Oral history interview with Peter Agostini

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.agosti68
Creators:
Agostini, Peter
Roberts, Colette, 1910-
Dates:
1968
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
99 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Peter Agostini conducted in 1968, by Colette Roberts, for the Archives of American Art at 151 Avenue B, New York, New York.
Scope and Contents
Mr. Agostini speaks of his childhood spent living throughout the five boroughs of New York; his interactions with clients of his father's acting employment agency; his early education in Catholic school and the creative freedom allotted by the nuns; his first feelings of isolation as an artist at the age of seven; the development of a sense of communication as the result of the loss of his mother at the age of three and time spent at a school for orphans; his early realization and vision of artistic destiny; his religious interests which lead to mysticism in his earlier work; his time spent working freely in the DaVinci Studio with Spaventa; the discovery by Hess of his works in Gallerie Grimaud; his attainment of the Longview Grant; his working experience throughout the Depression as part of the WPA casting plaster mannequins while working indirectly with Pollack as well as Marca Relli; his subsequent move to designing department store windows (use of Mondrian-like forms and lines); his feelings of his position as an observer; the importance of communication through art (communication without words); his rejection of the Abstract Expressionist group and choice of independence; the influence of the sculpture of Kolbe and Bache in the thirties; Clement Greenberg's distaste for his work; his feelings about the relative failure to sell his work due its unusual edginess and mystery; his role in the introduction of the work of contemporary European artists (Chausserian, Gauthier, Modrian) to the American group; his description of his own work as "traditionless"; his feelings of self-importance as one of the most original sculptors in the art world; his influence on the younger generation, particularly Marisol; the enslavement to originality that the younger generation faces; his attitudes towards American Art forms and their lack of rebellious spirit; the virtues of the American writers, such as Poe, Whitman, and Melville as American "knapsack" writers; his personal technique which places an emphasis on the "skin" or volume of something; his attempt to create quiet art, or art that merely indicates features; his frustration with teaching and the problems of regurgitated knowledge; the role of Meyer Shapiro in his teaching career at Columbia; the formation of the Club and its similarity to the Cubist's café scene; his opinions on the relationship of sex and sensuality in American art; his personal struggles, including the loss of his second wife and two of his brothers, in addition to the estrangement of his only daughter by his first wife; his feelings on the role of psycho analysis and personal history in a work of art; his present works which feature the "swell." For the majority of the second half of the interview Ms. Roberts asks Mr. Agostini to express his opinions on the work of: Kline; DeKooning; Duchamp; Oldenburg; La Tour; DeChirico; Maillol; Pompon; Rothko; Chardin; Cezanne; Giacometti; Reinhardt; Chryssa; Tony Smith; Segal; Lachaise; Zorach; Manship; Flannagan; Kelly; Lassaw; David Smith; Hare; Lipton; Ferber; Lippold; Roszak; Nakian; Noguchi; Hague; Kohn; di Suvero; Chamberlain; Kaprow; Sugarman; Stankiewicz; Bontecou; Scarpitta; Cornell; Keinholz; Rivera; Judd; Robert Morris; O'Keeffe; Samaras; Mark Tobey; Marin; Pollock; Hartley; Dove; Macdonald-Wright; Demuth; Sheeler; Hopper; Mirot; Matisse; DuBuffet.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Peter Agostini (1913-1993) was a sculptor from New York, New York.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded on 3 sound tape reels. Reformatted in 2010 as 28 digital wav files. Duration is 10 hrs., 37 min.
General
Transferred from 4 3" reels.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Abstract expressionism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bontecou, Lee, 1931- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cézanne, Paul, 1839-1906 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chamberlain, John, 1927-2011 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chryssa, 1933-2013 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cornell, Joseph Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Chirico, Giorgio, 1888- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Demuth, Charles, 1883-1935 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-1985 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Di Suvero, Mark, 1933- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ferber, Herbert, 1906-1991 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Flannagan, John Bernard, 1895?-1942 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hague, Raoul, 1905-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hare, David, 1917-1992 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopper, Edward, 1882-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Judd, Donald, 1928-1994 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kaprow, Allan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kienholz, Edward, 1927- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kline, Franz, 1910-1962 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kohn, Gabriel, 1910-1975 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lachaise, Gaston, 1882-1935 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
La Tour, Onya, 1896-1976 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lippold, Richard, 1915-2002 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lipton, Seymour, 1903-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Macdonald-Wright, Stanton, 1890-1973 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maillol, Aristide, 1861-1944 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manship, Paul, 1885-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marca-Relli, Conrad, 1913-2000 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marin, John, 1870-1953 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marisol, 1930- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morris, Robert, 1931-2018 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nakian, Reuben, 1897-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oldenburg, Claes, 1929- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pompon, François, 1855-1933 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Roszak, Theodore, 1907-1981 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Samaras, Lucas, 1936- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scarpitta, Salvatore, 1919-2007 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Segal, George, 1924-2000 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sheeler, Charles, 1883-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, David, 1906-1965 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Tony, 1912-1980 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spaventa, George, 1918- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stankiewicz, Richard, 1922-1983 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sugarman, George, 1912-1999 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tobey, Mark Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zorach, William, 1887-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kolbe, Georg, 1877-1947 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Melville, Herman, 1819-1891 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Columbia University -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Works Progress Administration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/