Gabrielle Barzaghi

Barzaghi’s drawings begin with a story, object, scene, or work of art which captures her imagination. While they remain fundamentally an essay in the practice of drawing led by the hand and eye, her drawings become a remarkable record of a chapter of creative discovery, taking 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.

Beginning with intention and developed with 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).

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.

Current & Planned
One Life
March 17, 2024April 29, 2024
An exhibition curated with the inspirations of dance, plant life, and Coleridge's poem “The Eolian Harp.”
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: Horse Opera
June 24, 2023August 6, 2023
A solo of exhibition of new and selected drawings by Gabrielle Barzaghi.
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
Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary 2023
March 23, 2023 · 5:00 pmMarch 26, 2023 · 6:00 pm
Matthew Swift Gallery will be exhibiting at the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art fair in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Art Wynwood 2023
February 16, 2023 · 6:00 pmFebruary 19, 2023 · 6:00 pm
Matthew Swift Gallery will be exhibiting at the Art Wynwood 2023 art fair in Miami, Florida.
Right Here on Paper: Gloucester MA and environs
August 6, 2022November 30, 2022
An exhibition of works on paper depicting Gloucester, Massachusetts, and surrounding areas.
Explicit Color
July 1, 2022August 1, 2022
An exhibition of paintings and sculpture with explicit color: most titles name a color.
Art Miami 2021
November 30, 2021December 5, 2021
Hamptons Fine Art Fair 2021
September 2, 2021September 5, 2021
Matthew Swift Gallery will present work by Peter Lyons, Timothy Harney, Gabrielle Barzaghi, and Kim Radochia.
Still Figuring It Out: Human Figures and ?
June 24, 2021August 2, 2021
A group exhibition of art representing the human figure.
A Closer Look at Still Lifes
March 6, 2021June 21, 2021
A group exhibition exploring the diversity of the tradition of still lifes.
Art Miami 2020
December 1, 2020December 20, 2020
Matthew Swift Gallery is participating in the 2020 edition of the prestigious Art Miami fair, which is exclusively online at this year.
September 5, 2020October 4, 2020
An exhibition for a time of danger and transitions.
November 23, 2019February 29, 2020
An exhibition which invites you to take a closer look while approaching and beginning the year 2020.
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.
SCOPE Miami Beach 2018
December 4, 2018 · 12:00 pmDecember 9, 2018 · 8:00 pm
Trident Gallery exhibited work by Peter Lyons, Susan Erony, Diane Ayott, Gabrielle Barzaghi, and Ed Touchette at the 2018 SCOPE Miami Beach art fair.
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.
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.
AD20/21 2015
March 26, 2015March 29, 2015
Trident Gallery showed works on paper by eight represented artists at the 2015 AD20/21 art fair.
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.
Boston International Fine Art Show, 2014
November 13, 2014November 16, 2014
Trident Gallery showed works by gallery artists at the Boston International Fine Art Show in 2014.
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.