Category Archives: impressionism

Robert De Niro and me

Okay, this is a misleading title. But I just watched the HBO documentary on artist Robert De Niro, Sr., a project created by his son, actor Robert De Niro. I was moved by De Niro’s passion to honor his father’s artistic vision and elevate the recognition of his father’s body of work. In her day, my aunt enjoyed local recognition, but as a nun, she did not make her living off of her art. Modesty, not self-promotion, surely kept her from being more widely known. Like Robert De Niro, I am immensely proud of my artist-relative. I would love nothing more than to give her wider exposure and recognition. I beleive there are many of her paintings out there, unheralded. People may not recognize the signature or have any background information on the artist whose work hangs in homes, apartments, galleries and offered up for cheap at yard sales and auctions. 

Although my aunt did not live in New York, I’m certain she knew about the movement and shared similar influences that factored into De Niro’s work with the New York School. She and Robert De Niro came of age in the same era, and perhaps influenced by European aethetics, saw their art as a way to burst free from regulations, confines and conventions. Beyond just being an artist herself, she was an art enthusiast and educator. It was her business to know. She may have traveled in New York (in that era she always had to travel with a companion), but not  in their circles. Nevertheless,  I would be shocked if she didn’t know and admire the work of De Niro’s parents and thier contemporaries. 

His documentary, much like this website, is a labor of love.  Enjoy:

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Huddled in the light 3/12

Title and year unknown. Courtesy of Clarke University

My aunt clearly, returned to themes of good vs. evil, light against dark. To the left I see at least three  faceless figures (with dark hair), and maybe more with lighter hair, huddled together, basking in the light, in protection of white and yellow light. To the right, ceding the canvas’ territory to the light figures, is a red figure.

He is evil. He is the Devil. His large eye is fixed on his target, his claw-like hand reaching in to grab. Or,is it recoiling back- unable to penetrate God’s protection? I think the latter.

These are just initial impressions. More on this painting later. Nine more to post!

Blue City 2/12

Actual title and image unknown. Courtesty of Clarke University, Iowa

This is my second favorite, and it’s a very close second.My aunt traveled and studied in Europe and I suspect that is the inspiration, if not model for this image.

I see a river in the center, with the city’s buildings facing closely on each side. Their structure is reflected in the water. Obviously very impressionistic in nature, I will return to this post later and comment more.  I invite you to share your comments too! Please read my intro about these discoveries!

As with all 12 discoveries, actual date, medium, and title are yet unknown to me.