Object Record

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Catalog number 61.14
Artist Guglielmi, Osvaldo Louis
Title Down Side El Platform (Bleeker Street Station)
Object Name Painting
Description Painting titled "Down Side El Platform (Bleecker Street Station)", by Osvaldo Louis Guglielmi (1906-1956).
This painting of a now defunct station on New York City's Ninth Avenue elevated transit system was done by the Italian-born artist in 1938 during his four-year term of employment with the W.P.A. /F. A. P. This federally-funded program provided artists with financial relief for works of art they produced. The hallmarks of W.P.A. art, exemplified by Guglielmi's painting, were honesty and social realism, and the artists agreed that art should concern the common man and be understandable to him.

In this painting, Guglielmi worked in a precisely detailed manner. The Precisionist artists influenced his work in the meticulous concealment of brushwork and careful application of pigment. Like much of Guglielmi's early work, this one is a melancholy meditation on the common urban experience. The religious and death imagery prevalent in his early paintings are noticeable also in this work, including the cross formed in the mullions as light shines through the central window, and the young boy carries a funeral wreath.

While he was a Fellow in 1932 at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Guglielmi's attention turned to the forms of regionalist art and the exploration of the contemporary urban setting. His conservative education at the National Academy of Design was modified only later in life when he discovered the works of Cezanne and other modern artists.
Medium/Material Oil on board
Dimensions H-20.079 W-30.315 inches
Year Range from 1935.0
Year Range to 1943.0
Search Terms Modern
20th century AD
Social problems
Social Realism
Exhibition and Publication History * "Queens College Art Collection," First Supplement, 1961, p. 8, #381.
* "A Selection From the Queens College Art Collection," Klapper, Queens College, CUNY, 1979, #26.
* "O. Louis Guglielmi: A Retrospective," Rutgers University Art Gallery, 1980, p.18, fig. 35.
* "Selection from Permanent Collection, American Painters of 20th Century", G-TM, Queens College, CUNY, 1999
* "Director's Choice, Part II," G-TM, 10/10-12/20/02. A. Winter, Curator.
* "Working Through the Great Depression," February 9 - June, 2009, Godwin-Ternbach Museum, CUNY, A. Winter and M. Simon, Curators.

Culture American