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Bronx-born Ronnie DeNota grew up in the Catskill mountains, Town of Swan Lake. He has for years forged a neo-impressionist style based on a working directly from nature. He was painting the City as part of organic nature. DeNota has devoted his energy to the expression of his feelings. By using nature as a vehicle for art he is able to hone his expressions in an experimentally spontaneous way. The overall effect is one of joyous celebration.
Ronald DeNota, painter of the New York scene, and a member of the Street Painters Group since 1978 will be very much missed. He passed away on Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 8:50pm. He passed peacefully in his studio home, in Greenwich Village, with Lucy and friends, and amongst his many beautiful paintings.
He was very much loved by all who knew him. Born July 17, 1928 in the Bronx, he lived to 78 and he was the most exceptional of painters.
RONALD De NOTA
The paintings of Ronald DeNota attempt to illuminate a sense of man's struggle for his own individuality in a society preoccupied with materialistic solutions to human problems. Choosing not to follow his academically trained colleagues in the pursuit of success through painting stimulated by illusory fads, DeNota has steadfastly devoted his energies to the artistic expression of his feelings.
Both his fierce uncompromising Montauk landscapes and New England or Nova Scotia landscapes or his symbolic social murals reveal a uniquely emotional neo-impressionistic approach to his subjects.
Although born in the Bronx, New York, DeNota grew up in the small Catskills town of Swan Lake which had a small but ethnically diverse population. True to his rural origins, he has often visited the country to rekindle the organic spirit which is the core of his art.
Before New York - Soho became a haven for aspiring young artists, people like DeNota, Andy Pizzo and Leo Reeves painted in an atmosphere full of commercialism for the sole purpose of developing unique modes of expression.
DeNota himself founded his "Subject Gallery" on Prince Street, which became well known as a cultural workshop open to all. Later Denota along with Pizzo and Reeves exhibited together and were known as the "Subjectivists "because of their attempts at painting raw feelings.
In 1977 DeNota together with Myron Heise formed the backbone of the "Street Painters" in order to reaffirm their lifelong commitment to their Art in its most serious and pure form. Their allegiance is "To Life And To An Art Of Feeling - Painted From Life." Mr. DeNota has often expressed his philosophy of life and art in the media and to his critics. He hopes to achieve through his art a more common language of perception and understanding among artists and the public. His work is vital, hopeful, expressive and worth one's while.
Mr. DeNota while traveling in Europe painted in France, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and England and acknowledges the influence of Van Gogh. Mr. DeNota has said: "I look at the city as organic - built of organic substances. To me, the city is nature."
Ronald DeNota, the street artist, has exhibited internationally over the last several years, in both galleries and museums as well as public forums.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards as well while exhibiting his paintings.
To mention a few of his exhibitions, he has shown his work in: the Parrish Museum - Southampton, LI, NY; Subject Gallery - NYC; United States Navy (Eng. Corp. 3rd District); Postmaster General's Office; Trinity Church - NY; Bond Street Gallery; Stage Hotel - Dover, England.
DeNota wishes to acknowledge the moral support of Marvin Meisels, Matin Pajeck, and John Hultberg.
He has also had exhibitions at: Kunstler Hotel Gallery - Munich, Germany; Brooklyn Law School, NY; Pond Lane Gallery - Southampton, NY; Arbitrage Gallery - NY; Cork Gallery - Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, NY; Lever House - NY; Bowery Gallery, NY; Terry Chassman and Associates, NY; Educational Alliance, NY; Blue Mountain Gallery, NY.
Ronald DeNota, 78,
Ronald DeNota, co-founder of a group of painters who styled themselves "Street Painters" and "Subjectivists," who displayed their work in a gallery on Prince Street for several years, died Jan. 4, 2007, at his home on Jane St. at the age of 78. With his partner of more than 30 years, Lucy Burns, he also maintained a studio in Tribeca.
He suffered from Parkinson's disease and heart disease in recent years. Ronald DeNota's paintings were displayed in a group show, "New Perspectives," in the gallery of the Manhattan Borough President's Office in January 2005. "Ronnie could do two things very well: paint and, until a few years ago, ride horses," recalled his longtime friend and fellow artist Andy Pizzo. "He was always himself, almost naive at times, and would talk about anything to anybody."
