Gene Pompa


Autunm After the Rain


Geometry of Spring


Beginning of Autumn

Life Story

My full name is Generoso Pompa but I have always been called Gene. And it is the name I use to sign my work.

I've been told I was born on 11 March 1952 in Alexandria/Egypt and I recall my childhood as absolutely splendid. As I was born of Italian parents, in Egypt they named me 'the Italian', however in Italy I was named 'the Egyptian' because, although of Italian nationality, I was born in Egypt. So, I leave it up to you to decide!

As I have already mentioned, I had a happy childhood surrounded by family who enjoyed every form of art: my grandfather Generoso Pompa and my grandmother, Angela Comi, were both opera singers at the Scala Theatre in Milan, and my father Vittorio and my mother Anna Parisi embraced all kinds of art, ranging from music to poetry and painting.

In 1962 my parents decided to leave Alexandria in order to ensure a better future for their three children: Alfredo who is the eldest and is an excellent singer and actor, I the middle child and my younger sister, Angela.

Their intention was to move to Australia with a short stop-over in Rome, Italy... this was some 50 years ago... and we are all still in Rome, never having made it to Australia.

As a lot of children do, I started painting by imitating great masters of the past, in particular EttoreRoesler Franz who painted "Rome Disappeared". These works have now been commissioned by the Esedra Gallery in Rome.

However, when my father died in 1970 I stopped painting and, over the years, was obliged by necessity, to sell my best works as well as the ones I was most fond of. At that time, I also distanced myself from the world of art but in the 80's inevitably found myself drawn to it again and started painting with renewed enthusiasm.

In the 90's I alternated between surrealistic paintings or simple landscapes using a particular relief technique, that I have perfected over the years, through the use of a paint brush and spatula.

I must admit that much to my surprise and delight, from the very first time I held an exhibition my paintings met with enthusiasm from the public, and I have been encouraged and urged by the critics to continue.

Thus over the years I have further developed my particular painting technique and have been awarded numerous prizes as well as gaining national and international recognition.

I have had my own art gallery in the Trieste area at 12 street Bellinzona in Rome since 1998 and have spent many happy hours with friends and visitors who come to see my paintings and watch me paint.


84 Personal Exhibitions

176 Mini Personal Exhibitions

30 Art Prizes

4 Juried Competitions

24 Appearances on Television

Art Criticism

Art critic Ed McCormac wrote about Gene Pompa's work:

The Italian artist, Gene Pompa could almost be termed an "antiImpressionist," because while the Impressionists sought to capture the effect of light on landscape, Pompa endeavors to evoke landscape's actual substance. Which is to say: Pompa literally constructs his relief-like pictures in considerable detail with tactile daubs of thickly built-up oil pigment, evoking the very texture of the bark on the trunks and individual branches of the trees in his glowing nature scenes with thick, yet precise neopointillistic strokes apparently applied with a fine-pointed brush (although according to an artist statement, he also employs a spatula). Each leaf, each blade of grass on the lawns below is delineated as a discrete entity in a painstakingly detailed neo-pointillist technique akin to that of Seurat, lending each of his compositions an almost hologramatic materiality. Indeed, like Seurat, Pompa obviously endeavors to impose a sense of abstract in the austere composition of the oil on canvas he calls "Primavera." Here, two verdantly blooming trees are seen in an expansive sun-splashed meadow, set against a clear blue sky, their slender trunks supplying vertical contrasts to the flat lay of the grass-covered land, bordered by thin areas of dirt road near the bottom of the composition. The painting possesses an underlying sense of a geometry that often occurs in nature, but is rarely defined so precisely in painting, in a manner which might even have pleased a stickler like Mondrian. Yet it is atmospherically open and airy as well, with the clear blue of the sky showing horizontal wisps of cloud as slender as jet trails, and the leaf-laden branches on the two lushly blooming trees appearing to sway lazily in a soft summer breeze. Somewhat more complex is "Specchi d'autunno," in which several more trees speckled with a chromatically variegated spectrum of autumnal leaves stand as straight as sentries in a leaf-strewn meadow, their trunks mirrored here and there in puddles of rain water on the grass below. A particularly lovely feature of this canvas is the sky, which glows through an intricate network of graceful tree branches, tinged with tints of pale, purplish pink in a manner reminiscent of that offshoot of the American Hudson River School of painters known as Luminism. In Pompa's version, however, another aspect of the painting's appeal is the unique textural contrast he achieves between the thin, almost translucent glazes of diluted oil paint which he employs to evoke the smooth, ethereal surface of the sky and the tactile impasto of the limbs and leaves. Although both his parents are Italian, Generoso (thus the sobriquet "Gene," with which he signs his work) was born and spent part of his childhood in Alexandria, Egypt. But the family returned to Italy and settled in Rome when he was ten years old. There, he grew up in an artistic environment, since both of his grandparents were opera singers, his parents were interested in all the arts, and his siblings have all gravitated toward creative pursuits. In the 1980s, after a long sabbatical following the death of his father, he began to paint again and by the 90s his work veered between surrealism and landscape painting, as he developed his unique oil relief technique. One can't help wondering if the subtle patterning of his intricately paint-piled forms was subconsciously influenced by the sinuous Islamic script seen everywhere in Egypt during his early childhood there. In any case, Gene Pompa has evolved a visual language all his own that frequently touches upon the sublime. Ed McCormac

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