(b Rome, 3 May 1933; d New York, 17 April 1970). Italian painter and stage designer. His interest in art was encouraged by his father, the art historian Umberto Gnoli, and his mother, the painter and ceramicist Annie de Garon, but his only training consisted of lessons in drawing and printmaking from the Italian painter and printmaker Carlo Alberto Petrucci (b 1881). After holding his first one-man exhibition in 1950, he studied stage design briefly in 1952 at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome; he enjoyed immediate success in this field, for example designing a production of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It for the Old Vic Theatre in London in 1955. He then began to live part-time in New York, where he began to work as an illustrator for magazines such as Sports Illustrated. During this period he drew inspiration from earlier art, especially from master printers such as Jacques Callot and Hogarth, from whom he derived his taste for compositions enlivened by large numbers of figures stylized to the point of caricature. In other works he emphasized the patterns of textiles or walls, boldly succumbing to the seduction of manual dexterity and fantasy in a style that was completely out of step with the prevailing trends of the 1950s. (bio)
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