Nick de Angelis, an American master painter and sculptor used his visionary talent to tell the many stories he imagined. Born in New Jersey as Nicholas Angelo, he changed his name to the original family name; de Angelis. He served in Europe, Africa and Italy in the U.S. Army, where he was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart. De Angelis was a life member of the Art Students League of New York and a life member of the American Watercolor Society, where he was appointed Vice President, Jury member of A.W.S. for group shows and traveling exhibitions to National Museums.
His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions, including:
- New York City Center, invitational and jury shows in New York City.
- Peter Dietch, invitational drawing show New York City
- Guild Hall, invitational exhibition, East Hampton, NY
- F.A.R. Gallery, New York City
- Frank Eagan, invitational exhibition, New York City
- Martha Jackson, group invitational exhibition, New York City
- National Arts Club, invitational exhibition, New York City
- Salmagundi, invitational exhibition, New York City
- Allan Stone Gallery, New York City, 1994 Group show that included Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline
- Gallery 10, solo and group shows, New Hope, Pennsylvania
- Arthur Breslauer, Munich, Germany
- Slide Exhibitions in the Soviet Union Invitational, directed by William Smith
- Illustrated ‘The Vision of Francois the Fox’ by Julia Cunningham, published by Pantheon Books, a division of Random House
- Produced eight color paintings for the book ‘Power Sits at Another Table’ by Earl Shorris, published by Simon and Schuster
The work of Nicholas de Angelis is included in many private collections including:
- Allan Stone, Chico Hamilton, Erich Knight and the Martinson Coffee Company
- The art critic Sidney Gilbert, in a review in the October issue of ARTSPEAK, wrote, “Allan Stone mounts a sensational group show……..Nick de Angelis shows a masterful monochromatic painting of a mechanical cat, comprised of slinky machine parts.”
After a long career as an illustrator for various top agencies in New York, de Angelis, in the 1960’s, dedicated his life solely to his passion for painting and sculpting, which consumed him to the very end of his life.
As a child he covered his attic bedroom walls with his drawings and in his early career de Angelis painted exquisite watercolors of street life and café scenes, paintings of Paris and the Seine and of New York coffee houses. De Angelis’ work has evolved significantly during the more than eighty years he created art, morphing from realistic to the highly abstract. He worked in whatever media was close at hand in his 57th St apartment, where he could walk to the Art Students League. His color choices ranged from delicate pastels to bright and clashing primary colors to somber blacks and grays. His portraiture was magnificent and his self portraits depict much of the pain he experienced in his own life, particularly during his military service.
De Angelis had an infallible instinct for form, space and line. His ability to envision the future and incorporate found objects was uncanny. His avant-garde images were conceived years before the high tech mania, robots and computer gaming. This began with bringing home pieces of pipe and metal he found on his long midnight walks and inspired him to create works combining man and machine, long before iPods, laptops and Bluetooth headsets, before people withdrew into themselves, biking, skating and dancing to music they alone could hear. His most powerful works were done in the later years, dynamic paintings and sculptures of men and menacing robotic animals. His canvases and three dimensional works express both the dark and bright sides of his visions, creating a sense of an urgent and constantly changing universe.
After Nick’s death in 2004, his wife, Josiane de Angelis, was left with a monumental body of work. It is only now that she has started to present it to the public. Each of Nick’s pieces visualizes and reflects his thoughts, pulling the viewer into his magical images. Being invited into de Angelis’ studio is like finding a hidden temple in the Mayan jungle or the sands of Egypt; artwork that spans a lifetime of expression, tools to decode the mysteries in his and our own conscious and subconscious minds.