Italianità, Part 2: Inside and Outside the Sphere of Ethnicity


Part 1: Immigration and Traditions from the Old Country

Part 3: Essay: Two Worlds / Due Mondi
All images and essays (c) the individual artists unless otherwise noted

Timothy McDowell, Teapot Theory, 2018, oil on panel, 48 x 48 inches

Continuing the theme of this project, the artists here share their memories of the Italian American childhoods that shaped them. The difference is that while many have the blood of makers in their veins, for this group it is less the culture of tradition that informs the work and more the culture of Italy itself—its art and architecture, history, and landscape. In other instances Italy has nothing to do with it. Italian American artists are free to explore ideas outside the sphere of ethnicity. We see still lifes with mystery and magic, formal abstractions with a focus on compositional elements, as well as gestural abstractions that reference emotions or reflect the artists’ personal concerns. The act of conjuring an idea and making it manifest is a miracle, whatever the spark. What I have done here is provide a visual flow to the images.