AMERICAN ARCHITECTURAL DECORATIVE AND PUBLISHING ARTS LTD.
GALLERIES WELCOMES THE ART OF PROFESSOR
EMERITUS PETER BAGNOLO, ITS FOUNDER.
BIO BELOW WRITTEN BY PROFESSOR EMERITUS DAVID ELIAS, CULLED FROM COMMENTS BY DEANS, COLLEAGUES AND STUDENTS :
Professor Bagnolo is a Renaissance man: Cultural Anthropologist, Architectural designer, painter, writer, novelist, and theologian. As a child prodigy, abed with polio for almost two years, with an off the charts IQ, reading at the graduate level by 5th grade, offered an opportunity to skip three grades at age 8/9, his parents allowed only a one grade skip, lest he graduated primary school at age 10, high school at age 14 and college at age 18. Such a leap forward would have been fine for a Wunderkind, but not so much for a boy either socially or athletically. Despite the Paralytic polio, he became a fine athlete in basketball, flag football, softball, baseball, Volleyball, Tennis and Badminton, though he had to have his ankles taped until age 16 so weakened were they by the polio. He was offered Major League contracts in baseball, always turned down by his parents, ending always by his mother telling scouts; “He is going to be a Professor, Doctor, or Architect, not a baseball player…”
He was a recipient of an Art Institute scholarship at age 11, Ford Foundation Fellowships in Anthropology, Architecture and Painting and a merit scholarship in art at CSU, and was appointed a Graduate Research Assistant position in college with occasional lecture privileges in physical and cultural Anthropology.
He holds a triple bachelor's degree in Painting and Drawing, Anthropology, Architectural Design Advertising. MA's in Cultural Anthropology, Painting and more. He majored in Architecture at the University of Illinois Chicago Navy Pier, Architecture and Art at Wright College, Art and Advertising at The American Academy of Art, and Anthropology, Architectural Exhibition Design and Painting at CSU.
He was mentored by the great, world renowned, Lothar Witteborg Chief of the Department of Exhibition Design at Chicago’s Filed Museum of Natural History, where he did research with full access to every department at the museum.
He did a double Master’s Degree at Goddard College, in Cultural Anthropology and Art.
After being tenured he taught: Architecture, anthropology, Theology, advertising, painting and drawing, entrepreneuring and Creative Profit Making. He produced a star-studded Music festival, had a radio talk show in Chicago, and a cable TV show in the suburbs. Now, retired from Teaching, he paints, writes, and pursues other ventures.
The above bio harvested from the comments of Deans, colleagues, students, clients and collector's.
As far as painting goes, when asked about how he paints he makes it simple. “I studied life drawing three hours a day, five days a week for three years and for six hours a day for one semester, all with Salvatore Salla, Mosby, Van den Brock, and Antoine Sterba, and was able to visit the studio’s of Haddon Sundblum only a few blocks from The American Academy. I assisted Salla on a mural as a student, along with another fellow and delighted in Sala’s point of view on art. He introduced us to the Italian Macheoli, to the great Vincenzo Irolli, Boldini and others. My favorite artists are Irolli, Boldini, John Singer Sargent, the Frank (Sir Francis) Brangwyn, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, the Spaniard Joaquin Sorola, and among illustrators, Dean Cornwell and many of the artists of the Brandywine era. Today I love the work of Asaro, Vettriano, Royo, Steve Hanks, former classmates at The American Academy, though 10-15 years ahead of me, Howard Terpning and Richard Schmidt.’
“As far as painting goes, I have no illusions about it, I just paint what I feel like painting on a particular day. I like mixed media, oil, watercolor, drawing and sometimes, while still in school, scratch board, but not so much anymore.
“With oil I paint fast and freely, with large brushes, and think rough stroke. In the other media I paint smoothly, slick and finished looking, but still fast.
“I love to paint and to write, I write a lot. Thassit!”
Now as painter, his art, whether surreal, realistic, slickly painted, or thick, rapid and vigorous brush strokes in a painterly Impressionism, more favors the art of the Italian and Spanish Impressionists, than the French, and he is also strongly influenced by John Singer Sergeant, Sir Francis (Frank) Brangwyn, Dean Cornwell and the American illustrators of the Brandywine era and beyond, Vincenzo Irolli of the Italian Macheolli, Joaquin Sorolla, the great Spanish Impressionist, and wishes he could but even approach their great skill.
Professor Bagnolo's paintings are usually brightly colored and he is fond of of the smoothly blended Blurry “Lost” edges and the sharply defined, “Found” edges (or Hard edges) which have made his work so distinctive. He paints he says, what he sees and what he sees is affected by what he feels. His art is at times heroic in scale, fantastic in imagination and mystical in conception.
The painting on the left was spontaneous. This beautiful model was napping while I painted the other on the right. When she awakened and stretched I shot pictures while she was waking up and painted this one. She did not know I had painted it until it was finished.