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Letizia Pitigliani Sold at Auction Prices

Pitigliani was born in Rome and eventually studied with Roberto Melli at Rome's Accademia di Belle Arti, firmly rooting her art in the metaphysical "Scuola Romana". She spent her early childhood in the United States and now lives and works primarily in New York. An American boldness and directness are felt in the artist's clean, bouyant colors and strong striking compositions, qualities balanced by a transcendent European classicism and formality. Her work thus combines the sensibilities of two cultures, and its appeal is certainly magnified by this paradoxical combination. Uniting them all are the artist's consummate technique and unique, often surrealistic vision. Modern art historian Fabio Benzi, who wrote the Introduction, teaches at Naples' Accademia di Belie Arti and the University of Udine. Additional texts are by a range of authorities, including Richard McLanathan, an art historian, author, curator, and former director of the Association of American Museums; painter Roberto Melli, a modern master and a pivotal force in the Italian art movement "Valori Plastici"; architect-designer Lella Vignelli, who heads Vignelli Associates with her husband, Massimo; and publicists Sidney Frigand and Howard Rubenstein.Letizia Pitigliani made her artistic debut at the age of eighteen. This first exhibition, presented by Roberto Melli, revealed an already mature artistic personality quite unusual for such a young woman.

She had been a student in Rome of Roberto Melli, an artist of extraordinary quality who had lived a complicated and intriguing life. He participated in some of the most important and stimulating movements of the Italian art world between the 1910s and the 1950s. His early style was influenced by the Fauves and the Futurists, but after World War I he joined the European ritorno all'ordine which was represented in Italy by the artists of the Valori Plastici group, including de Chirico, Carrà, Morandi, Savinio and Martini, and advanced by the movement's journal, edited by Mario Broglio.

At the beginning of the 1930s Melli became the mentor of the young école de Rome, formed by Cagli, Capogrossi and Cavalli, which represented one of the most active artistic tendencies of that season in Italy. His painting style passed through various stages, guided by a sense of architecturally structured form and by a use of color which was initially violent and vibrant, and later, from the 1930s, softer, albeit still retaining its vibrancy. This style was given the descriptive label of Tonalismo. His use of color influenced the many different aspects of the Scuola Romana, but always with a sense of the esoteric and an emphasis on intellectual precision. I have dwelt on the story of this master in particular because Pitigliani's early Roman works owe a considerable debt to Melli's style. Indeed, though to a lesser extent, the works from her later and more extensive New York period also reveal a connection with the master. For example, Pitigliani structures her composition almost without line and renders the figures by overlapping areas of color, without chiaroscuro, thus creating volume and light on the canvas through depth of tone. Her brushstroke is loose and confident, and quickly renders the development in space of the figures and the architectonic elements against the uninhabited landscapes.

Pitigliani learned this stylistic technique from Melli at the Accademia di Belie Arti. She developed a strong tie with the recent and vital period of the Scuola Romana, made personal, however, by the artist's more "modern" approach to composition; and with her use of a wide variety of colors, from light to dark, from luminous to opaque, recalls the innate self-assurance of a soprano who uses the full range of her voice. This "ease" of approach characterizes the painter's early works, but from 1957, after a trip to Holland, she transcends these stylistic experiments in search of a new sense of painting. The architecture which populates her landscapes acquires a disquieting presence, alsways subtly mysterious, almost like figures involved in dialogues with themselves. This new poetic search reaches maturity in the works painted in New York. The panorama of the city, where Pitigliani has permanently established herself, inspires the static, shaped compositions; buildings are gathered like unfathomable figures, mercilessly arranged so as to reveal cracks on the façade, like wrinkles on a face.

The prevailing sense of melancholy of many of these paintings, emphasized by a sharp light typical of cities on the sea, which casts penetrating shadows on the architecture, recalls Edward Hopper, another great painter of the American urban landscape. As in his works, the human presence is not represented but only suggested, thus making the building itself the psychological metaphor for the inhabitant. These works represent urban solitude and desolation, but they also express a refined attentiveness and a vital exuberance. These architectural elements are generally isolated from the urban context; they are confined to the foreground like silhouettes against the luminous sky. And from a corner emerge other contrasting elements, as for example an old house placed against a glass skyscraper, a geometric form behind a nineteenth-century colonnade, or a horizontal element that breaks the verticality of the composition. This presence of "disquieting" elements in the serene objectivity of the representation will have an unforeseen development during the 1970s and 1980s, resulting in a type of instinctive, playful surrealism. A bell tower opens its wings like an angel, a huge turtle ambles along the roof of a skyscraper, human figures fly freely in the crystal-clear sky of the city, populated by immense and imaginary animals.

