Amid the number of participants of Abstract Expressionism in the late
1940's and 1950's, Vincent Pepi produced a significant body of serious,
distinctive and visionary work. Be one of the few to own a piece by a
First Generation Abstract Expressionist. This watercolor painting, Rome
507M is a typical example of Pepi's Abstract Expressionist style of the
early 1950's. A limited edition of (20) archival fine art prints,
measuring 10" x 13" and signed by the artist, is NOW AVAILABLE for $650
View and order Rome 507M at: 507M.
"As ongoing research enriches the already remarkable
story of mid-20th-century painterly abstraction in
America, Vincent Pepi's vital, vibrant oeuvre of
small-scale gestures and spatial inventiveness offers
a timely reminder that much remains in this field to
be appreciated anew !"
"It is Pepi's exploration of such semi-illusionistic
abstract phenomena, at times evoking a nearly palpable
though fluctuant sense of space, that comprises an
intriguing personal deviation
from the American Abstract Expressionist norm, so
often given to the pursuit of the flatness
of form and color. Pepi understood that the shifting
levels of cubist space, no matter how slight,
held formal potential for extension into more
emphatically abstract imagery of gestural
Excerpts from 1992 exhibit catalogue essay; "Space and
Gesture: The paintings of Vincent Pepi" by Jeffrey
Wechsler, Assistant Director, Zimmerli Art Museum, New
Harry Rand comments in "Vincent Pepi"
"Currently, it is impossible to discuss Vincent Pepi in
the present tense. His art, Janus-like, looks to a past
moment of elective seclusion and a future moment of
restitution to his history. That makes him an
"interesting" painter for the New York School and
something of a test case for historians.
As his contemporaries' prestige ascended, their
pictures were sought, and now, with a dwindling
supply, all sorts of minor or ersatz reputations are
being proffered as facile alternatives to the "names";
that is not Pepi's problem. There is nothing
counterfeit or inauthentic about his work.
The artists who gathered in New York, as those who
formerly convened in Paris, came from many points in
an aesthetic empire invisible to the map-maker. Guston
from Canada, Kline from Pennsylvania, Pollock from
California, Still from the Northwest,
deKooning from the Netherlands, Rothko from Russia,
Gorky from Armenia-only Newman and Gottlieb were
locals growing up in the vortex that attracted the
others. Few really left: Jacob Kainen for Washington,
Harry Jackson for a dream of a western sunset, and
Vincent Pepi, who though born in Boston and trained in
New York, returned from Europe to an America where he
was invisible in plain sight.
"Like 'first generation' Abstract Expressionists, Pepi
never lost his grounding in manual virtuosity and drew
incessantly from still lives and nudes, and, as in
other first generation Abstract Expressioinists, the
residue if this surety of line and form elevates his
art, as its absence can be felt as a hollowness in
subsequent abstract art.
"Pepi is very much an individual,with a consistency
that courses through all of his works, right up to
Eclipse/Kiss (No.#657 1981), a richly painted oil,
redolent of certain lyrical deKoonings of thirty years
earlier without in any way emulating him.
Upon his return to America, Pepi became an in-house
graphic designer for New York University,that was his
day job. At the same time, he remained in the center of
the art world, with Pepi's painting studio one floor
below Franz Kline's and across the hall from Conrad
"In 1953 he showed at the Stable Gallery, which again
situated him at the center of the painter's world.
Long over-looked,partly by his own choices, Pepi is
returned, a player in history.
The past will care for the future."
Condensed from catalogue essay by Harry Rand, 1996
Vincent Pepi's work can be found in collections at
the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Grey Art Gallery, New York
University Art in New York City; Smithsonian American Art Museum in
Washington, DC; The New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, NJ; Jane
Voorhis Zimmerli Museum of Art at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ;
Montclair Museum of Art in Montclair, NJ; Heckscher Museum of Art
Huntington on Long Island, NY; Brown University, David Winton Bell Gallery
in Providence, RI; Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of Greensboro in
Tufts University Art Gallery in Boston, MA; and Wesleyan University in
Vincent Pepi is one of the original Premiere Portfolio members at
absolutearts.com. He has actively promoted his work on the site since
2000. To view his full Portfolio go to: http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/b/bettyboop/