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Interviewee:
Agostini, Peter, 1913-1993  Search this
Interviewer:
Roberts, Colette Jacqueline, 1910-1971  Search this
Subject:
Cézanne, Paul  Search this
Hare, David  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram  Search this
Zorach, William  Search this
Chryssa  Search this
Kline, Franz  Search this
Smith, Tony  Search this
Ferber, Herbert  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel  Search this
Marin, John  Search this
Sugarman, George  Search this
Chamberlain, John Angus  Search this
Mondrian, Piet  Search this
Flannagan, John Bernard  Search this
Heukelekian, Haig  Search this
De Kooning, Willem  Search this
Kaprow, Allan  Search this
Roszak, Theodore  Search this
Whitman, Walt  Search this
Kienholz, Edward  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield  Search this
Judd, Donald C. (Donald Clarence)  Search this
Lachaise, Gaston  Search this
Di Suvero, Mark  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean  Search this
Matisse, Henri  Search this
Kolbe, Georg  Search this
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton  Search this
Manship, Paul Howard  Search this
Lippold, Richard  Search this
Lipton, Seymour  Search this
La Tour, Onya  Search this
De Chirico, Giorgio  Search this
Pompon, Fran­cois  Search this
Spaventa, George  Search this
Hartley, Marsden  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu  Search this
Segal, George  Search this
Stankiewicz, Richard  Search this
Oldenberg, Kla'es  Search this
Rothko, Mark  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto  Search this
Smith, David  Search this
Bontecou, Lee  Search this
Sheeler, Charles  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Reinhardt, Adolph Dietrich Friedrich  Search this
Demuth, Charles  Search this
Cornell, Joseph  Search this
Rivera, Diego  Search this
Escobar, Maria Sol  Search this
Samaras, Lucas  Search this
Kohn, Gabriel  Search this
Scarpitta, Salvatore  Search this
Maillol, Aristide  Search this
Morris, Robert  Search this
Greenberg, Clement  Search this
Nakian, Reuben  Search this
Poe, Edgar Allan  Search this
Hopper, Edward  Search this
Melville, Herman  Search this
Marca-Relli, Conrad  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia  Search this
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Works Progress Administration  Search this
Columbia University  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place of publication, production, or execution:
New York (State)
Physical Description:
Transcript: 99 pages.
General Note:
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 28 digital wav files. Duration is 10 hrs., 37 min. Transferred from 4 3" reels.
Summary:
An interview of Peter Agostini conducted in 1968, by Colette Roberts, for the Archives of American Art at 151 Avenue B, New York, New York.
Mr. Agostini speaks of his childhood spent living throughout the five boroughs of New York; his interactions with clients of his father's acting employment agency; his early education in Catholic school and the creative freedom allotted by the nuns; his first feelings of isolation as an artist at the age of seven; the development of a sense of communication as the result of the loss of his mother at the age of three and time spent at a school for orphans; his early realization and vision of artistic destiny; his religious interests which lead to mysticism in his earlier work; his time spent working freely in the DaVinci Studio with Spaventa; the discovery by Hess of his works in Gallerie Grimaud; his attainment of the Longview Grant; his working experience throughout the Depression as part of the WPA casting plaster mannequins while working indirectly with Pollack as well as Marca Relli; his subsequent move to designing department store windows (use of Mondrian-like forms and lines); his feelings of his position as an observer; the importance of communication through art (communication without words); his rejection of the Abstract Expressionist group and choice of independence; the influence of the sculpture of Kolbe and Bache in the thirties; Clement Greenberg's distaste for his work; his feelings about the relative failure to sell his work due its unusual edginess and mystery; his role in the introduction of the work of contemporary European artists (Chausserian, Gauthier, Modrian) to the American group; his description of his own work as "traditionless"; his feelings of self-importance as one of the most original sculptors in the art world; his influence on the younger generation, particularly Marisol; the enslavement to originality that the younger generation faces; his attitudes towards American Art forms and their lack of rebellious spirit; the virtues of the American writers, such as Poe, Whitman, and Melville as American "knapsack" writers; his personal technique which places an emphasis on the "skin" or volume of something; his attempt to create quiet art, or art that merely indicates features; his frustration with teaching and the problems of regurgitated knowledge; the role of Meyer Shapiro in his teaching career at Columbia; the formation of the Club and its similarity to the Cubist's café scene; his opinions on the relationship of sex and sensuality in American art; his personal struggles, including the loss of his second wife and two of his brothers, in addition to the estrangement of his only daughter by his first wife; his feelings on the role of psycho analysis and personal history in a work of art; his present works which feature the "swell." For the majority of the second half of the interview Ms. Roberts asks Mr. Agostini to express his opinions on the work of: Kline; DeKooning; Duchamp; Oldenburg; La Tour; DeChirico; Maillol; Pompon; Rothko; Chardin; Cezanne; Giacometti; Reinhardt; Chryssa; Tony Smith; Segal; Lachaise; Zorach; Manship; Flannagan; Kelly; Lassaw; David Smith; Hare; Lipton; Ferber; Lippold; Roszak; Nakian; Noguchi; Hague; Kohn; di Suvero; Chamberlain; Kaprow; Sugarman; Stankiewicz; Bontecou; Scarpitta; Cornell; Keinholz; Rivera; Judd; Robert Morris; O'Keeffe; Samaras; Mark Tobey; Marin; Pollock; Hartley; Dove; Macdonald-Wright; Demuth; Sheeler; Hopper; Mirot; Matisse; DuBuffet.
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Peter Agostini, 1968. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding:
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Biography Note:
Peter Agostini (1913-1993) was a sculptor from New York, New York.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and administrators.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Topic:
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12490
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215743
AAA_collcode_agosti68
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_215743