L 'Atelier - - - - or - - - - “The Studio”

Simbari opened his own Printing Studio in Frascati . . . 
in order to control the quality and the making of his superb

Retablos in Silkscreen

(a special method ‘invented’
         by him)

- - - in order to give the same thick impasto to his ‘prints’ that he achieved in his ‘originals’.

he told me that they “must” be shown in his own “gallery” . . .


Retablo in Silkscreen

After much arguing. . . I agreed to take on this daunting ‘job’ . . .
L’Atelier Simbari was “born” . . .
on 54th. Street,
- - - on the front of the ‘boutique’
hotel, The Elysee,
well-known for its
“Monkey Bar” . . . frequented by Manhattan’s writers and actors - - -

At first it was just a small space with a huge window . . . !

later we were able to expand . . .


became a ‘home from home’

“Sardinian Straw Hat”
acrylic on canvas

Friends would gather, play music and discuss the “topics” of the day, with a glass of wine and cheeses from Italy! - - - with the wonderful help of our daughter, Jenny. . . . who was a master at hanging the paintings and Retablos. She always seemed to know just how to welcome the many collectors, friends and visitors with her dazzling Simbari smile!!

L’Atelier looking across the main ‘gallery’

I have many memories of the ten year adventure
“in the Art business“ . . .
the excitement of preparing for a special showing of
Southwest Collection of paintings, or the Exhibition of the beautiful jewellery and ‘ artworks’ of my good friend Arthur King,
or the spectacular paintings of the AUDI Rallye Cars . . .

And yet, perhaps the ‘inventing’ of
L’Atelier can best be told by an article in
Condé Nast’s

“Arancia” oil on canvas ©Simbari
“Clown au Saxaphone” bronze ©Simbari

- - -text by Joelle Longhi and photographs by Edgar D’Evia

“entering a different world” L’Atelier Simbari at the Hotel Elysee, New York 1987


« In the heart of New York, you’ll find . . . “L’Atelier Simbari” . . .
an Art Gallery? »

« No, a “lieu privilegie”, set in “The Elysee Hotel”. An unexpected locale for art? Not these days, when international hotels buy and exhibit fine art to please their clientele, as in the famous Vier Jahreszeiten (Four Seasons) Hotel in Hamburg, which has The Simbari Bar. So now the Elysee has L’Atelier Simbari, a remarkable place created by Mme. Simbari to set a mood in the art of living, making it possible to buy a painting in an ambiance of warmth and relaxation. »

« It is not by chance that L’Atelier Simbari is atThe Elysee. This small hotel has a history of famous artists, writers and people in the theatre, who have taken advantage of its privacy, and personalised services, quite different from that of a larger hotel.

It has the ‘fun’ side as well . . .
with its famous “Monkey Bar”, and its convivial atmosphere laced with sophisticated music »

“a quiet corner for listening to music” at L’Atelier Simbari

« This gracious oasis is the perfect framework for L’Atelier, its lovely space exhibiting an exceptional body of work, that of Nicola Simbari. »
« Here the facets of this artist are revealed to those who already know his work, as well as to those who are just discovering him. »
« Around these paintings, dazzling in their energy, light and colours, a special ‘mis-en-scene’ is forming, rather like those celebrated Parisian ‘salons’ where great cultural movements were forged.
But here, you are not trapped into elitist dogmas . . no one is “explaining” a canvas . . . . to you, . . . second guessing the artist . . none of that. »
“Café in Ischia” oil on canvas ©SIMBARI

« To enhance the atmosphere, Mme Simbari has revived the charming custom of the “at home”,
allowing her to pay particular attention to visitors, and eventually have them join an “inner circle” of friends, after business hours, for wine and good conversation. »

« Elfrida Simbari explains:
“Because we believe in the continuation of art through many generations, we like to use L’Atelier to give young artists a chance to be known. It is not only a showcase for painting;
but a centre for talent and creativity; we might show outstanding photographs, or sculpture.

“Artena” acrylic on canvas ©SIMBARI

We are exhibiting the work in wood of a very promising young English sculptor,   Matthew Condé.
These are carved with strength, depth and subtlety, using the natural vein of the wood, resulting in sinuous and powerful pieces, no matter what their size”.. »

“Sword in the Stone”

Wood sculpture

By Matthew Condé

« “I am not acting as an exhibitor or dealer. I show things as the spirit moves me and because I like the work. The reason I show Nicola’s work.

        is because I love it! ” »

« L’Atelier is also a reflection of the Simbaris’ way of savouring Life, by taking the time to LIVE it well. “In New York one never has time for anyone, yet, to have time for others, is to be rich!” » 

« Mme Simbari never wears a watch. »

“Navaho Girls”
Southwest Collection
acrylic on canvas

From the Southwest Collection - - - “Navaho Girls” - - - this incredible painting ‘speaks’ to me of a “Love that passeth all understanding” . . . ‘Ruth and Naomi’ . . . of a wonderful, profound friendship and trust . . . a masterpiece!

The exhibition of Simbari’s “view” of the American Southwest . . .

one of the last Shows at L’Atelier . . . a great success . . . and I was sad to “close the doors” - - - a privilege, indeed, to share with everyone Nicola’s extra-ordinary view of the world around him
“Mustang” acrylic on canvas ©SIMBARI

And then . . . . there are his NUDES . . . !

From “Le Crazy Horse Saloon” Collection
“Lili Paramount”        acrylic on canvas          ©SIMBARI

wood sculptures by Matthew Condé

AND to follow all the “drama” . . . !
tantalising and provocative . . .
but never vulgar . . .

Nicola once told me that to paint or sculpt a nude is the ultimate challenge for an artist . . .

I can believe that!

I loved to Show them . . .

They were dramatic,
They were soft
They were full of LIFE!

etching from
“Le Crazy Horse Saloon” ©Simbari


An unexpected and thrilling Commission from Mansour Ojjeh, CEO for TAG HEURE, to paint the 1981/2 Formula One Racing Season . . . There were 12 works . . .

Where are they now?

I could almost hear
the sound of the cars
as they raced
through the gallery . .

of course,
we became
avid followers
of this
exciting sport!!

Nicola always
drove his
as if he were on
a race-course!!!

“Last Lap”
Formula One Racing Cars

Frog Sculpture
Matthew Condé

then came the Commission from
Dr. Jur. Wolfgang Habbel,
Chairman of the Board of AUDI,
in the mid 1980s,
to paint


“AUDI *4” acrylic on canvas ©SIMBARI

and . . . ALWAYS . . .
         the Mediterranean held its allure , , , , its magic . . .

the intense blues
. . . the light . . .
the SUN
as you ‘view’ . . .

the feeling


. .the sea
. . .the warmth
of the air . . . .
“Settembre” acrylic on canvas
Retablo in silkscreen

For Nicola, the Man, his Life is about the simple things as well as the DRAMA . . . flowers picked from his  garden and ‘arranged” in his  house . . .


“ Il Vaso”
acrylic on canvas

THESE are his  quiet ‘times’ !!

oil on canvas

his  “reverie” . . .
and he shares
them with love - - -

AND THEN - - -

“Cockfight” acrylic on canvas ©SIMBARI

when I see “Cockfight” or  “Navajo Girls”
. . . I WISH I still had  L’Atelier . . .!


Nicola’s admirers are many . . . and
PASSIONATE . . .     IF only he KNEW!

This is not “ART”
. . . this is LIFE . . .

© Elfrida 2010

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