Edward E. Boccia: The Painter of Nightmares and Dreams
Rosa Berland, The Edward E. Boccia Artist Trust
This talk will examine the artist Edward E. Boccia’s (1921–2012) innovative approach to painting and the reception of his work, as well as his connections to his Italian heritage. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Boccia studied at the Pratt Institute and the Art Students League and went on to teach for more than thirty years at the Washington University of St. Louis. Called a neo-expressionist, a modern neo-Renaissance painter, and even a magical realist, Boccia had a practice informed by the great masters as well as the work of twentieth-century modernists such as Max Beckmann and Oskar Kokoschka. What makes Boccia unique is his creation of a pictorial language that synthesized the mid-to-late-twentieth-century experience with motifs and themes from Catholicism, literary criticism, the politics of anti-materialism, and the importance of craft.