_Horseâ€™s Head_, Anthony Gennarelli, white carrara italian marble. Image provided.
One could say artist Anthony Gennarelli took the idea of role modeling to the extreme. Having idolized the marble sculpture of Michaelangelo and DaVinci, not only did he decide to take up the same medium as his predecessors, but to carve with the same tools they had employed. Using only a chisel and hammer, Gennarelli sculpted as few present-day artists do, eschewing modern-day machinery to craft an eclectic oeuvre dreamed of neither by Renaissance sculptors nor the ancients.
Gennarelli’s death in 2001 at the age of 86 left his family with a legacy of paintings and sculpture, 45 of which are now on display at the Galleria Alba, a showroom in Newburgh run by his relatives. The small gallery is replete with idol-like figures channeled from the cultures of Africa, Europe, Mexico, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, India, and first-generation America, among others. Gennarelli manifested this cultural vocabulary of culture using a wide range of material: His goddesses, gods, animals, and nudes were carved out of marble, onyx, limestone, granite, alabaster, and other types of rock.
“It’s a gift from God, from the spiritual side,” Gennarelli once said of his work. “I don’t start a piece unless I contemplate and meditate on what I’m going to do.”
Gennarelli started his artistic vocation through oil painting and violin. But the he didn’t consider sculpture until he worked at a defense plant during World War II, where he was assigned to a woodworking detail. There, his work in three-dimensional art began to take hold when he started to spend his breaks whittling for his own amusement. He would later study art at The Brooklyn Museum, but didn’t begin formally sculpting until the age of 55.
Alba Gennarelli, Anthony’s centenarian mother, still lives in Brooklyn, where she has spent much time talking about her son’s work and her husband’s oil painting—but denies her own title as an artist: “I do watercolor, but I reserve the name ‘artist’ for someone who dedicates their whole life to art, which is what my husband and son did.”
Anthony Gennarelli’s work is on view at the Galleria Alba in Newburgh through February 28. (845) 566-1276 or (845) 778-5069.
The art workshop at Omi International Arts Center in Ghent takes place every Saturday for kids ages 4 ½ through 12 within the sculpture park. A summer session is new this year. And that's just one of the things happening at Omi.
Growing up in Queens, Carolita Johnson was oblivious to everything. Politics existed in the periphery, and drawing was a hobby best executed in Bic pen on computer paper. Now she's a cartoonist who regularly publishes in the New Yorker.
She’s Beautiful When She's Angry is showing at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck on March 7 (followed by a Q&A with editor/producer Nancy Kennedy) and at Upstate Films in Woodstock on March 8 (followed by a Q&A with writer Sheila Isenberg). The film also screens at Time and Space Limited in Hudson March 12 through 15 and March 21 to 22.