A.G. Rizzoli (1896-1981)
Property from The Collection of Bonnie Grossman, The Ames GalleryFor more than fifty years, Bonnie Grossman helmed the Ames Gallery in Berkeley, California, a powerful presence and resource for Outsider and Folk Art on the West Coast. One of her many accomplishments as a dealer and educator has been to introduce and promote important Outsider artists, two of whom, A. G. Rizzoli and Alex A. Maldonado, are highlighted in the coming lots. Both artists lived and worked in the San Francisco area, and Bonnie’s understanding of the region, their inspirations, and their practices has brought to life the stories and visions of these powerful artmakers who might have otherwise been lost to history. Architectural draughtsman A. G. Rizzoli’s output includes multiple distinct oeuvres created over the course of his life, and each of his drawings corresponds to one of these conceptual bodies of work. One portion of Rizzoli’s art is comprised of portraits of people rendered as symbolic architectural forms called “transfigurations.” Rizzoli’s portrait of then-child Irwin Peter Sicotte Jr. (lot 1143) is a masculine drawing featuring heavy, solid rock from which the spire emerges and includes a statue of Sicotte as an imagined grown man. His image of Margaret E. Griffin (lot 1146) is by contrast feminine, with decorated drapes, elegant birds and the trappings of a courtly society.Another body of work revolves around Rizzoli’s imagined “expeau” named Y.T.T.E. (Yield to Total Elation), inspired by the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. This project includes blue prints (lot 1149), logos (lot 1153) and plans (lots 1155, 1145) for the exposition, each of which reveals another aspect of the artist’s larger conceptual agenda for this ambitious, never-to-be-executed architectural and humanistic project. The Y.T.T.E. may also be viewed as an homage to the artist's father, who committed suicide in 1915, the year of the Panama-Pacific International. By contrast, Alex A. Maldonado did not turn to artmaking until he was sixty years old, and he brought a lifetime of experiences, combined with a never-extinguished sense of childlike wonder, to his paintings. His subject matters range from space exploration (lot 1147) to methods of contemporary communication (lot 1144), and some of his most intimate works consider the role of the artist as a portrayer and shaper of the understanding of society (lot 1150). PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF BONNIE GROSSMAN, THE AMES GALLERY
A.G. Rizzoli (1896-1981)

Irwin Peter Sicotte, Jr. Symbolically Delineated / The "Sayanpeau," 1936

A.G. Rizzoli (1896-1981)
Irwin Peter Sicotte, Jr. Symbolically Delineated / The "Sayanpeau," 1936
dated and signed In the Year of Our Lord 1936/ A.G. Rizzoli, Del. lower edge
ink on paper
35 3/8 x 23 3/8 in. (sight)
Jo Farb Hernandez, John Beardsley and Roger Cardinal, A.G. Rizzoli: Architect of Magnificent Visions (Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in association with the San Diego Museum of Art, 1997), p. 32.
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Unreal Realms (Intuit, 2017), ill.
San Diego Museum of Art; Atlanta, High Museum of Art; New York, Museum of American Folk Art; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, A.G. Rizzoli: Architect of Magnificent Visions, 22 March - 18 May 1997 (San Diego), 6 September - 29 November 1997 (Atlanta), 10 January - 8 March 1998 (New York), 28 March - 24 May 1998 (San Francisco).
Chicago, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Unreal Realms, 20 January - 26 March 2017.

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Lot Essay

Irwin Peter Sicotte was 3 1/2 years old when Rizzoli created this portrait. The statue on the lower right boasts that the Sicotte would be "Mayor of San Francisco by 1987." As an adult, Sicotte was indeed asked to run for the office, but he declined.

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