past thirty-five years he spends the four summer months between May and September in Sant'Umberto, near Perugia, in Umbria.
Inauguration 27 June at 18.30
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