Published: August 1, 2000
MANCHESTER, N.H. – At Equinox Gallery, ten Luigi Lucioni oil paintings from private collections and will be on display this summer.
Born in 1900 in Malante, Italy, Luigi Lucioni emigrated as a child to the United States, where he settled with his family in New Jersey. An artist of preeminent ability, he began studying at the age of 16 with William Starkweather at New York’s Cooper Union Institute. He later attended the National Academy of Design supporting himself as a magazine illustrator. Winning a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship at the age of 24 allowed Lucioni to return to Italy, where he studied the works of the Italian Primitives.
Upon his return to New York, he taught at the Art Students League and painted the Vermont countryside during the summers. In 1927 he had his first one man show at the Ferargil Galleries in New York, and in 1932 became the youngest artist to have a painting purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the museums permanent collection in New York City.
His still lifes depict everyday objects, often placed atop cascading draperies, carefully chosen to complement each other through shape, color, and texture. Each canvas is a blend of sharp outlines, color modulations, and a revealing light. His landscape paintings transfer this love of detail to the depiction of the countryside.
Lucioni expressed his aims simply: “I try more and more to create reality with the simplest means and with all essential detail. But I feel that all this should be a part of a design which I believe every canvas must primarily possess.”
While Lucioni’s paintings have affinities with such Fifteenth Century masters as Jan Van Eyck, they are also forerunners of the Photo-Realist artists of the 1960s. Indeed, it is probably the rise of the latter which spurred the rediscovery of Lucioni’s art. Last year at the Southern Vermont Art Center, one circa 1935 oil on canvas (26 by 47 inches) titled “Clouds Over Equinox” sold for $115,000.
Equinox Gallery, at 5036 Historic Main Street, is open daily 10 am to 5 pm daily and by appointment. For information, 802/362-3540.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm