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Ele D'Artagnan

Italian, 20th century.
Born 1911, Venice, Italy; died 1987, Rome, Italy.


D'Artagnan (né Michele Lombardi-Toscanini), a trained actor, self-taught artist, and vagabond extraordinaire who floated in and out of the Italian Surrealist scene, made drawings employing a cosmic sexuality and psychedelic line that anticipate the vital work by numerous young artists today. D'Artagnan's libidinally charged drawings had, for the most part, never previously been publicly exhibited before his first exhibition in 2003 at KS Art; five of these drawings were recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art. 

A steamer trunk full of approximately 400 of D'Artagnan's works was unearthed for the first time from a wine cave in Testaccio several years ago, the same gypsy neighborhood in Rome where D'Artagnan last lived - and where Fellini frequently filmed. D'Artagnan's artistic scrapbook, also in the trunk, pictures him in photographs throughout the years with Dali, de Chirico, Gina Lollobrigida, and many others. Ele D'Artagnan's work suggests the cosmic vitality of a lost era, while simultaneously evoking an uncanny affinity with recent artistic directions.

- Courtesy of KS Art, New York


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2011, Ele D'Artagnan Cent'anni, KS Art, New York

2009, Ele D'Artagnan and Pearl Blauvelt, KS Art, New York

2006, Ele D'Artagnan: Works on Paper, KS Art, New York

2003, Ele D'Artagnan, KS Art, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions

2014, Half Drop, Kerry Schuss, New York

2012, Paper Band, Jason McCoy Gallery, New York

2011, Compass in Hand: Selections from the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, Gropius Bau, Berlin

2008, Compass in Hand: Selections from the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York

2008, Glossolalia, curated by Cornelia Butler, Museum of Modern Art, New York

2006, Cadavre Exquis, curated by Bob Nickas, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York

2004, Colored Pencil, KS Art (in association with Geoffrey Young), New York

2003, Ballpoint Inklings, KS Art (in association with Geoffrey Young), New York

Selected Collections

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Selected Bibliography

Smith, Roberta, "MoMA Pushes the Envelope in Works on Paper," New York Times, April 23, 2009.

Smith, Roberta, "Art In Review: Ele D'Artagnan," New York Times, October 3, 2003.

"Exhibition Review," New Yorker, 2006.

"Exhibition Review," New Yorker, 2003.
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