Oh, Lucia, my beautiful, provocative, touchy friend. I miss you and have found no one who can take your place. Who else could I talk to about that one feminist sentence in Stendahl’s The Red and the Black. I miss the synchrony of our politics, our simultaneous outrage, and our mutual love of art--you were my soul buddy, my Mediterranean sister, unafraid to knock on my door in midafternoon to ask for a hug.
But it is your art I want to speak of here, Lucia, those delicate, subtle paintings that mirrored the depth of your soul and your second homeland of Italy. Those close-valued, often nostalgic colors of your paintings vibrate against each other with a quiet luminosity. Whether you painted a near perfect oval head, a dome, or an orange, the modern, simplified forms always recollect a tender feeling for the subject and a reverence for the classical realities of painting. You valued formal perfection, but it was never the subject of your work. It was the poetic vision that always predominated. True to yourself and true to art, you never let a sense of the classical limit you and you never left your unique sentiments out of your work, and this always gave me courage in my own art.
Through different media you found ways to express all sides of your aesthetic, never abandoning your authenticity. When we got together to do collages, your eye and hand created wonderful abstract universes as sensitive and tactile as any of your still lifes and portraits.
A brilliant example of how you were atuned to the particularity of each medium and always able to transform it into your own unique statement are your woodcuts and linocuts. You could take hold of this stark, powerful, black-and-white medium and create bold compositions, but always with a kind of gentleness of result. No matter what your subject--the Vietnam War, a starving woman and child, or a cityscape-- you showed us the better side of our natures and revealed a tenderness about our condition, giving us all the great gift of hope.
Lucia, you were the real thing, and your work is appreciated by those of us who know art is not hype or circus or status over the sofa. Art is an idea given to us in a sensuous form. We must take the initiative to go to it. We must approach it, to look and contemplate it in solitude. This book, your entire body of work, Lucia, are among the many gifts you have left us--gifts we can return to again to contemplate and nourish our humanity.