Shelburne Museum’s 2022 exhibition, Luigi Lucioni: Modern Light, examines the career, influences, and techniques of American artist Luigi Lucioni. A prolific painter and printmaker, Lucioni is known today for his landscape paintings, still-life works, portraiture, and etchings. Modern Light will be the first comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work at a major public museum, as well as Shelburne Museum’s first monographic exhibition of Lucioni’s art since 1968.
Born in Italy in 1900, Lucioni immigrated to the United States in 1911 and rose from humble beginnings to achieve commercial and critical success as an artist. After training at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design, Lucioni was granted his first solo exhibition at the Ferargil Galleries in New York in 1927. A friendship and patronage with Shelburne Museum’s founder, Electra Havemeyer Webb, drew the artist to Shelburne, Vermont, in 1930. Lucioni maintained a lifelong connection with the Museum and Vermont and spent many summers teaching at the Southern Vermont Arts Center.
Known during his lifetime as a technically sophisticated realist who favored the play of light and shadows on weathered barns and stately trees, Lucioni contributed to the genre that art historian Bruce Robertson has termed “Yankee Modernism.” Lucioni, along with Paul Sample, Maxfield Parrish, and even Charles Sheeler and Andrew Wyeth, depicted a landscape and a people, orderly yet odd, who embodied an idealized set of “American” values in an era of great social and political change.
Luigi Lucioni: Modern Light seeks to: (1) define Lucioni’s role in the New York art world and the history of American modernism; (2) offer an intimate view into the relationship between the artist and patron Electra Havemeyer Webb; (3) explore the artist’s immigrant and queer identities, neither of which have been the focus of a major public art exhibition; and (4) unpack Lucioni’s paintings and works on paper via a close examination of the artist’s materials, methods, and techniques
Murphy Gallery, Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education