Born in the Bronx to Frank and Mildred DeNota, Ronald's father was a prosperous men's clothing merchant who left him and his mother -- a professional ballroom dancer -- when Ronald was 7. Unable to provide for him, his mother arranged for him to live with friends, Mabel and Arthur Kilcoin, who owned a farm near Swan Lake in Sullivan County. "He recalled that his mother had told him he was going to live in a ranch, so he went with her to the Kilcoins' with a cowboy hat on his head and carrying a lasso. He told us that the first thing he did before the Kilcoins had come to the door was lasso a pig,"
Friends said. DeNota went to school in Swan Lake and to high school at Oakland Military Academy, where he learned to ride and to draw and paint. As a teenager, he worked summers at Grossinger's, the famous Catskills resort. He served in the Army in 1946 and 1947 and then went to work in the post office on Church St. to support himself while painting. "He ran an elevator there for a while and he'd bring his paintings to show people at work," said Pizzo, who also worked at the Church St. postal station.
The paintings attracted admirers and earned him exhibits in a local U.S. Naval district office in 1965 and in the Postmaster General's Office in Washington in 1968. In the late 1960s he traveled and painted in Europe and acknowledged the influence of Van Gogh on his art. He also studied at the Art Students League and painted from nature in Montauk and Southampton.
In the 1960s he rented a studio on West Broadway and Murray St., three blocks from the post office. In the 1970s, DeNota, with painters including Pizzo, Simon Gon, Leo Reeves and Phillip Sherold, rented a storefront gallery with a studio in the rear at 159 Prince St., where they established the Subject Gallery and exhibited their "Subjectivist" works together -- so styled because of their attempts to paint their raw feelings. Despite Parkinson's disease, he continued to paint and exhibit his work at Cork Gallery in Lincoln Center, and the Blue Mountain Gallery exhibits.
He and Burns were familiar figures at Bus Stop Cafe on Bethune and Hudson Sts. and at Florent's on Gansevoort St. He left no survivors except for Burns and his many friends and admirers. The funeral was on January 11, 2007, at Reddens Funeral Home and burial was in the military cemetery in Calverton, L.I.
By Albert Amateau
RONALD DeNOTA NARRATIVE STATEMENT
I learned with pain and struggle. The family separated and my father left. I had to go to school upstate because mother did not have enough money. But I kept on painting then. I paint because I feel I am on the edge.
I worked for the Post Office to make enough money (after Army). I became one of the founders of the Subject Gallery, in the SoHo district on Prince Street, where our group of artists formed the Subjective. Then I showed with the Street Painters since it's inception. At this time I am struggling to make ends meet.
My painting is still progressing and I am in need (financially) to realize my artistic goals.
QUOTES FROM FELLOW ARTISTS ABOUT RONALD DE NOTA'S PAINTINGS
George Rada "Brightness and light and pure color - its applied with a spontaneous brush"
Roger Smith " Very sensitive at the same time very bright and clear in its intent. They convey a great sense of his love of the world".
Anna Feld "evorvescent view of colorful corners of the city - with an exuberance that matches the beauty of the paintings"
Elizabeth Bisbing "There is a playful exuberance in Ronnie's work that conveys his joy of life"
Ken McConney "Very colorful & spontaneous"
Connie Backus "Passionate strokes of paint that allude the intellect but excite the memory of sight"
Rebecca Cooperman "A great colorist with intuitive wisdom and strong spirit"
Simon Gon "Charming"
Elgin Tarlow "DeNota's View from Little West 12th Street, of a sunset through an arched steel structure, is one of the most magnificent paintings in the show. Here we have a gem of a picture. The use of color is masterful. The composition is good. The application of the paint is quite thick but not everywhere. It is thick only in necessary places. It does not detract from the intensity of spirit or the intensity of expression which is one of joyous celebration. This is the trademark of DeNota's paintings. Here we see a fresh almost child like delicacy paired with great experiential spontaneity."
Ronald De Nota
Ronnie De Nota at the Bus Stop Cafe in Greenwich Village (circa 2006)
Ronald De Nota © 2013 All Rights Reserved
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