Monday, March 31, 2014
Gottardo Piazzoni and a Friend
One of my visits was to the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and its excellent art collections. When I got there, I was surprised and pleased to see this sign, advertising works by Gottardo Piazzoni (1872-1945) a Swiss-born California artist, who I had read about, but whose work I had never seen.
The room houses two murals:
and The Land (1932). Please click to "embiggen" these. The angled shots were the best I could do with the size of the room and my 18mm lens. Each mural is done in five panels and they were meant to give the impression that the viewer is looking out through a colonnade, west to a seascape and east to a landscape. They were originally painted for and installed in the San Francisco Public Library. They were moved to the de Young after the library was repurposed as a museum for oriental art.
Piazzoni was the grandfather of contemporary artist Russell Chatham, who you may know, did the painting on the cover of this book. In the short memoir he wrote for his book, One Hundred Paintings , Chatham describes how he spent endless hours in his youth copying his grandfather's paintings, which were a great inspiration to him. I believe you can certainly see Piazzoni's influence in his work.
Dixon and Piazzoni were contemporaries and friends, part of a group of writers and artists who regularly had dinner together at Coppa's, an Italian restaurant in San Francisco.