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Yankee, Sunday Telegram praise painter Nicoletti's retrospective

The Bates Museum of Art exhibition Joseph Nicoletti: A Retrospective, has garnered critical praise that’s as careful and exacting as the painter’s own work.

In Yankee Magazine, longtime Maine art writer Edgar Allen Beem notes that Nicoletti, who was born in Italy and has taught at Bates since 1981, “possesses a Mediterranean soul, one that honors sensual beauty even in an age of fashionable ugliness. Nicoletti’s paintings are clean and deft and infused with a sense of color that is all his own.”

“The intensity that he has infused into those symbols are his achievement.”

In his exhibition review in the Maine Sunday Telegram, Phil Isaacson ’47, L.H.D. ’97, writes that “the darkness in Nicoletti’s work is more than a matter of mood. It is a matter of a haunted imagination…. There are altars in his work that exist in a state of piety and mission. Their appointment is to console the viewer through the use of mystical equivalents. It is not a matter of simply providing symbols; rather it is the intensity that he has infused into those symbols that are his achievement.”

“He gradually absorbs a scene with all his senses before committing it to ink, paint or pencil.”

Meanwhile, Bob Keyes’ profile in the Maine Sunday Telegram a week earlier describes Nicoletti at work, how his “afternoon-long examinations of a single subject [are] painstaking and laborious. He considers every detail with his eye first, and gradually absorbs a scene with all his senses before committing it to ink, paint or pencil. His consideration of a subject can be as exhausting and oftentimes more revealing than any photograph. His work is not just about the image. It’s about the surface and the color, and about the narrative that Nicoletti is telling, both publicly and personally.”



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