2009 Open Art Fair Utrecht
2008 Gallery Arps & Co - Amsterdam
2007 Institute for Italian Culture in the Netherlands
2007 Film Mueum Amsterdam
2007 Dikker&Thijs Amsterdam
2006 Ele D'Artagnan, KS ART, New York, NY
2003 Ele D'Artagnan, KS ART, New York, NY
2009 Ele dÄrtagnan and Pearl Blauvelt works on paper KS Art, New York
2009 Museum of Modern Art
2006 Cadavre Exquis curated by Bob Nickas, Mitchell Algus Gallery New, York, NY
2004 Colored Pencil, KS ART, New York, NY in association with Geoffrey Young
2003 Ballpoint Inklings, KS ART, New York, NY in association with Geoffrey Young
2006 The New Yorker, review of exhibition and reproduction
2003 New York Times, 10-3-2003, Roberta Smith review of exhibition
The New Yorker, review of exhibition and reproduction
Museum of Modern Art
Ele D'Artagnan (1911-1987) born in Venice, Italy was an actor by profession and appeared in numerous Italian films. In 1955 he met Federico Fellini and was given a role in Il Bidone. Fellini inserted D'Artagnan into his album of bizarre and dreamlike characters and he went on to appear in many Fellini films including Amarcord.
His life story offers the spectator more depth to the meaning of his art-pieces that are on stock in the Arpsgallery.
Only two days old the infant Michele Stinelli was abandoned and given this false name. He searched his whole life for his mother. Even at a certain point he found her. She was a harpist with the Orchestras of La Scala in Milan. Her name is Elena Lombardi, born in Venice in 1888. From the day of this discovery D'Artagnan will assume the surname Lombardi as his own.His maniacal search for his family, and for the identity of his father, eventually leaves him psychologically frail, suceptible to visions and afflicted by a persecution complex. The Lombardi's are a wealthy family, related by marriage to a minister in the Christian Democratic Party. True or not D'Artagnan's story would have threatened the Lombardi family wealth, not to mention the scandalous effect it would have had on the honor of a minister of a ruling party. This rejection will provide the dominant themes of his everyday existance for the rest of his life.
After researching the period in which Arturo Toscanini worked at La Scala in Milan and comparing it with the period his mother appeared there as a harpist, he becomes convinced that his true father is Toscanini. He shows people photos of himself next to those of Toscanini, and the likeness is extraordinary.
His life is signed by many occasions of abandoncy, lonely as tramp in the Roman streets,haunted by his visions. Still one could wonder how he always kept himself in great dignity very well and elegantly dressed up.
In 1987 he dies in the street, alone and abandoned from cardiac collapse in consequence of malnutrition.
Ele D'Artagnan was a self-taught painter who floated in and out of the Italian Surrealist scene. Using found paper or board with whatever painting medium that was at hand D'Artagnan congured fantastic worlds charged with cosmic sexuality.
Arpsgallery shows the paintings and drawings, oil on wood and mixed media,all from the years 1969 - 1976.
In this period his drawings begin to be appreciated in Roman artistic circles, although he doesn't want to sell. In 1971 he participates in the Grottaferrata Exposition and succeeds in selling six drawings to the Bank of Rome for 1000 dollar each.This gives him enough money to buy some wood and built a new shanty in Trastevere. He will live there until 1980. In the new shanty despite everything, he feels at home and experiences moments of happiness and joy; he is protected and secure there, but sometimes suffers sudden attacks of depression and cries like a child. When he has no money to buy materials, he works on pieces of paper, cardboard and wood found in the street. Often he receives colored pencils, watercolours and oils as gifts from friends or from people he just met.In 1973, while filming Amarcord, Fellini learns of D'Artangnans sad financial situation and promises him more work. For some months D'Artagnan is serene and happy again.
A catalogue of 44 pages, printed at the occasion of his first exibition at K.S. Art in New York in 2003 can be obtained for the price of 20 USD, ex postage expences.