Italian artist Loretta Bagnoli crafts works on paper and mixed media sculptural pieces that draw on her training as an art restorer, but also her unique lexicon of architectural, surreal and still life imagery. Working in sharply contrasted tones, surfaces and materials, she portrays de Chirico-like cityscapes, impossible buildings reminiscent of M.C. Escher, and infinitely complex ranges of forms rendered in dripping gold paints or smooth and tightly controlled acrylic patterns. Her versatility is not confined to works on paper, and these pieces often extend into bas-relief sculpture incorporating wood and thickly impastoed paints.
With their shimmering golden hues, complex systems of classical symbols and intricate combinations of materials, Bagnoli’s works reward considered and contemplative viewing. Indeed, many of her works’ richest details only emerge on close inspection, like the networks of what look like crosshatched brushstrokes that turn out to be tiny, intricate cityscapes tucked into the broader composition. Such surprises give her work incredible variety, keeping viewers’ eyes alert while revealing new layers of definition and meaning.