These works are the translation into images and symbols of the amazement which New York never ceases to inspire in Pitigliani; New York, with its daily enchanting spells and new and unpredictable magic. The works which the artist painted as poster designs can also be viewed in this way. The subject is almost always New York, populated with crowds of excursion boats and flags, illuminated by fantastical firework displays which exalt the monumentality, the bizarre and vital joy which continually animates the city - a city with a varied and multiform soul, which Pitigliani is able to grasp with the lightness of an ironic and surreal poet.

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      • Letizia Pitigliani - New York City Movies and Television - 1986 Offset Lithograph 22.5" x 29.75"
        Jan. 30, 2024

        Letizia Pitigliani - New York City Movies and Television - 1986 Offset Lithograph 22.5" x 29.75"

        Est: $75 - $100

        "New York City Movies and Television" by Letizia Pitigliani, 1986 Unsigned Offset Lithograph. Paper size is 22.5 x 29.75 inches, with an image size of 18.5 x 22.5 inches. The Offset Lithograph is from an unknown edition size. and is not framed. The condition was rated A-: Near Mint, very light signs of handling. Additional details: First release exhibition by Pitigliani published by TWA, Trans World Airlines, to commemorate New York city, movies and television. First edition.

        DUMBO Auctions
      • LETIZIA PITIGLIANI, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, POSTER
        Jul. 01, 2023

        LETIZIA PITIGLIANI, NEW YORK, NEW YORK, POSTER

        Est: $300 - $400

        Artist: Letizia Pitigliani, Italian Title: New York, New York Portfolio: Year: 1980 Medium: Poster Size: 24 x 36 in. (60.96 x 91.44 cm)

        RoGallery
      • LETIZIA PITIGLIANI, STATUE OF LIBERTY, POSTER
        Jul. 01, 2023

        LETIZIA PITIGLIANI, STATUE OF LIBERTY, POSTER

        Est: $300 - $400

        Artist: Letizia Pitigliani, Italian Title: Statue of Liberty Portfolio: Year: 1981 Medium: Poster Size: 25 in. x 33.5 in. (63.5 cm x 85.09 cm)

        RoGallery
      • PITIGLIANI, Letizia (1935—2012). Harbor Festival ’79…Join t...
        Mar. 16, 2023

        PITIGLIANI, Letizia (1935—2012). Harbor Festival ’79…Join t...

        Est: $400 - $600

        PITIGLIANI, Letizia (1935—2012). Harbor Festival ’79…Join the Armada. Poster advertising the annual Harbor Festival in New York, showing vessels of all kinds in the water and the skyline illuminated by dazzling rays of light. 44 ¼ x 59 ¼”. Unbacked. A.

        Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
      • Letizia Pitigliani, Statue of Liberty, Poster
        Aug. 27, 2020

        Letizia Pitigliani, Statue of Liberty, Poster

        Est: $150 - $350

        Artist: Letizia Pitigliani, Italian Title: Statue of Liberty Year: 1981 Medium: Poster Size: 25 in. x 33.5 in. (63.5 cm x 85.09 cm)

        RoGallery
      • Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"
        Feb. 22, 2020

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Est: $80 - $100

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Bruce Teleky Inc.
      • Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"
        Dec. 28, 2019

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Est: $80 - $100

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Bruce Teleky Inc.
      • Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"
        Nov. 30, 2019

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Est: $80 - $100

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Bruce Teleky Inc.
      • Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"
        Oct. 27, 2019

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Est: $80 - $100

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Bruce Teleky Inc.
      • Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"
        Aug. 04, 2019

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Est: $80 - $100

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Bruce Teleky Inc.
      • Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"
        Jun. 13, 2019

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Est: $80 - $100

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Bruce Teleky Inc.
      • Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"
        May. 26, 2019

