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Bruno Paoli, 1915-2005

Founding father of "existential realism"

Bruno Paoli is a modern master whose stylistic vision finds a kindred spirit in artists of the past like Paul Gaughin and Amedeo Modigliani. Gaughin’s rich earth colors, flattened forms and rhythmic line quality echo Paoli’s flowing contour lines and spatial organization. Modigliani’s sensuous color, harmony and elegantly depicted nudes, relate to Paoli’s reclining beauties. As professor at The Art Institute of Porta Romana from 1950-1992, Bruno Paoli furthered this modern figurative style by creating his own style.

He was born in Florence, Italy in 1915. Upon obtaining a diploma in Art (Painting in Drawing) from The Art Institute of Florence, Bruno Paoli showed his art nationally. A few of his memorable exhibitions were at The Galleria Flore in 1942 and in 1943 at The Via Larga Gallery. After exhibiting at numerous one-man shows, he received critical recognition in 1953 when he won the famed buying prize from The Gallery of Modern Art in Florence. This was followed by the prestigious Mario Bucci award. Currently, his work is found in The Stia Museum in Tuscany and in numerous private and corporate collections worldwide.

Bruno Paoli’s technique is one of a master who knows his medium. He understands intrinsically the nature of oil paint and color. Wet-into-wet oil and a scumbling of fresh paint over dry leave evidence of residual memory, as well as a beautiful textural buildup. Cool and warm colors are mixed to the point of flat gray, while maintaining their coloristic and emotional power.

Paoli’s Retrospect Exhibition was in September 2001, in the town of Arezzo Italy. It was viewed by over 30,000 people. The cover piece of the exhibition now hangs in the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Arezzo together with the other important paintings done by Ottone Rosai, Giorgio Morandi and De Chirico. This was Paoli’s Last Exhibition.

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