Licio Isolani, Untitled, c. 1966

The Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C., is featuring the work of several Pratt-affiliated artists and faculty this fall—Lisa A. Banner, Adjunct Associate Professor in the History of Art and Design; alumna Kikki Ghezzi (B.F.A. Painting/Drawing ’11); and Italian artist Licio Isolani, who served as a professor at Pratt for more than 50 years.  The effort represents a new collaboration with the Italian Embassy, whose Cultural Attaché, Dr. Renato Miracco, came to Pratt last spring to lecture on his area of specialty, the Arte Povera movement. The new Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, Dr. Emanuele Amendola, has also been involved in sponsoring and fostering this new collaboration.

Banner has curated an exhibition titled Frammenti: New Works by Kikki Ghezzi and Riccardo Vecchio. The show, which features the work of northern Italian artists Ghezzi and Riccardo Vecchio, who is a professor at the School of Visual Arts, opens at the Embassy on October 10. In Frammenti, the two artists use family heirlooms and found artifacts as “fragments” of the past to capture Italy’s cultural history. Banner highlights themes of memory, continuity, and remembrance in the show, which coincides with the arrival of work by Isolani from the Licio Isolani Study Archive at Pratt Institute.

The Italian-born Isolani, who passed away in 2015, donated a collection of his work to Pratt’s Math and Science Department following his long career at the Institute. Founded by Dr. Carole Sirovich, Chair of Pratt’s Math and Science Department; with Dr. Cindie Kehlet, Professor in the Math and Science Department; art historian Banner; and conservator Sarah Nunberg, the Licio Isolani Study Archive at Pratt Institute makes available the collection of sculptures, drawings, sketchbooks and other creations by Isolani for study and research at Pratt.

Graduate students in the History of Art and Design, Mathematics and Science, and the School of Information have been involved with the archive since its inception. New courses are now being considered within the Mathematics and Science Department and the History of Art and Design to involve students in the examination of the works, to analyze physical condition and material aspects, as well as historical relevance, and develop further original research. The opportunity is unique to Pratt Institute, and represents the fruit of a Faculty Development initiative, as well as other internal support.

The Isolani artwork on display at the Embassy is on long-term loan from the Licio Isolani Study Archive through the end of October 2018. Frammenti will be on view through November 12, 2017.

Image: Licio Isolani, Untitled, c. 1966, metal strips painted black; metal bars painted yellow and silver/gray; fiberglass embedded in black, yellow, blue and red polyester resin; metal base painted white and black. 40.64 x 38.1 x 15.24 cm; 47.2 x 17.5 x 15.81 cm (base), Licio Isolani Study Archive, 2017.07