Nicholas Brigante Biography

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Nicholas P. Brigante (1895-1989) A California modernist focused on the subconscious and intuition, Nicholas Brigante is often confused with late 19th-century New Bedford painter, Nicholas Briganti.

Brigante was born in Padula in southern Italy, and from 1897, lived in Los Angeles where he first worked as a sign painter and studied landscape painting with Hanson Puthuff, Rex Slinkard, and Val Costello. After serving in the Army during World War I, he studied with Stanton McDonald- Wright with whom he shared an interest in Oriental philosophy.

His first exhibition was at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1921. From 1923 to 1924, he studied in New York City and had a show at the Brooklyn Museum. Returning to Los Angeles, he began a series of watercolors and was a member of the California Watercolor Society. He did a watercolor series of the mountains of Southern California, but a foot injury in the 1930s confined him to studio work.

He did a series on pre-historic man, and in the 1940s and 1950s experimented with automatic drawing. By 1960, he was working with a wet technique of black India ink wash on heavy paper, and this experimentation was followed by several series: Burnt Mountain, the Tide Pool, and Space. After 1975, he created a series of acrylic panels.

He died on May 6, 1989 in Los Angeles.

Source: "Artists in California, 1786-1940", by Edan Hughes.

California Watercolor