Rosa JH Berland will give a talk on March 21st from 6-8 pm on the life and work of the artist Edward Boccia at the Calandra Italian American Institute as part of the Philip V. Cannistraro Seminar Series. The event is open to the public and all are welcome. We are most honored to have the opportunity to share the accomplishments and contributions of this important Italian American artist and teacher.
Edward E. Boccia: The Painter of Nightmares and Dreams
Rosa Berland, The Edward E. Boccia Artist Trust
This talk will examine the artist Edward E. Boccia’s (1921–2012) innovative approach to painting and the reception of his work, as well as his connections to his Italian heritage. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Boccia studied at the Pratt Institute and the Art Students League and went on to teach for more than thirty years at the Washington University of St. Louis. Called a neo-expressionist, a modern neo-Renaissance painter, and even a magical realist, Boccia had a practice informed by the great masters as well as the work of twentieth-century modernists such as Max Beckmann and Oskar Kokoschka. What makes Boccia unique is his creation of a pictorial language that synthesized the mid-to-late-twentieth-century experience with motifs and themes from Catholicism, literary criticism, the politics of anti-materialism, and the importance of craft.
The trust conducts an ongoing cataloging of the artist’s work and encourages all owners to share information about any Boccia work in their possession.
We are currently seeking information about the whereabouts of paintings and drawings by Edward Boccia, including the four paintings commissioned by the First National Bank in St. Louis in 1966, photographs or archival information is welcome.
Please contact us with any relevant information.
Recent article on Boccia and his links to modernist mid century artistic practice and critical reception.“Cezanne’s Apple and Edward E. Boccia Hierarchy, Revolt and Artistic Innovation in 20th-Century America.” by Rosa JH Berland, Ekphrasis (2067-631X) . 2015, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p118-141. 24p
The reconstruction of the twenty-first-century imagination (ideologies that shape our “imagined world”) and aesthetic view through the “authentic” modes of abstraction, conceptualism, and the lens of media and digital technology has led to a new way of understanding and experiencing creativity. While these are certainly new or original critical experiences, there are other types of creativity, ideologies and imaginary worlds that are quite separate, and sometimes polemically opposed to this genre of making and looking. An example of this type of creative visualization and boycotting of the supposedly authentic gesture is the work of the late American artist Edward E. Boccia, who devoted much of his life to a series of panel paintings that take as their subject problems of politics and society, as well as religious experience in the twentieth century. Made between 1956 -2006, the large scale altarpieces represent the phenomenon of figural creativity produced in traditional studio mediums in mid- to late twentieth-century America.
For access to this entire article, please check with your college/university library, local public library, or affiliated institution.
Copyright of Ekphrasis (2067-631X) is the property of Babes-Bolyai-University, Faculty of Theatre & Television.