Paul Gianfagna (1940- )
Paintings and Drawings from the 70's
Allegorical Figure with Gyroscope 1979, oil on linen,
Scene 1972, ink wash on white paper, 7"x11"
Cybele's Intercession 1974, egg-oil emulsion, 7"x7"
Cynthia 1979, drawing on gessoed board, 12" x 9"
Marsyas: The Dream 1973, grisaille underpainting, 9 1/4" x 9
Paul Gianfagna was born in 1940. He received his Bachelor's
degree in 1962 from Pratt Institute, and did his graduate work at
earning his M.F.A. in 1968. Among Gianfagna's teachers were: Gabriel
Richard Lindner, Walter Murch, Joseph Groell, Alfred Russell, Philip Pearlstein,
and at the Art Student's League: Robert Beverly Hale. Since 1972 Paul Gianfagna
has taught, among other things artistic anatomy at Brooklyn College, building on
Alfred Russell's courses of the previous decades. Gianfagna has also taught anatomy
at the New York Academy of Art in the years since it's founding in 1982, and has
recently been preparing a comprehensive illustrated anatomical text for future
publication. He has also, for a number of years, studied arcane painting
especially egg tempera, and has specialized studios in his New York houses for each
of his various pursuits, from a wood paneled anatomy study complete with skeleton,
to a light and airy oil painting studio for large multi-figure works to a compact egg
tempera room with neat rows of powdered pigments. In this 21st century
Renaissance workshop, Professor Gianfagna not only brings back long lost practices,
but brings forth his mysterious humanism in works of subtle perfection.
The underlying theme of Paul Gianfagna's work is process, or "the gradual accretion
of many thoughts which support and convey the artist's particular intentions to the
viewer so that both are party to a communication. For the artist, process is an
interior dialogue continually shaping form and content. Without process there would
be no continuity from one work to another and no developement within the artist's
work as whole. Process requires a set of constants which are gradually modified by
intuition and thought to include a greater truth within a context of change. Drawing,
Anatomy, and Painting are Gianfagna's "three lines of inquiry", creating the "visual
trace of an ongoing search which uncovers many fascinating things; all of which can
never perfectly be known, and few that can be completely mastered. The point of it
all is the search itself and the richness of one's discoveries."