Eye of the Painter – A Retrospective Exhibition of a Noted St Louis Artist and Poet, Edward Boccia, MOCRA

When appraising the long career of an artist, we tend to focus on the mature style, or the works best known by the public. The exhibition, Edward Boccia: Eye of the Painter, seeks to render another view of the artist’s career, by presenting not only the large-scale allegorical works for which Boccia is known, but also the aberrations, anomalies and hidden passion for the figure that fed the larger body of allegorical paintings.


Edward Boccia-Eye of the Painter – The Allegories. Installed at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA).

Edward Boccia’s career as a painter may be poetically referred to as a grand house with many rooms. Some rooms, although elegant, are lived in briefly. Other rooms, made more comfortable by the artist’s personal associations, are occupied for years. No room is permanently closed. The artist moves freely from room to room, constantly borrowing ideas from where he has stayed before. The paintings and drawings in this exhibition are grouped by thematic concerns beginning with character sketches done in France during World War II and ending with a nine-panel painting, Eugene’s Journey (1996), that draws upon all of the artist’s skills as a painter and poet.

It is with the open eye of the painter surveying the pivotal movements in 20th-century art that we will see the work by Boccia that touches on Cubism and Surrealism, American Regionalism of the 1930s, German Expressionism of the 1920s, and neo-Expressionism of the 1970s. For Boccia all rooms are open today, and it is for us to decide where we should linger.

About the Artist
Mr. Boccia’s career literally spans a lifetime. His paintings and drawings have appeared in over 40 solo shows and 121 group shows, including The Smithsonian, Harvard University, Pratt Institute, the Dada Gallery, Athens Greece, and many public and private galleries. His art is owned by over 600 private collections nationwide including the Morton D. May Collection, MO, Lucia May Collection, MN, and the St. Louis University Museum of Fine Arts, St. Louis MO. In 1958 he received the “Borsa di Studio” — offered by the Italian Government for study in Italy.

His poetry has appeared in numerous respected literary journals such as Negative CapabilityRhino, and Pudding Magazine: The International Journal of Applied Poetry (featured).



All Rights Reserved, The Edward E. Boccia and Madeleine J. Boccia Art Trust.

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