August 6 - September 24, 2016
The Tableau Collection
On loan from the Gallery at SUNY Broome.
Binghamton University Professor Emeritus Angelo Ippolito was an artist who was part of the New York school of Abstract Expressionism in the 1950’s. Ippolito was one of the founders of the Tanger Gallery, an artist-run space that showed renowned artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns among many other artists.
Ippolito emigrated from Italy at age nine. His father was a house painter with plans of making a fortune in the United States and going back home to Italy. Unfortunately it was the 1920’s and the depression hit. His father’s dream of returning to Italy a rich man did not materialize. The young Ippolito amused himself at school in Brooklyn by drawing. When a plan to train and work as a draughtsman did not work out, Ippolito found himself wandering through museums looking at paintings. He joined his father as a house painter for a while and began to feel the pull of the brush. “I was in my glory. I used to paint pictures all over the walls. I had the complete freedom to paint anything I wished.”
Angelo joined the military on the ski corps. He graduated as a corporal with a GI Bill. He checked into many of the art schools around New York but was not in agreement with what was being taught at that time. He went to Paris and found what he was looking for when he arrived in Rome. There he found his heritage and the incredible light and atmosphere of Rome. Ippolito would return to Italy again on a Fulbright Grant.
In 1971 Angelo Ippolito joined the faculty at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He wanted to live in the country and bought a house on Powederhouse Road in Vestal. He was a known painter, and a collector of unusual objects. He put together a series of tableaus that are strange, comical and tell a surreal story. The term “tableau” is translated as “living picture.” The works seem to capture a vibrancy and immediacy that is apparent in all of Ippolito’s work.
The tableaus were left in the house after Mr. Ippolito passed away and became the possession of the new owner when they purchased the house on Powderhouse Road. Mr. Gary Burnard generously donated the collection of tableaus to the gallery at SUNY BROOME and we are fortunate to be able to bring them here to The Vestal Museum.