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Ralph Fasanella: Portaits of American Life

Opening Reception: September 16, 4 - 7 pm

September 16, 2022

October 22, 2022


The Hill Gallery is proud to present a retrospective exhibition of Ralph Fasanella: Portraits of American Life running from September 16th - October 2022. The Opening reception will be held at the gallery on September 16th, 4-7pm.

Ralph Fasanella (1914-1997) is best known for his large, dynamic paintings of American politics and urban life that include crowds of people involved in struggle, protest, or celebration. These crowds, however, are mostly made up of many individuals whom the artist knew personally. Fasanella’s portraits are a lesser-known body of work, but are in fact, the building blocks for his famous works. This exhibition explores Fasanella’s portraits as well as scenes from labor activism (Mill Town Weaving Department), urban neighborhoods (I Love New York), counterculture (Love Goddess) and family outings (Peach Lake) with works spanning his entire career.

Ralph Fasanella (1914-1997) was born in the Bronx and grew up in the working-class neighborhoods of Little Italy New York. He became a tireless advocate for laborers’ rights, first as a union organizer and later as a self-taught painter. Fasanella’s paintings can be found in the Museum of American Immigration at Ellis Island, The American Folk Art Museum, The National Museum of American Art, The Fenimore Art Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, and Michigan State University to name a few.

This exhibition is in conjunction with the Fasanella Symposium (a hybrid event) titled The Visionary Art of Ralph Fasanella held at Michigan State University. The Symposium runs from September 14th - 16th. Registration can found here: Ralph Fasanella at MSU Symposium.

This 3-day event closes with the opening of Ralph Fasanella: Portraits of American Life at the Hill Gallery at 407 W. Brown St., Birmingham MI and will have a book signing of Ralph Fasanella: Images of Optimism by Marc Fasanella on Friday, September 16th from 4-7pm & Saturday, September 17th from 1-4pm.

The exhibition will remain on view through October 22, 2022.

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