Francesca Arcilesi and Norma Homberg, in collaboration with Vincent Arcilesi, are pleased to present Vincent Arcilesi’s Retrospective. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, October 26th from 6-9PM at The Highline Loft at 508 West 26th Street, Loft # 5G in Manhattan, NY.
The exhibition features a unique array of work including mural-esque large scale figurative paintings, medium size figurative and landscape paintings, drawings, lithographs, and one watercolor. The show begins with the artist’s first ever oil on canvas entitled Scenes from the Life of Christ. This work was created at age fifteen at the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home, where Arcilesi and his brother, Richard, were placed at ages two and four after their mother died and their father, Vincenzo Proia Arcilesi went blind. Connecting the influences of his religious upbringing to his mid-career and contemporary work, the show then segues into figurative and landscape painting, reflecting his profound investigation of the body and themes of the sublime within nature. The works on view undoubtedly call attention to Arcilesi’s technique and the valorousness of his subject matter.
Arcilesi’s Artist and Models, 1972 (above left), depicts arrangements of models and Arcilesi facing his wife, cradling his one year old son, Piero in his studio in Chicago. Arcilesi explores visual patterns and movement that the light creates on the still bodies. The tableau of figures evoke feelings of elation, sensuality and sadness, as the models are seemingly part of the family unit. The reclining figure is suggested by Theodore Gericault’s figures of Raft of the Medusa, 1818. Instead, Arcilesi emphasizes the sensuality of the pose rather than it’s brutality. The woman seductively reclining, hair fanned across the floor, cascades dramatically across the canvas. Pushed to the foreground, a larger-than-life female model stands boldly astride. Arcilesi captures nuanced emotions with realism, leaving the viewer with resonating ambiguity. Arcilesi’s models are often drawn with inspiration from the divine. Shown left is Arcilesi’s classical drawing, Study for Venus in Villa Medici, 2009, which depicts the model in a Botticelli-like pose, exploring and emphasizing her sensual statuesque beauty.
Summer Day in Agrigento, 1994 (right) completes the show as Arcilesi presents his beloved mother Lucia Anderson Burnett, as he remembers her before her early death at age thirty-six. Rendered in a dream- like sequence, beautifully adorned in a wedding dress, she is enigmatically placed amongst the verdant Sicilian landscape. Keeping with his theme, lovers canoodle in the foreground as a Gauguinesque figure offers a flower as the sky recedes back to the classical Greek Temple in Agrigento, Sicily.
Arcilesi attended Furman University in Greenville, SC. Receiving a BFA in Design at the University of Oklahoma, he eventually moved to Chicago to achieve a BFA and MFA in Drawing and Painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which is where he met his wife Nan Chapin Arcilesi. Arcilesi has exhibited in NYC and internationally extensively since 1966, within solo shows and museum shows including The Whitney Biennial, the Brooklyn Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art (Youngstown, Ohio), the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Verona, Italy. His work is included in a number of books and publications and he is also represented in collections both public and private, including the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL and The Art Institute of Chicago, IL. He retired in 2015 as full professor at FIT, where he taught life drawing and painting.
Arcilesi is nothing less than a humble master, translating the beautiful spirits that emanate from nature through his paintings, feeding the souls of humanity and celebrating existence. The artist’s travels and muses have inspired his truly prolific paintings, which reach out and touch the viewer through elegant provocation. Edward Lucie-Smith fittingly describes Arcilesi as a fiercely independent artist in his book American Realism. “Seduction of the viewer has always been foremost in the art of Vincent Arcilesi.”- Ed McMcCormack, Gallery & Studio Magazine.
A special remembrance to Sherli Evans who has written and edited Vincent Arcilesi’s work until her death in August 17, 2016.
For more information and visuals, please contact Norma Homberg or Francesca Arcilesi: Norma@aha-fineart.com or Francesca@aha-fineart.com
Arcilesi|Homberg Fine Art is pleased to present “I’m The Map,” a group show opening Friday, July 21st from 6 – 9pm at 15 Orchard Street, New York, NY. The show is a compilation of paintings, collage, sculpture, photography, and mixed media from 18 artists. The inner map or “way finding,” as it has been connoted, is the way in which people and animals orient themselves in their own physical space navigating from place to place. ”Way finding” is as innate as one’s moral and directional compass. It is an instinct that is learned, but becomes as natural as knowing right from wrong. The works on view respond to the artists’ observation and interpretation of the global and the human landscape, sometimes examining the entanglement of memory, recalling landmarks and visual configurations. Thus, we felt it deeming and appropriate to bring to the walls of this exhibit the artists whom have gallantly shared their personal maps through their work.
Arlene Rush was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. During her visits to the doctor, Arlene asked the technicians for a handful of colorful stickers that were used to mark her nipples prior to radiology imaging. She wondered if the stickers were purposefully bright and cheery, as to distract from these kinds of procedures and it’s possibilities of having a dire outcome. Rush then began to paste the dots on her breasts as the techs had done at the radiology center. But instead of simply marking the nipple, the exercise was more akin to sculpting. The stickers become a means to map the artist’s own body. Her photograph, Days After, evocatively diagrams of this journey (shown left: Days After II, Arlene Rush).
Jose Arenas’s work (shown right: Paseo, Jose Arenas) explores dual identities, personal ritual, migration, and the displaced feeling that occurs from growing up in two countries. Born in San Jose, California, Arenas spent much of his childhood traveling between Northern California and Guadalajara, Mexico. His experiences navigating two worlds along with its complex process of integration and assimilation has informed his work in a variety of ways. By combining decorative patterns, culturally assigned symbols, and familiar abstract forms, he creates an emotionally resonant narrative that remains open to interpretation.
Jeffrey Allen Price creates assemblages of recycled materials out of sponges for his maps (Manhattan Effigy, shown left). “The cartographic iconography is derived from geographical locations that I am familiar with, and are immediately recognizable locations.”- Jeffrey Allen Price. Price directly comments on personal and global consumption by using the materials that surround us in our daily lives.
Nola Romano uses directional signs, maps and iconic images in her work Turn, Rotate, Float (shown right) that relate to her neighborhoods and the people who surround her. Incorporating maps in a personally, Romano offers solace and encouragement in her quirky and whimsical characters. Providing an outlet for life’s day to day obstacles, “Her characters represent a personal iconography comprised of multiple identities…” –Mary Tang; her twin daughters, her husband, and people of her past. Representing one’s interpersonal documentation of the faces and situations that we maybe timid to show the world Romano is ¬“mapping” a world full of mishaps and dilemmas. Instinctively, we all crave structure. People are innately drawn to habits, places and people that may conjure a sense of control over situations that can otherwise leave them feeling adrift from where they envision themselves to be. At the same time people also break their automaticity by changing their physical mind states, feeling drawn to the unknown maps and invisible grids that lie within.
Other artists featured are: Vincent Arcilesi, John Breiner, Maria Dimanshtein, India Evans, Kathleen Griffin, Alexis Hilliard, Roger Nelson, Keun Young Park, Margaret Roleke, Jesse Scaturro, Gigi Spratley & Jack Waltrip, Margaret Withers and Evan Venegas.