The Boccia estate is delighted to share that Saint Louis Art Museum recently acquired a triptych panel painting by Edward E. Boccia entitled Birth of Eros, 1960-61 through a special donation. SLAM is among over forty institutions allover the world that own Boccia’s work.
A key work among the artist’s many large scale panel painting Birth of Eros expresses Boccia’s interest in the metaphysical concept of transcendence within the mode of painting and in the problems of contemporary culture, spiritual conflicts, and religion. The artist’s creation of a personalized vocabulary of metaphor, allegory, and symbol in an admixture of complex stylization was one of certain originality. Boccia clearly saw the role of art as the sublimation of the force of creative art; the making of an earthly object represents moral conflict.
The tax year is ending soon and we are requesting our supporters and those interested in fostering and celebrating the legacy of Italian Americans’ contributions to art and culture to consider donating to our special project -THE FIRST EVER BOOK on Edward E. Boccia. Donations can be made via our Fiscal Sponsor website donation page.
We welcome any amount and hope to meet our goal of $10,000 USD before 2022!
Thank you to the donors who have already contributed. This innovative book is only possible through the patronage of our friends, family and colleagues. Please visit our donation page at Fractured Atlas, donations are tax deductible as per IRS regulations.
Edward E. Boccia (1921-2012) was an Italian-American artist active from ca. WW II-2012. Born to Italian parents in Newark Jersey, Boccia attended the Newark School of Fine Arts. He studied at the Pratt Institute and the Art Students League, New York, where he met his wife Madeleine Wysong. Boccia served in World War II, in the covert 603rd Camouflage engineer unit known today as the Ghost Army. He continued to paint and draw during his time overseas, sending his artwork home. After the war, Boccia earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at Columbia University, concurrently serving as Dean and teaching art at the Columbus Art School in Ohio, where he introduced the Bauhaus teaching method to his students.
In 1951, he was appointed Assistant Dean of Fine Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he taught painting for over 30 years, until his retirement in 1986.
Boccia was regarded as not only technically gifted, but also singularly independent and deeply dedicated to his craft. Called a Neo-Expressionist, the modern Neo-Renaissance painter and even a Magical Realist, Boccia’s practice was informed by the great masters as well as the work of 20th century modernists such as Max Beckmann and Oskar Kokoschka.
What makes Boccia unique, however is his creation of a unique pictorial language that synthesized the mid to late 20th century experience with motifs and themes from Catholicism, literary criticism, the politics of anti-materialism and the importance of craft. In addition to teaching, the artist spent countless solitary hours working on his large-scale triptych panel paintings, seeking neither official approval or an end to his exploration and experimentation, the artist painted into his eighties. A favorite artist of the important American art collector, Morton D. May, Boccia’s art is owned by over 600 private collectors and within the public collections of national museums and institutions such as the National Painting Gallery of Greece, Athens, The Mildred Lane Kemper Museum of Art, St. Louis, The St. Louis University Museum of Art and many others.