Gabrielle Barzaghi

Gabrielle Barzaghi attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and after living and working in Boston’s artists’ lofts, she moved to Gloucester in the mid-1990s. She taught drawing at the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University for over thirty years and now works full time in her studio.

Barzaghi’s drawings begin with a story, object, scene, or work of art which captures her imagination. Remaining fundamentally an essay in the practice of drawing led by the hand and eye, the work also takes shape from the ideas, narratives, and passions of the mind and heart — the serendipitous influences, as the drawing develops, of personal experiences, sociopolitical realities, and the histories of literature and visual art.

Driven by both intention and intuition, Barzaghi’s creative process embraces difficulties, risks failure, runs headlong into self-doubt, and weathers the capriciousness of creative inspiration. Progress is uncertain and anxious, as we learn from Charles Giuliano’s illuminating interview and from Barzaghi’s candid remarks in a talk in 2017. The drawings which make it to gallery walls are inspired, surprising, unequivocally original works of art, which hold three elements in a rare balance: a political edge, mythic transcendence, and an insistence on their own materiality. They shelter mystery within harmony and reveal the entanglement of beauty and understanding.

Barzaghi employs a wide variety of media and drawing techniques, but pastels on paper are principal. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Cape Ann Museum and the deCordova Museum, and it has been shown at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Currier Museum of Art (Manchester NH); and the Fuller Museum of Art (now the Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton MA).

Current & Planned
20/20
November 23, 2019December 24, 2019
An exhibition which invites you to take a closer look as the year 2020 approaches.
Videos
A Conversation with Gabrielle Barzaghi
June 17, 2017 · 2:00 pm3:00 pm
A conversation with Gabrielle Barzaghi about her artistic process and recent work on the occasion of her solo exhibition Perfect World.
The Political Body in Art: A Panel Discussion
April 1, 2017 · 4:00 pm6:00 pm
A panel discussion examining the human body as vehicle for the relationships between art and politics in connection with the visual art exhibition The Political Body.
Past Solo Exhibitions with Matthew Swift Gallery
Gabrielle Barzaghi: The Tsar’s Children
June 1, 2019June 30, 2019
An exhibition of new drawings by Gabrielle Barzaghi.
Gabrielle Barzaghi: Perfect World
June 10, 2017July 9, 2017
Ten new drawings and a major new work, a cycle of 15 drawings entitled Stoning Charlotte Brontë, affirm Gabrielle Barzaghi’s power to embrace complexity with aesthetic harmony, to portray the entanglement of beauty and understanding.
Gabrielle Barzaghi: When Objects Dream
June 5, 2015July 5, 2015
An exhibition of fourteen new drawings by Gabrielle Barzaghi in which the artist’s wide-ranging, mythic imagination becomes more explicitly historical. Artifacts from the realms of play and art are freighted with human context and glow with the nearly magical aura of their material histories—these are the objects’ dreams.
Past Group Exhibitions with Matthew Swift Gallery
Organic Complications
April 13, 2019May 27, 2019
An exhibition exploring the complex, evolving living world & the question of our human place in it.
Facing Five Years
January 17, 2019March 31, 2019
A program of exhibitions and events revisiting Trident Gallery’s first half-decade years and assaying the next.
In With The New
January 26, 2018March 25, 2018
An exhibition of new, unseen, and selected works of art by represented artists.
The Political Body
March 31, 2017April 30, 2017
An exhibition of art on the political dimensions of the body, which opens with a performance and a panel discussion.
In the Time We Have
March 12, 2016April 24, 2016
An exhibition of new and selected works of art reflecting themes of time, ephemerality, and maturity.
NEST
January 30, 2016March 6, 2016
This year’s partnership with the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon explores birds’ nests as wondrous natural objects, emblems of shelter, and monuments in the cycle of life and death.
Beyond Real: Contemporary Landscapes
August 15, 2015September 13, 2015
A group exhibition offering more than fifty paintings, drawings, photographs, and mixed media works in the genre of landscape, chosen to represent a diversity of artistic approaches.
Spring Improvisations
March 20, 2015May 31, 2015
During Spring Improvisations, special offerings and recent work by gallery artists will be on display and may change frequently and improvisationally. Stop into the gallery regularly to see new work and tell the Director what you’d like to see next.
The Art of Natural History
January 29, 2015March 15, 2015
An exhibition reprising last year’s winter partnership with the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon and curated with two organizing ideas: Charles Darwin’s famous closing paragraph of On The Origin of Species, and the idea that the art in the exhibition should straddle the boundary between documentation and interpretation of the natural world.
Harbortown 2014
July 3, 2014July 27, 2014
An exhibition celebrating Gloucester Harbor and the area’s legacy of more than 150 years of excellence in the visual arts, displaying works of art by eighteen Cape Ann artists, including four guest artists, and introducing Gloucester artist Ed Touchette, now represented by Trident Gallery.
Winter Meditations
January 17, 2014March 16, 2014
A trans-discipline, evolving, multi-media art experience—an exhibition of visual art and a coordinated series of performances evolving with the season from mid-winter into spring.
Walls of Plenty
November 29, 2013January 5, 2014
A cornucopia of art to feed the soul.
Three Artists in Dialogue with the Past
October 18, 2013November 24, 2013
An exhibition of works by three contemporary artists who engage the imagery and ideas of the mid-twentieth century and of earlier eras.
Old News
ReSeeding the City: Ethnobotany in the Urban
October 26, 2019November 27, 2019
A Providence Biennial exhibition at the Rhode Island State House, curated by Judith Tolnick Champa, includes works by Susan Erony and Gabrielle Barzaghi.
Gabrielle Barzaghi at the Cape Ann Museum
April 29, 2016
Gabrielle Barzaghi’s large drawing The Stream is in the collection of the Cape Ann Museum and is now on display again on the third floor.
Gabrielle Barzaghi: New Drawings at Glen Urquhart
April 1, 2016May 13, 2016
The Glen Urquhart School in Beverly MA is showing seven drawings by Gabrielle Barzaghi from April 1 through May 13, 2016, in an exhibition entitled Gabrielle Barzaghi: Recent Drawings.