Ezio Martinelli, along with Theodore Roszak, David Smith and Charles Seliger, formed the group of influential abstract artists who taught and worked at Sarah Lawrence College in the late 1940s and 1950s. Martinelli’s style was both gestural and sophisticated, coinciding with the language of painting that emerged with Abstract Expressionism in the mid-1940s.
Martinelli’s career is both diverse and complex. Receiving his training at the Fine Arts Academy in Bologna, Italy and the National Academy of Design in New York. He was primarily recognized as a painter, for which he won numerous awards. Later in his career he also turned to a successful career as a sculptor, acting as the resident sculptor at the American Academy in Rome and won the commission for a sculpture at the United Nations General Assembly Building. He won such prestigious awards as the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship from 1956 to 1962.
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