ALAN SHEPP was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1935, to Italian American parents. The Shepp family [or Sieppe family, before passing through immigration at Ellis Island in the early 1900’s] came from the Campobasso region of Italy. Growing up in “Little Italy”, not much Italiano was spoken at home except when his paternal grandfather or maternal grandmother lived with them or when the adults got together for pinochle. Late into the night the homemade vino flowed as did the boisterous and lively Italiano.
Shepp graduated from Bowling Green State University (B.A.) and the Cleveland Institute of Art (M.A.), before completing his military duty in the Air Force. Following his departure from the University of Washington in 1963 (M.F.A.), Shepp received a Fulbright Fellowship (painting) to Italy. After a year of extensive study/travel in Italy, Shepp moved into a studio in London and taught at the Stepney School. Shepp accepted a teaching position at the Minneapolis College of the Arts in 1966, where he ceased his painting activities and began working in neon and kinetic sculpture. This led to further work using technology, beams of light, lasers and computer animation. Shepp moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1971, and a professorship at California State University Hayward.
Shepp’s art and technology phase culminated with the Flight Performances of 1972-75. For the Flight Performance, Shepp flew a plane from San Francisco to Kalamazoo while an audience watched the animation program on a screen. As Shepp flew over an area of the flight path the same image he was seeing was appearing to this audience via computer-animated film.
Movement and light have been important elements in Shepp’s artwork throughout his career, and no less so, when he decided in the mid 1970’s to focus his creativity on sculpture in stone. He began with marble, then slate and finally granite. Stone has not been known for its malleability and slate in particular was infrequently used as a traditional sculptural material.
GIAMPIETRO CUDIN grew up in Gorizia in the Northeastern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. From there he moved to Canada where he graduated in Architecture. He later returned to Italy and obtained a degree in Psychology from the University of Padua. In the early 1970s, he began to dedicate himself to painting and sculpture. He participated in the “Biennale Internazionale della Piccola Scultura” in Padua in 1975 and the “Biennale della Scultura d’Arte Dantesca” in Ravenna in 1977.
Soon his curiosity, which matches his gentle soul, led him to take on new challenges:
in Nanao, Japan, where he created a tabernacle and displayed his works at the Graphic and Sculpture exhibit; in Montreal, Canada, where he presented “Images” — a graphic design portfolio by Carolyn Carson (1983); in Santa Monica, California (1997); in Paris (1998); in Russia, Moscow (1996), for the realization of sculptural works at the Margarita Rudomino State Library: Macchiavelli, Father Alexander Men, Raoul Wallenberg; in Venice (1999), at the 48th Biennale of Contemporary Art.
He realized the design of the ceiling of San Bellino Church in Padua, along with monumental sculptures that have been placed in different areas of Padua and across the Castello Carrarese. He sculpted a bust of Giorgio Perlasca — entitled “Righteous Among the Nations” — for the Italian Culture Institute in Budapest. A copy of the bust has been placed in Toronto, inside the gardens of the “Italians of the Veneto Region Association” head office.
In 2013, he worked at Forte Marghera with the artistic group “Materia Prima” and participated in the “Padiglione Tibet” performance at the Venice Biennale, in Santa Marta.
Cudin fully expresses his own personality through his art. His experiences, emotions and feelings converge and confront each other through a style that is immediate and instinctive, but artistically oriented towards an enchanting and intimately articulated language, in which one can easily get lost but also find themselves. His abstract painting often involves symbolic elements, such as numbers, letters and cut outs, which make the perception more stimulating and personal. Symbols interacting with intense colors recur on his canvasses. Red, yellow and black communicate passionately with each other through rapid brushing and show a musicality that begins classicly and soon becomes improvisation — like jazz music.