Hugo Rizzoli

Red Glyph, 2015, collage on 140-lb. stock, 7 x 12 inches

Rizzoli: Past Time and Present Sensibility


A childhood family trip to the old town of Calabritto in the hills above Naples awakened my senses to my heritage. The circumstances were often difficult, but relatives and townspeople there seemed well contented with their lives. So much was accomplished by hand, from making shoes and wine to growing chestnut and olive trees.


I did not think of being an artist in those years, though the experience certainly led me to appreciate life so different from my American suburbia. The memory is indelible, fortuitous it turns out, because the village was nearly destroyed by an earthquake in 1980. But I carry with me the sights and smells of that early visit, along with the cooking lessons of an aunt and smiling grandmother, and an understanding of “artisan” that I try to live by in my own work.


I was deeply struck with recognition when I first discovered the rustic, ancient-seeming work of Italian contemporary, Mirco Marchelli, who crafts his pieces almost exclusively with found bits of cloth, wood, and paper, plus tempera, as I had been doing without knowing exactly why. His approach, melding remnants of past time with present sensibility, sets me, with admiration, more firmly in my direction. This is my Italianità. 



Kyoto Birdhouse, 2020, mixed media wood assemblage, 14 x 3.75 inches

Crooked Shelf Library of Ordinary Miracles, 2020, mixed media wood assemblage, 16.25 x 12 inches

Hugo Rizzoli