Nicola Simbari

Italian (1927–2012)

About the artist:

Born in 1927 in San Lucido, Nicola Simbari was raised in Rome where his father was an architect at the Vatican. At age 16 he ran away to join the circus. Returning later to study architecture at the Academia delle Belli Art. After teaching for a brief time he branched out on his own, taking a studio in Via del Babuino. Simbari's paintings first showed in Rome in 1953 followed by exhibitions throughout Europe. His first one man show in 1959, in New York proved significant to his career. By early 70's he was on his way to becoming one of this century's most popular and sought after artists. His back to back New York exhibitions in 1976 the Crazy Horse Saloon and in 1977 Le Cirque clearly showcased his passion for his work. Simbari's paintings are not mere embellishments of subjects, but reflect his feelings for what he paints. Simbari continued to exhibit his works throughout the 1980s. He also went through a period of graphics and found time to create a series of monumental steel sculptures. Exhibitions in Germany, Japan, Monaco and New York added to his international renown. His paintings of Manhattan, featuring thirteen cityscapes, was a brilliant finale to the decade. Simbari was born in Calabria, Italy and this beautiful area greatly impacted his Mediterranean paintings: the blues of the ocean and sky, and the bright hues of the flowers. His family moved to Rome when he was young and his father worked there as a Vatican architect. Rome's art masterpieces so impressed Simbari that, by age 13, he decided to study art and enrolled at the Accademia delle Belle Arti. He opened his first studio in Rome at 22 years of age. Simbari's early works featured scenes from his childhood - gypsies, cafes, fishing villages, and the Italian countryside. He saw success almost immediately, and shortly after a one-man show in London, he was commissioned to paint murals for the Italian Pavilion at the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels. His show "Le Cirque," reflected the same excitement on his canvasses as is felt at an actual circus. The show was highly acclaimed in Paris, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. "When I paint, I'm like a writer," Simbari states, "I must have something to say. My paintings are like entries in a diary because they are all reactions to things I have seen or felt." Mediterranean landscapes and paintings of contemporary European life are usually Simbari's subjects, although he also paints scenes of the Southwest. "There's terrific drama in the desert. It's mysterious and magical, and the most dramatic natural sculpture I've ever seen." Simbari's canvases are filled with color and emotion. Simbari's works can be found in numerous museums and private and corporate collections around the world. His paintings are in collections including the Bank of Tokyo and the Christian Dior Collection in Paris; Italian State Railways in Rome; Liberty Company in London; and Tulsa Bank of Commerce, Cincinnati Fine Arts Department, Exxon Corporation, General Mills Corporation,and Pepsico, in America. Major American and English critics have called Simbari "thoroughly disarming"; one who paints "boldly and in a state of excitement"; "whose personal enthusiasm and enormous zest for life have much the same infectious appeal as do his paintings." Sadly, Nicola Simbari just passed away on Dec. 11, 2012 in Italy. One of the last of the living modernist masters has left us. This artistic genius will be sorely missed.

Nicola Simbari

Italian (1927–2012)

(13 works)

About the artist:

Born in 1927 in San Lucido, Nicola Simbari was raised in Rome where his father was an architect at the Vatican. At age 16 he ran away to join the circus. Returning later to study architecture at the Academia delle Belli Art. After teaching for a

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