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
The Story of Job title was taken from the bible, in the bible Job lived a good life, had dozens of kids, a good wife, a huge farm, lots of money and he thanked and praised god everyday. The devil was talking to god and said yeah Job’s a good man, but He wouldn’t like you so much if you took everything away from him, so as a test god, took his fortune away, his wife left him, his kids all died, Job even became a leper, but he still prayed and looked up to god. So the devil was wrong, god was right and so god gave Job back everything he once had and much more. That’s where the saying “the patience of Job” came from. One of my friend’s (even though they weren’t Christian) said I should read that story because when I was in the hospital sick with ulcerative colitis (near death) in 2003. I didn’t give up, I stayed happy by drawing pictures.
Job Johnson is my alter ego that I created out of 1. my family always pressuring me to make pictures of farms and landscapes for them. 2. Inspiration from seeing all the Vincent Van Gogh drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art a year before. 3. Inspiration from my great Aunt Mae and all the stories she used to tell me as a kid, after she passed away I needed a way to preserve some of these stories, from her and my grandparents too. 4. reading the collected folklore from Henry W. Shoemaker and looking at all the ancient photos in that book, wondering what it would be like living and making art in North Central Pennsylvania at the turn of the last century.
Job Johnson was born, I learned to make paper in graduate school, could make it at home with scraps of acid free mats from the local frame shop I work at. Make drawings on it, and then frame them out of really old looking tree branches. Like objects. Relics from the past. It was important for me to make a story for Job, and set him in an earlier time period, the beginning of the industrial revolution. A time when the old ways, traditions and superstitions gave way to the modern and the clash that was happening at the time. My pap (He’s 98 years old now) once told me that he remembered a new automobile, a model T once collided with a horse and wagon. killing everyone including the horses. (This picture has yet to be made) I’m interested in the victims that were left behind in this transition, the wolf, the mountain lion, the great white pine tree. In hopes that people will see the correlation with today’s society.
An alter ego frees me up from the concern of having to be stylistically modern. the work is anti-modern. So I, Jeremiah Johnson can continue to keep making the modern work that I do.
“Long time DUMBO artist, Wynne Noble, is a potter, sculptor, teacher, artist extraordinaire. Over the years she has created work that’s appeared in many galleries, many high end stores, and has even participated in many DUMBO Arts Festivals. Meet the lady behind the wheel as DUMBO BID fellow Rachel Hamburger, sits down for a chat about art, the duality of nature, and Wynne’s pottery classes.
How long have you been in DUMBO?
Wynne Noble: I have been here for about 30 years now.
So you have seen the neighborhood really evolve over the years. How did you end up in DUMBO?
WN: Oh absolutely. I was working in Soho and then was priced out.
Have you always been interested in pottery?
WN: Always. My interested started as a young girl. I saw a potter making something clay and I said, wow! I want to be that magician.