On Saturday, May 17 at 2 p.m. we will host an artists' reception to celebrate the opening of "Robert Bunkin and Jenny Tango: The Italian Painting." Created during their artists' residency in Florence, Italy, from 1986 to1988, these paintings have been exhibited at the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence, the Sale del Grifo e Leone, Perugia, and the Newhouse Gallery, Staten Island. Most of these paintings have not been seen by the public since 1991.
Jenny Tango began her life as an artist at age four when she drew the profile of a woman's shoe. In the 1970s, she was an active participant in the Feminist Art movement of the 1970s as editor of the Women in the Arts Newsletter, and became a college and high school art teacher. When she retired in 1986 she went to Florence, Italy, to paint for two years, which culminated in exhibitions in Florence and Perugia. She considers the Humanism that informed the Italian Renaissance one of the major influences in her own work.
Tango has also served as newsletter editor of the Women's Caucus of the College Art Association and the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island; published an artist's book, "Women of Chelm," as well as comic strips for three editions of "Bloody Wymmin," and a pictorial history of the Jewish community of Staten Island for the Images of America series. Her column, "Working Art," has appeared in Home Planet News since 1992. Her paintings have
been exhibited in many solo and group shows in New York City, including her one-woman show "Jenny Tango, A Retrospective," at the Staten Island Museum in 2007. Her latest venue has been the Star Gallery, Beijing and Shanghai, China. (See Robert Bunkin's biography above).
Bunkin and Tango have made their home on Staten Island since 1990. They returned to Italy in 2000 for a seven- month period, during which time Bunkin studied the technique of fresco painting, and Tango painted a series of works focusing on her body for her subsequent collaboration with sculptor Susan Grabel on the Venus Project. The in-depth experience of Italian figurative art has had a profound impact on both artists' work, and they regard their sojourn in Italy as key to their artistic development.
Bunkin's "Italian" paintings in this show feature portraits of students at the Scuola Lorenzo de'Medici, where he was an independent student completing his undergraduate studies. Other works include portraits of friends from the foreign community and local Florentines. Tango's work focuses on her own image in the context of the rooms where she worked. Together, these bodies of work tell a story of this intensive period in the lives of both artists.
Admission to this artists' reception is free. After the opening, "Robert Bunkin and Jenny Tango: The Italian Painting." may be viewed during regular museum hours, with paid museum admission, until August 12.