Rarely to market, this gouache painting on paper is by Juanita Rice Guccione -- one of the more interesting female artists of the last century. (See biography below)
The work is signed on the recto (front), framed with the Portico Gallery label verso and artist inventory number.
Framed: 23 inches by 26 inches
Sheet (Visible) 10 inches by 13 inches
Juanita Guccione Biography:
Juanita Guccione's life (June 20, 1904–December 18, 1999) spanned all but four years of the 20th Century. Cubist, realist, abstract, surrealist, and abstract surrealist strains are all to be found in her work, but by 1970 she was painting electrifying works in watercolor and acrylic that elude the most considered categorization. For the better part of her career she had been imperceptively referred to as a surrealist, but her later work abandoned the human figure and the observed world. This later work, lyrical and astral, reflected a painterly independence hinted at earlier in her career.
In the spring of 2004 the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria acquired a large number of works she had painted in Algeria in the early 1930s. These paintings are now in the National Museum of Fine Arts in Algiers. It is believed that she is the first American woman artist to be so singularly honored by a Muslim nation. Guccione, then painting as Nita Rice, lived for four years among the Ouled Nail Bedouin tribe in eastern Algeria. Her paintings from this period are devoid of the flamboyant romanticism of the Orientalist painters. She painted the Bedouin as friends and neighbors, reflecting the anti-colonialist attitude of her native land. These paintings were shown in The Brooklyn Museum in 1935, receiving a good deal of press attention.
When she returned from Algeria in 1935 the United States was in economic free fall. After the Brooklyn Museum exhibit, this work was then shut away as she immersed herself in an avant-garde then fomenting revolutionary artistic changes.
Guccione began painting as Anita Rice, then changed her name to Juanita Rice, then Juanita Marbrook, and finally to Juanita Guccione after marrying in the mid-1940s.
Guccione worked with Mexican social realist painter David Alfaro-Siqueiros on Post Office murals for the federal Works Progress Administration during the 1930s. During World War II she came under the influence of the refugee French surrealists. She studied with Hans Hofmann for seven years. Hofmann expressed high regard for her work and gave her a number of scholarships. Her mid-career surrealist paintings do not share the literary interests of many of her European contemporaries. They reveal a magical and whimsical world ruled by women. Their brilliant palette, if not their subject matter, suggests Hofmann's influence. It is in these paintings that she expresses her lifelong defiance of convention and vogue.
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Signature: Signed on the front
Portico Gallery, with label verso