New York Rooftops - Painting by Letizia Pitigliani - Upper West Side of Manhattan - Mid Century - Early 1960'sNew York Rooftops - Painting by Letizia Pitigliani - Upper West Side of Manhattan - Mid Century - Early 1960'sNew York Rooftops - Painting by Letizia Pitigliani - Upper West Side of Manhattan - Mid Century - Early 1960'sNew York Rooftops - Painting by Letizia Pitigliani - Upper West Side of Manhattan - Mid Century - Early 1960'sNew York Rooftops - Painting by Letizia Pitigliani - Upper West Side of Manhattan - Mid Century - Early 1960'sNew York Rooftops - Painting by Letizia Pitigliani - Upper West Side of Manhattan - Mid Century - Early 1960's

Letizia Pitigliani was born in Rome to an Italian father and Dutch mother, but grew up in New York where her family fled to escape the spread of Fascism in Europe. In her teens she returned to Rome where she studied under Roberto Melli and had her artistic debut in the late 1950's. She traveled to Holland in 1957, after which she settled in New York. In a city where Abstract Expressionism was soon to yield to Pop Art, Pitigliani followed her own unique vision, a more realistic style, which often featured architecture as the main subject, most often revealed by dramatic lighting, dividing the landscape into crisp light and shadow… reminiscent of Edward Hopper. This is one of her early New York paintings, created sometime around 1963 - 1964.

Pitigliani was always popular, her shows sold well, and her art is in Museum and corporate collections worldwide. Originals rarely come to market. There have been a couple of books published about her work, most notably, 'Pitigliani' with an introduction and chapters written by art critics, scholars, and Pitigliani herself. This book contains several black and white reproductions of other paintings in the series that this painting comes from… views from Pitigliani's window on the Upper West Side of Manhattan making what some might see as an urban wasteland into a beautiful staccato rhythm of light and shadow. Here she speaks of these Upper West Side paintings:

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"In 1958 I packed a crate of paintings and went to New York. It has been a long time since I had seen the United States. I had my first one-man show at the Barzansky Gallery, exhibiting work from Israel, Paris, and Amsterdam. …

This sense of vastness and isolation influenced my art. I was overwhelmed by the variety and yet the sameness of the Manhattan vision. Each Day, each moment, the light was different. Sometimes it would be cool and northern. Sometimes with the sun reflecting off the corroded brick buildings of the West Side where I lived, it was as hot and southern as Naples. I had seen the buildings of Europe as reflections of a personality or a culture. Here the contrasts were amazing, and not just in architectural style, but in their wish to evoke the past even in its most capricious aspects - and all this posturing high up in the sky of the city amidst the vast indifference of its citizens, who went about their business on the sidewalk hundreds of feet below.

This vision was for me the summation of modern life. Here in stone, steel and cement were my companions in flight, architectural beings amassed haphazardly, each an important personality, whose contrast created yet other beings, other atmospheres, other paintings. These symbolic rooftops, turrets, spires,decaying decorative friezes and walls with faded legends almost illegible, bore witness to the surrounding city and the corrosive passage of time, more tangible here than in any other part of the world. … Where others seemed to find emptiness, I found a wealth of sensual revelations waiting to take form."

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Later in her career, Pitigliani created a series of 50 or so posters to commemorate various events and places in New York… Harbor Festivals, New Year's Eve Celebrations, Museum Exhibitions, the Empire State Building, etc. These images were seen daily by millions all over the city, some of you may remember them, and they occasionally come up for sale, but originals like this painting are rarely found. She also wrote and photographed an article for Biblical Archaeology Review in 1979, entitled "A Rare Look at the Jewish Catacombs of Rome." This is a fascinating read if you're interested (available in full online), and some of the photos are truly majestic.

CONDITION is fine. Painted in oil or acrylic on board and in its original frame which shows some expected wear. Measures 23 3/8" x 13 1/2" overall. with a sight size of 19 1/2" x 9 1/2".

Enjoy!

Item ID: RL-1116


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New York Rooftops - Painting by Letizia Pitigliani - Upper West Side of Manhattan - Mid Century - Early 1960's

$3,600 USD

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