BHNY Fine Art


Peter Chinni (b. 1928)

Peter Chinni is an internationally recognized painter, printmaker and sculptor. The son of Italian immigrants, he was born in 1928 in Mt. Kisco, New York, a village in Westchester county about 40 miles north of New York City. At 19 Chinni enrolled in the Art Students League in New York City where he studied under Kenneth Hayes Miller, Julian Levi, and Edwin Dickinson. He was awarded the Daniel Schnackenberg Scholarship in 1948. Drawn to the homeland of his parents, Chinni began to make sojourns to Italy where he was accepted into the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Rome in 1949. After two years of military service in Germany for the US Armed Forces, Chinni returned to NYC in 1953 and worked from a studio in Manhattan in the Carnegie Hall Building. In 1954 Chinni studied privately with painter Felice Casorati in Turin, Italy and later with the cubist sculptor and painter Roberto Melli in Rome. Both of these artists were instrumental in cultivating Chinni’s unique style of painting and his emerging vision for sculptural forms. In 1956, Chinni studied etching with Emilio Sorini at Il Torcoliere, a workshop and gallery in Rome. It was here that he met the American sculptor Jim Wines whose friendship and guidance led him to create his first sculpture in 1957. Chinni’s first sculptural works were inspired by the Italian hill towns and the surrounding ancient landscape, yet reflected his appreciation for the energetic abstractions of Italian Futurism. Chinni soon became well-known for his distinctive bronze and marble sculptures that incorporated interlocking shapes and organic structures. Chinni’s first solo exhibition of paintings was held at Fairleigh Dickenson University in New Jersey in 1958. His first exhibit of sculpture was held in 1959 at the Janet Nessler Gallery in New York, at the Royal Marks Gallery (1964), the Albert Loeb Gallery (1966), the Loeb-Krugier Gallery (1969). He also participated in numerous group shows in the U.S., including the Whitney Museum in New York, The Corcoran Gallery in Washington,D.C. and the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, PA. In Europe, Chinni has exhibited in Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany and Italy. In 1974 Chinni was invited to show 17 works to the Shah of Iran on the Island of Kish in the Persian Gulf. The Shah eventually acquired four of his sculptures for his private collection. In 1976 Chinni returned to Westchester County,yet continued to exhibit his works at galleries throughout the world, including the Hooks-Epstein Gallery (Houston, TX),The Katonah Gallery (Katonah, NY),the Bouma Gallerie (Amsterdam), and the Beeckestijn Museum (Velsen, Netherlands), among others. During this time, Chinni’s works were acquired by the Smithsonian Institution, the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as many other public and private collections. Throughout the years, Chinni has produced an extensive body of work and has become recognized as a master of many mediums, including paintings, drawings, prints, pastels, and sculpture. Chinni’s paintings reveal a unique talent for rendering still life, figurative compositions and landscapes with a perceptive appreciation for color, light and texture, while expressing a uniquely modern sensibility. His bronze and marble sculptures, for which he is probably best known, convey a spiritual awareness through both abstract and fantastical forms. In 1966, art historian Paul Mocsanyi said of Chinni: “He unites in his work a clear understanding of the mechanical principles of movement with a poetic intuition of organic growth in nature.” PUBLIC COLLECTIONS Whitney Museum of American Art, NY National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC City Art Museum, St. Louis, MO Speed Museum, Louisville, KY Hirschorn Museum, Washington, D.C. New Orleans Museum of Art, LA Nelson Rockefeller Collection, Kykuit EstateTarrytown, NY Beeckstein Museum, Velsen, Holland Queens County Cultural Center, NY Boca Raton Museum, FL Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Ft. Worth, TX PRIVATE COLLECTIONS Pace College, NY Middlebury College, VT New School for Social Resarch, NYC Massachussetts Institute of Technology, MA College of Physcians and Surgeons, Columbia University, NYC Bank of New York, NYC Chase Manhattan Bank, Rome, Italy First National Bank, Chicago, IL