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Reflections on Art, Italy and Identity

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

This oil painting is an original work I painted some 35 years ago after a visit to Bologna, Italy and it shows my curiosity as a young artist. As I look at this work today, I recall the timeless feeling of walking in the medieval city with the porticoes of Bologna and wondering what it was like there for people in the past. I wondered about my grandfather Virginio and my great grandfather, who I never met, Pietro Lanino an electrical engineer who lived in Bologna and taught at the University. I gave this oil painting as a gift many years ago to my father Peter Lanino who always encouraged me in the arts and gave me a love of Italy. My Identity is American female and my ancestry is Italian and German with some Russian. I made this work shortly after graduating from Pratt Institute. I lived in Brooklyn then and took the G train uptown to fifth avenue in Manhattan where I submerged myself in Art working full time at the MOMA that year, often having my morning coffee in a tranquil room with Monet’s waterlilies before selling recorded tours of the Vienna 1900 exhibition.

This painting with the medieval burnt sienna porticoes of Bologna has a push pull to it, with the multiple perspectives and the the faceless female figure appearing and disappearing, giving the work an ageless and spaceless quality while opening the forms. This painting illustrates my relationship with my historical past, recent past and also the future. I think I’d like to return to Italy again soon.

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