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Est: $80 - $100

        Letizia Pitigliani - "Boat Race"

        Bruce Teleky Inc.
      • 8 Letizia Pitigliani New York City Movies and Television Posters
        Aug. 23, 2018

        8 Letizia Pitigliani New York City Movies and Television Posters

        Est: $325 - $650

        This is a pack of 8 Offset Lithographs by Pitigliani, titled "New York City Movies and Television". The overall size of each Offset Lithograph measures 22.5 x 29.75 inches. The Offset Lithographs are Unsigned . The condition of the Offset Lithographs has been rated as follows: A-: Near Mint, very light signs of handling Here are some additional details about the Pitigliani: First release exhibition by Pitigliani published by TWA, Trans World Airlines, to commemorate New York city, movies and television. First edition. . Again, this lot is for 8 of the SAME Offset Lithograph, NOT a mixed or assorted group.

        DUMBO Auctions
      • Letizia Pitigliani, painting
        Mar. 14, 2018

        Letizia Pitigliani, painting

        Est: $100 - $150

        Letizia Pitigliani (Italian/American, 20th c.), "Milne's Island", oil on canvas, signed "L. Pitigliani" at lower right, 42.5"h x 49.5"w (sight), 48.5"h x 55.25"w (framed)

        Millea Bros Ltd
      • Poster by Letizia Pitigliani - Empire State Building
        Jul. 08, 2017

        Poster by Letizia Pitigliani - Empire State Building

        Est: €80 - €180

        Empire State Building - 64x89, 1981 by Letizia Pitigliani (1935-)

        Van Sabben Auctions
      • 13 Letizia Pitigliani New York City Movies and Television Posters
        Mar. 20, 2017

        13 Letizia Pitigliani New York City Movies and Television Posters

        Est: $975 - $1,073

        This is a pack of 13 Offset Lithographs by Pitigliani, titled "New York City Movies and Television". The overall size of each Offset Lithograph measures 22.5 x 29.75 inches. The Offset Lithographs are Unsigned . The condition of the Offset Lithographs has been rated as follows: A: Mint Here are some additional details about the Pitigliani: First release exhibition by Pitigliani published by TWA, Trans World Airlines, to commemorate New York city, movies and television. First edition. . Again, this lot is for 13 of the SAME Offset Lithograph, NOT a mixed or assorted group.

        DUMBO Auctions
      • Vintage Color Print "The Liners are Coming"
        Mar. 15, 2017

        Vintage Color Print "The Liners are Coming"

        Est: $200 - $300

        Print On Board by Letizia Pitigliani shower lower Manhattan with skyline including the Twin Towers World Trade Center, measures 60x40

        Saco River Auction
      • NEW YORK HARBOR FESTIVAL - 1983 ORIGINAL VINTAGE POSTER
        Apr. 02, 2015

        NEW YORK HARBOR FESTIVAL - 1983 ORIGINAL VINTAGE POSTER

        Est: $800 - $1,200

        Letizia Pitigliani designed this original vintage poster. It was published to commemorate the New York Harbor Festival in 1983. That year, the festival fireworks display depicted in this poster took place on the East River instead of New York Harbor. This is an Original Vintage Poster; it is not a reproduction. This poster is conservation mounted, linen backed, and in excellent condition. We guarantee the authenticity of all of our posters.

        The Ross Art Group, Inc
      • Letizia Pitigliani, Statue of Liberty, Poster
        Jun. 27, 2012

        Letizia Pitigliani, Statue of Liberty, Poster

        Est: $200 - $300

        Artist: Letizia Pitigliani, Italian | Title: Statue of Liberty | Year: 1981 | Medium: Poster | Size: 25 in. x 33.5 in. (63.5 cm x 85.09 cm)

        RoGallery
      • Letizia Pitigliani, Statue of Liberty, Poster
        Nov. 03, 2011

        Letizia Pitigliani, Statue of Liberty, Poster

        Est: $100 - $300

        Artist: Letizia Pitigliani, Italian - Title: Statue of Liberty - Year: 1981 - Medium: Poster - Size: 25 in. x 33.5 in. (63.5 cm x 85.09 cm)

        RoGallery
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