Lauretta Vinciarelli

Italian (Rome, Italy, 1943)

Lauretta Vinciarelli's compositions merely suggest the presence of a building, street, or horizon — invoking the viewer's imagination to fill in the blanks. Drawing from her personal experiences of landscapes in southwest Texas and central Italy, Vinciarelli's paintings are "not architecture, but evidence that it exists," as the title of a 1998 publication of her work suggests.

She has said, "I am interested in the knowledge you get with your senses, not through mental means."

A trained architect, Vinciarelli practiced in her native Rome before moving to New York in 1980. In the last two decades she has focused on the production of watercolors — continually challenging herself to create a sense of mass and depth on two-dimensional, paper surfaces. Over the years Vinciarelli's images have become more and more abstract; in more recent works she often focuses on fluid materials such as water rather than on the geometric color planes and grids that dominated her earlier paintings.


From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

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